Category Archives: basic commands

How to Teach Your Dog to Play Red Light, Green Light

By Linda Cole

Training is an essential part of a dog’s education. Teaching basic commands helps you control your pet and keep him safe. Teaching your dog isn’t difficult if you are committed, remain patient and stay consistent. Plus, if you make it into a game, it’s more fun all the way around. Dogs and kids love to play games, and by teaching both of them how to play Red Light, Green Light, you’re showing them how to behave around each other.

One major lesson children can learn from playing the Red Light, Green Light game is how to react to a dog that may be chasing them or jumping up on them during play. It doesn’t take long for a dog to become so excited during play that he ends up nipping at the kids when they’re running around or jumping up on them, all the while barking his love of the game he’s playing. Unfortunately, that’s when it’s time to slow the play down before someone gets hurt. The dog isn’t being bad; he’s just gotten too hyper to continue playing. Another good lesson for kids to learn is what to do when they meet an unfamiliar dog. By playing this game, kids are able to see firsthand how stopping and standing still can make a difference.

Before starting a game of Red light, Green light, your dog should know how to sit on command. But if he still needs to work on that, you can always practice with him during the game. Put a nice supply of CANIDAE dog treats in your pocket and be ready to reward him for sitting during the “freeze frame” part of the game.

The rules of the game are simple and easy for both kids and dogs to learn, but most kids probably already know how to play. Everyone starts out walking or running around the yard. A judge, which should be you to start with, suddenly shouts out “red light.” Everyone stops and freezes in position and the dog should sit down. To help him learn what you want him to do, run or walk with him on leash. As soon as you call out red light, stop and have him sit. Reward him with a treat immediately when he complies. Don’t let him move until you yell “green light.” That’s the signal to release everyone and the game continues.

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How to Stop Dogs from Stealing Toys

By Linda Cole

Dogs are naturally curious about what another canine has. If one dog has something, it must be good and may be worthy of swiping. You may not have a problem at home with your dog stealing toys, but if you’re at the dog park, stealing another dog’s ball or toy may not be a good idea. You can stop your dog from stealing toys by teaching your dog four basic commands.

A dog doesn’t know it’s not nice to steal toys or that things he picks up in his mouth could be harmful to him. Basic commands help us control our dog’s behavior more quickly so we can stop him before there’s a problem. Start with plenty of CANIDAE TidNips treats, have patience and a commitment, and always keep it fun.

Drop it: When your dog gives up what he has in his mouth, he gets something better in return. Begin where there are no distractions. Attach a leash to his collar and let it drag on the ground. Give him a favorite toy and let him play with it for a few minutes, then show him a treat and give him the command to “drop it.” Say it only once. Your dog should obey any command as soon as you give it. If he drops the toy, give him the treat and praise. Offer him the toy and say, “take it,” wait a few minutes, then give the “drop it” command. Treat immediately when he drops the toy. If he tries to wander away with the toy, step on the leash and offer him the treat. There’s nothing wrong with trying to out-wait him if necessary. He’ll get the idea as long as you stay calm and patient.

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Got an Extra Minute or Two? Train Your Dog!

By Linda Cole

We miss so many opportunities to work with our dogs. Relaxing in the backyard or on the deck after work, waiting for supper to finish cooking, watching TV, waiting for your turn to take your morning shower or any other times where we have a few extra moments. Training a dog is important, but there’s no rule that says you have to make a big production out of it, and there’s no law that says you have to spend a certain amount of time doing it. Dogs are smart and more than capable of learning most commands quickly. One minute at a time is all it takes.

Dog training is all about reinforcing a desired behavior. Once most dogs have learned the basic commands, it’s just like riding a bike, so to speak. I have to giggle here, because as I’m writing this, I’m listening to a dog training minute happening in the kitchen while supper is being cooked. We’re working with our dog Keikei to teach her a new command – turn around. If your dog is like Keikei and wants to be with you wherever you are, the opportunity to work on their training is always there. Take advantage of it.

Dogs end up in shelters because of behavior problems their owner couldn’t or wouldn’t deal with. It’s no secret that the best way to ensure you have a well mannered and happy dog is by taking the time to teach him how you want him to act. Training your dog is also one way you can help keep him safe. Teaching your dog doesn’t require hours and hours of time, but it does require three important rules to follow.

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Canine Behavior: Living with a Jealous Dog

By Linda Cole

It can be hard to understand why dogs do the things they do. Their actions are related to how we treat them and what their personality is like. A dog with a jealous streak is being possessive and domineering. Whether there are other pets in the home or not, a dog showing jealousy can affect an entire household.

Living with a jealous dog can be a challenge, especially if he’s also protective of the one he loves. A jealous dog is most likely one with a dominant personality, but not all dominant dogs are jealous. A dog who is jealous is trying to tell you he’s concerned about his place in your heart. Adding a new pet to your family is upsetting to any pet already in the home, but a dog with a jealous streak may need more time to get used to the idea of sharing you and his home. Any change to a household, whether it’s another pet, roommate or variation in routine, can cause a dog to react in a way you’ve never seen before.

Routine is one of the most important and stabilizing factors in a dog’s life. They eat from the same bowl at the same time and in the same place every day. Dogs know when it’s time to go outside or go for a walk. Changes to their schedule, even small changes we may not notice, are observed by dogs. A jealous dog may see a change in routine as a threat to his position in the home and in your eyes. A new pet or person changes the routine.

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At What Age Should You Begin Puppy Training?

By Linda Cole

It’s easy to put off starting a training program for a new pup until after he’s older. An eight week old puppy may still be a “baby,” but he’s already learned a lot from his mom and siblings. His education needs to continue in his new home as soon as he gets there. Therefore, the best age to begin puppy training is the minute you get him home.

Puppies adjust quickly to new surroundings. Of course, he’ll have a period of missing his siblings and mom. You can carry the scent of his old life with you to his new home by taking a baby blanket or towel with you when you pick him up. Rub it on his mom and siblings and let them play on it. When you arrive home, place it where you want him to sleep so he has familiar smells around him. Helping him get through his first few nights will be your first training session.

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How to Teach an Excited Dog to Calm Down

By Linda Cole

Some dogs can get so worked up when it’s time for a walk or a romp in the backyard they nearly knock you over on the way to the door. Frenzied barking and jumping is the sign of a hyper, out-of-control dog who could become aggressive if they remain in that state of mind and meet another dog or person once outside. Calming them down before they go out is the best thing to do – but how do you teach a dog to stay calm? Read on.

An overly excited dog isn’t focusing on you. If you are trying to get them outside and they are jumping, barking and running away from you, they are controlling the situation. Teach a dog to stay calm with basic commands and get him to focus on you.

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