Category Archives: training dogs

Training Dogs to Respond to a Silent Whistle


By Linda Cole

Whistle training is usually only done by hunters or herders to control their dog while out in the field. But using a silent whistle to give your dog commands has its advantages. I started using a silent dog whistle years ago when I learned that my Siberian Husky was an escape artist. Instead of having to walk the neighborhood yelling, I could simply blow on the whistle and she could hear it better than my voice. Training your dog to respond to a silent dog whistle is just like teaching them to come to you when you call them using a voice command. It’s easy to do, as long as you are consistent, patient and have plenty of treats and praise for your dog.

A silent dog whistle makes little to no sound that humans can hear, but dogs and even cats hear it loud and clear. The only thing we hear is our breath as it goes through the whistle. You may hear a whistle depending on how you have the pitch set. But it isn’t very loud to us because the sound the dog whistle emits is up in the higher range we can’t pick up.

If you have an outside cat you would like to train to come to the dog whistle or would like to train your inside cat to respond when you blow the whistle, the same training techniques used for a dog would be applied. Cats don’t always come when called, but they may surprise you if they think there’s something in it for them, like food. A sharp blast gets their attention almost as good as a can opener, and all cats understand what that sound means.

Depending on where you buy your dog whistle, the price can be anywhere from $1.50 up to $50.00. You don’t need an expensive whistle, and the ones under $10.00 are just fine. You can buy them with or without a lanyard, but I’ve found having a cord attached to the whistle makes it easier to find because you can hang it in a convenient spot and hang it around your neck when using it.

Training your dog to respond to a silent whistle

The first thing you need to do is decide which commands you want your dog to learn. The dog whistle works well for calling your dog if you’re hiking and he’s off leash, if he’s a country dog that’s wandered down to the back forty or if he has become lost. You can use the whistle inside the home as well and train your dog to come, sit or stay by using long and short whistles. There is no wrong way to do it. Start by getting your dog accustomed to the sound of the silent dog whistle. If your dog is out of the room when you blow it and responds to the sound, give him a treat and praise.

Once you have his attention, pick one series of whistles for the command you want him to respond to. For instance, I use two short whistles for “come.” If you want your dog to sit or stay, you will need different whistles for those basic commands. Each time your dog does what the whistle asks, give him a treat and lots of praise.

Using a silent dog whistle is just like using your voice. Be patient and only use the series of whistles meant for each command. When your dog is in the same room with you, it’s best not to use the whistle and a voice command is more appropriate.

If you are blowing the dog whistle and your dog pays no attention to it, adjust the pitch on the whistle and keep testing it until you see your dog’s ears move. That’s an indication he does hear it. It’s very important to keep the whistle tuned to that particular pitch and frequency, because just like the sound of your voice when you speak a command, your dog will learn what that sound means and respond accordingly. Like any training session, make it a game and have plenty of CANIDAE Snap-Biscuit® or Snap-Bits™ treats around to reward him.

One of the worst feelings I ever had was the first time my Husky pulled out of her collar and took off. That was when I began checking into silent dog whistles and started using it around the dogs to get them use to the sound. The only command I’ve taught the dogs is to come when I blow the dog whistle. Hopefully, if one decides to roam, the silent dog whistle can help them find their way home without me yelling and disturbing the neighbors.

Read more articles by Linda Cole

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

EmailGoogle GmailBlogger PostTwitterFacebookGoogle+PinterestShare

How to Train Your Dog with Invisible Fencing


By Suzanne Alicie

Invisible fencing is a method of containing your pet that, while it may seem quick and easy, actually requires quite a bit of training in order to make your pet understand. Essentially the fencing is laid underground and your pet will wear a transmitter collar. As your pet nears the fencing area the collar will beep; this is your pet’s signal to turn back. If your pet continues he will approach the fencing and receive (typically) a shock. Another method some company’s use is to spray citronella in the dog’s face. Either of these methods are a repellent to the dog, and he will want to avoid them. However, it is up to you as a responsible pet owner to work with your pet and teach him what the beeping and the fencing response means. Otherwise you may have a very confused dog who continually tries to bolt over or cross the fencing area.

Before attempting to train your dog with an invisible fencing system, it is essential that he knows the basic commands. It’s also important to keep in mind that the fence training is not something which can be fully accomplished in a few short weeks. Dogs continue to learn what is expected of them as they grow and encounter new situations.

To begin training your dog to understand invisible fencing, you must first mark the boundaries. Use flags or cones to outline the path of the invisible fencing. Place your dog on the leash with the fencing de-activated and walk him around the perimeter. Allow him to smell and become accustomed to these additions to his yard.

After the first few trips around the yard, activate the fencing and allow him to only go to where the warning beep sounds. Continue this daily for about a week. Next, place your dog on the leash or a run and affix it so that he can’t go past the beep trigger area. Allow him to wander and roam within this area only. Continue this practice for a few days.

Lengthen the leash so that your dog can reach just past the perimeter of the fencing. As he wanders the yard, and you see him approaching the warning beep area call him back. Be sure to praise him and reward him for his effort. If he continues after you call him he will either be shocked or sprayed. At that time, walk him around the perimeter allowing him to recognize the warning beeps and if necessary get sprayed or shocked as he examines the perimeter. This will help reinforce the boundaries and teach your dog the consequences if he attempts to leave the boundaries.

Each day, remove a few of the perimeter markings and continue to let your dog explore while leashed until he knows the boundaries. It takes approximately 6 weeks for a dog to learn the boundaries and be allowed to play in the yard while off the leash.

As a responsible pet owner, it is important that you never leave your unleashed dog unattended in an invisibly fenced yard. Some dogs are smarter than you think, and will realize that if they get over the perimeter the shock will stop. A black lab owned by a neighbor of mine had it figured out that if he could just get past the fencing he was in the clear. It was dangerous for the dog, but also amusing to watch him race across the yard, jump the boundary with a little yelp and then run down the street. Despite the owner’s expense, and the training, that dog was simply destined to spend his outdoor time on the leash. Another neighbor has a dog that no matter what will not cross the warning beep. As soon as he hears it he high tails it back toward the house.

Invisible fencing is not right for every dog. Each dog is different, and each person must make the right choice for his pet. Evaluating the pros and cons of invisible fencing is an important part of making this decision.

Read more articles by Suzanne Alicie

Find CANIDAE Retailers Near You!

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

How to Train Your Puppy to Obey Basic Commands


By Suzanne Alicie

Puppies are cute and cuddly, and generally out of control. One of the first things a new puppy needs is training in basic commands. Sit, Stay, and Lie Down are the most basics commands to teach a puppy. When it comes to training a puppy it is important to be firm and consistent. Puppies learn from consistency and repetition, and responsible pet owners know that proper training can turn a wild puppy into a well mannered dog.

Teach Your Puppy to Sit

Initially you will need to get down on your puppy’s level and help him sit. A gentle push on the haunches while saying “sit” to your puppy will help him get the idea. When your puppy sits upon command the first few times, be sure to reward him with praise and a treat. One of the things we do in our house is make the dogs sit while we prepare their food bowls. It is a ritual that helps even hyperactive dogs contain a bit of that energy and mind their manners when being fed. Sit is a common command and one of the easiest to teach, even a young puppy.

Teach Your Puppy to Stay

This is a command that is a bit more difficult to teach. Puppies tend to want to follow, because they simply want to be close to you. To teach this command initially, you don’t want to step away from the puppy and tell him to stay. The easiest way to teach a young puppy to stay is to use a treat. Since repetition is the key it may be easier on your puppy’s tummy to break treats into many pieces, or use smaller treats like the CANIDAE Snap-Bits™.

Place a piece of the treat on the floor in between you and your puppy. Tell him to stay and hold a hand in front of him so that he can’t reach the treat. Scoot the treat closer to him until it is right in front of his nose, while repeating “stay.” In time you will find that when you say “stay” your puppy will do so, but it takes repetition. Consistency is the key, as well as not overwhelming the puppy with too many commands to learn all at once. Concentrate on one act at a time.

Teach Your Puppy to Lie Down

Lie down is another simple command, and an easy transition from sit. Many times when your puppy is sitting if you tap the floor under his nose he will lie down to touch your hand. So once you have repeated this action several times, start to say “lie down” when you reach toward the floor. Before you know it your puppy will lie down as soon as he hears the words. Again, treats and praise along with the repetition and consistency will help your puppy learn the command quickly.

Puppies are loving and eager to please. If you begin training early and consistently, it should not be difficult to train your puppy to obey these basic commands, and then you can move on to other tricks. Puppies can learn just about anything you feel like taking the time to teach them, from sitting pretty to dancing, jumping and speaking.

Read more articles by Suzanne Alicie

Find CANIDAE Retailers Near You!

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

How to Teach Your Dog to Roll Over


By Suzanne Alicie

Dogs love their masters, they love to please them and be rewarded with praise and treats. Pet owners love to see their dogs perform tricks and enjoy the interaction of training and working with them to teach them the tricks. One of the oldest tricks to teach a dog is to roll over. Dog training in and of itself can be challenging unless you understand how to relate to your dog. Teaching a dog a trick is similar to starting a child in kindergarten – you have to start with the basics and work your way up.

Teaching your dog to roll over is fairly simple once your dog has the basic obedience commands down. If your dog knows sit, stay and lie down, it will be easy to build on these commands and teach rolling over and even other tricks.

In order to teach your dog to roll over, you will need to start with having him lie down. Once he is lying down you can begin to use the words “roll over” followed by a belly rub and praise to get him to roll onto his back. This may take several sessions. But before you know it you will be able to say “lie down” and “roll over” and before the words are out your dog will be on his back waiting for his belly rub.

One you teach your dog to roll onto his back, you can place a treat beside his head and say roll over at the same time to teach him that rolling all the way over will get him a treat and praise instead of just a belly rub. It may take a while to teach your dog to roll all the way over without stopping in the middle, but with time and patience your dog will become an excellent roller.

Patience is the key when teaching your dog any trick. Repetition of the key phrases, treats and praise make it easy for your dog to understand what you want from him. Once your dog learns about rolling over you can leave out the treats as long as you remember to praise your dog when he performs the trick for you. Since dogs are often ambitious when it comes to pleasing their owners, training and teaching tricks is a time consuming, but relatively easy task.

Dogs are very intelligent creatures, and you may see that after a while your dog will go through a series of tricks as soon as you hold up a treat. He may show off his whole repertoire without you saying a word. This is always a fun time for families, when the training and effort they have put into teaching the dog tricks is rewarded effortlessly and enthusiastically.

There are many tricks that dogs can learn, from dancing and rolling over to fetching the paper or even opening doors. Once your dog knows the basic commands, you can explore all the fun tricks and talents he will be able to perform.

Read more articles by Suzanne Alicie

Find CANIDAE Retailers Near You!

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

11 Basic Commands Every Dog Needs to Know


By Linda Cole

We teach our children basic commands they need to know in order to stop them from running out in front of a car or putting something dangerous in their mouth. Puppies should also be taught certain commands for the same reason. Whether you adopt a puppy or prefer an older dog because it fits better with your lifestyle, there are certain basic commands every dog should know. Their safety could depend on it.

“Come” means to stop what he’s doing and return to you. It’s an easy command to teach, and important in an emergency, if he should break loose from his leash or pen, or rush out the front door when company arrives. The come command helps you control situations much easier, and allows you to keep your dog out of harm’s way.

“Sit” is another easy command every dog should know. Dogs get excited when they’re getting ready to go outside or go for a walk. Some have a hard time waiting while supper is being prepared and some dogs go bonkers when the doorbell rings. Teaching your dog to sit and wait helps subdue their excitement so you can answer the door, finish their supper or get their leash attached to their collar. The sit command also works well to keep them from jumping up on people.

“Stay” is harder for some dogs to learn, but it’s well worth the time and patience it takes to teach it. Dogs don’t always understand they could be in danger, and using stay can stop them from running in front of a car or grabbing something they shouldn’t have. It gives you time to remove the danger or wait until it’s gone. Staying can be hard for a dog to do when he sees something he wants, especially if it’s a cat or squirrel in the yard across the street; however, it’s an essential command every puppy and dog should know.

“Drop it.” How many times have you tried to wrestle something out of your dog’s mouth? They don’t know that the chicken bone clamped between their teeth is harmful for them. Instead of you prying their mouth open to retrieve whatever they’ve picked up, the drop it command makes life much easier for you. Knowing this command also makes playing fetch more fun when your dog returns the ball to you and drops it at your feet or in your hand so you can give it another toss.

“Leave it” is another good command for dogs to know, because it can give you peace of mind knowing they won’t grab something they shouldn’t have. Dogs can easily swallow whatever they’ve picked up if they think you want to take it away from them. And dogs have been known to swallow needles, safety pins and other small objects before their owners could retrieve the item. The leave it command tells the dog it’s not for him.

“Wait.” This command is sometimes used in conjunction with stay although they are two different commands used for different reasons. A more energetic dog may need to be held in check for a short time. Wait tells him it’s not time to go and he must stay where he is until you let him know he can move.

“Okay” is a command every dog should know because this releases them from any other command you’ve given him. Okay simply means the dog is free to move.

“No” tells your dog he can’t have something, or to stop doing what he’s doing. No should be used to stop unwanted behavior like chewing, jumping up on you or someone else, or biting.

“Heel” helps you control your dog while on a walk and when you are around other people or dogs. Instead of allowing your dog to pull on his leash, heel puts him by your side where you have better control of him should you meet another dog or person while walking.

“Off.” Not everyone enjoys having a dog jump up on them. This command tells them to stay down and not to jump up on you or someone else. It also keeps your dog off the furniture.

“Stand” is a command every dog should know because it makes it easier when you are trying to give him a bath or groom him. Teaching him to stand is also a big help during vet examinations or when you are trying to examine him yourself.

These eleven basic commands can help you keep your canine companion out of danger, and you will have a well mannered dog who understands and follows your wishes. For information on how to teach your dog some of these commands, read Basic Commands for Dogs: Heel and Stand, and Teaching Come and Stay.

Read more articles by Linda Cole

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

Why It’s Important to Teach Your Dog to Come


By Linda Cole

Getting your dog to come when he’s called can be frustrating, especially when he’s playing. Your words can seem like they are going in one ear and out the other. There are times, however, when you do need your dog to come when he’s called. It could save his life. Teach your dog to come each time he’s called, and make sure he knows you expect him to respond every time.

Even well trained dogs can become so preoccupied with a smell or playing that a command to “come” may be ignored. Dogs may not hear you calling if they are engaged in a game of tag with another dog or in hot pursuit of a rabbit flushed from a hiding place. Dogs will be dogs, and chasing and running are two of their favorite things to do.

It can be difficult and time consuming to teach your dog to come, but it’s worth the effort to make sure this basic command is something your dog understands well and is eager to respond to. If your dog doesn’t come when called, he should never be let off his leash.

Be consistent when teaching your dog or puppy to come when called. If he’s off leash, that means you trust him not to run away. However, most dogs can’t resist a good chase if they see a rabbit or cat. If he’s excited, coming when called may not be what he wants to do, but the dog who fully understands what come means should break off his pursuit when he’s called. He knows it’s a mandatory command and not one to respond to when he feels like it.

Dogs are great at manipulating us and, like kids, don’t always want to spend an afternoon learning what we are trying to teach – especially if it’s a command that takes them away from their play time. When you’re ready to teach your dog to come, keep it simple, consistent and fun. This command is so important, it’s well worth the time and frustration some owners experience when their dog doesn’t want to cooperate. If your dog is playing and having fun, he may feel he’s being punished when he has to stop playing. But a dog who doesn’t come when called could put his owner and himself at risk in the event of an emergency. You have to make it so fun for him to come if you want him to respond every time.

Dogs can sense our anxiety and excitement during emergencies which can upset them. Those of us who have to deal with the prospect of tornadoes and sudden spring storms that could require quickly moving to a safe shelter, need to make sure our dogs come when they are called. Playing a game of you chasing your dog while a siren is sounding a warning is not good. Dogs have no concept of the danger at hand. Teach your dog to come for your piece of mind and safety.

An emergency includes stopping your dog before he runs in front of a car if his ball bounces into the street. He needs to understand you aren’t punishing him by calling him back. Come means to stop now and return to you every time you call him no matter what he’s doing. So make it fun from the start by giving your dog lots of praise when he follows your command. Make it a game he will love to play, and never punish him for not coming. You want only positive reinforcement associated with him coming to you.

My dogs are good about coming when they are called, but sometimes a squirrel racing up a tree in the backyard is too tempting to leave. Dogs are like us and if their attention is elsewhere, we need to be patient. You do need to get their attention, however, so they can follow your command. My dogs do understand the difference between calling them to come inside verses calling them if we have to move into a safer part of the house. They do understand my tone of voice.

Emergencies like fire, flash floods, out of control grass or forest fires, tornadoes, damaging winds, car accidents, etc. happen and you don’t have time to try to persuade your dog to come to you. Some dogs get spooked and their instinct is to run away. If you take the time to teach your dog to come, when he’s scared the positive reinforcement you taught him will make him feel safe. Your dog needs to come every time he’s called regardless of what he’s doing. By making “come” a positive requirement, you have taught him an important lesson he will remember his entire life.

Read more articles by Linda Cole

Find CANIDAE Retailers Near You!

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.