Archive

Category Archives for "Dog Training"

Siberian Husky Training – How to Master Your Dog

Siberian Husky Training

Want to find out more about Siberian Husky Training? The Siberian Husky is originally from North-Eastern Siberia, Russia. It’s a medium size working dog breed that belongs to the Spitz genetic family. The Siberian Husky has very distinct features, such as erect triangular ears, unique markings and a thick furred double coat.

Originally they were bred by the Chukchi people, a hunter-gatherer culture that relied on the dogs for help. They’re energetic, active and a resilient breed. Their ancestors lived in the extreme weather of the Siberian Arctic, a cold and harsh environment.

Quick NavigationBefore Starting With Siberian Husky TrainingSiberian Husky Training – Taming The WildnessThe Best Siberian Husky Training MethodThings to Remember During Siberian Husky TrainingSiberian Husky Training – The Biggest TrickSiberian Husky Training Videos

Before Starting With Siberian Husky Training

Before you start training your Siberian Husky, there are a few things that you need to know about the breed that will make the training process easier. Firstly, remember that they were originally bred to be helper dogs, this is a very important aspect of their temperament to keep in mind.

Hierarchy and Dominance

You have one of two options – either you become the leader of the pack or your Husky will gladly take the reins. All dog ancestors lived in packs, but when it comes to a helper dog breed, their sense of hierarchy is even stronger.

Challenges for the “alpha” male or female position will always occur, so you need to show your Husky that you mean business when you dominate, otherwise they will challenge your authority. This is the cornerstone of Siberian Husky training. Get this part right from the beginning and the other training steps will be much easier.

Aggression

Unfortunately this behavior trait is deeply ingrained in the Siberian Husky. Pack animals had to establish territories and defend them with great zeal. Anyone and everyone is seen as a potential threat. From a young age a Husky will tend to be snappy and nippy.

Don’t even think about beating your Husky into submission, this technique will definitely backfire on you and make the dog’s aggression worse. You need to constructively deal with this tendency from puppy age. Read this article to learn more about the different types of aggression in Huskies.

Food Protection

Another ingrained tendency in Huskies. You need to focus on food training to avoid your Husky becoming overly aggressive around feeding time.

Running away

This is linked to the survival trait of fight or flight. If your Husky feels threatened and decides it can’t handle the situation, it will choose the flight option. You need to make your Husky feel safe in your presence, reassure the dog that you can protect it at all times. Obedience training is crucial so that you can get your frightened dog under control with a simple command of “sit” or “stay”.

Socialization

Because dogs used to live in packs when they were wild, that sense of community is deeply engrained in their behavior. Consider buying two Huskies so that they can keep each other happy, otherwise you will have to keep your dog highly entertained when you are away. After being left alone for hours, it will become unhappy, depressed and bored. This will probably result in a destructive spree of chewing stuff to keep itself occupied.

They can be sociable with other dogs, but it is best to rather not mix two very dominant breeds. Read this article to find out more about dominant and submissive dog breeds.

Vocalization

How do dogs communicate? By barking at each other or at you. Siberian Huskies are incessant barkers and it can become very annoying if you don’t teach your dog to obey commands such as “stop” or “no bark.”

If you’re not giving your Husky enough attention, it might start barking just to get your attention. You need to give it enough attention before it resorts to barking. Otherwise a very annoying bad habit will be created. This is why it is so important to invest time in proper Siberian Husky training.

Siberian Husky Training Siberian Husky Training

Siberian Husky Training – Taming The Wildness

Siberian Huskies are a very demanding breed. They require constant attention, they have endless energy and are very curios and can get up to a lot of mischief if not trained properly. They are also prone to lots of barking and nipping.

You will have to be very strict in your training, as they are very strong-willed. In their minds the position of “alpha” male or female is always up for grabs.

Burn Up the Energy

Each dog breed has its own energy level. And each individual dog also has a specific energy level. For your Siberian Husky training to work, you need to figure out your dog’s energy level.

Just like human beings can be introverts or extroverts, your dog will lean more to the one side or the other. Siberian Huskies usually have quite high levels of energy, and you will have to figure out how to deal with this.

As mentioned above, if you don’t give your dog enough attention, it will start acting out. Siberian Huskies usually have short burst of energy. They need at least 30 minutes of focused exercise every day. Incorporate your training as part of the exercise time.

Because Siberian Huskies were bred to be helper dogs, they thrive on affirmation. You can turn the training into a game. Just make sure you always remain in charge. Exercise time does not just mean play time.

For at least 25% of the exercise time focus on training. A great concept to incorporate in your training is “nothing in life is for free”. Your Husky needs to learn that if it wants your praise or treats, it must obey you. The dog might try to manipulate you with a very sorrowful look when it doesn’t get a treat or attention. Don’t fall for it, indulging in it will have the same outcome as spoiling a child.

Focused Attention in the Right Direction

You need to pay constant attention to your Husky, not only when it’s behaving badly. To a Husky attention is attention, positive or negative. If you are not affirming the positive behavior, it will act out just to get some form of interaction from you, even if it entails getting reprimanded.

Using the power of attention in your Siberian Husky training can be a potent method. Instead of beating the poor dog into submission when it does something wrong, all you have to do is say “bad dog” and ignore it for an hour after the unwanted behavior. This method will be much more successful than the traditional belief that you should spank the dog to reprimand it.

Siberian Husky Training

The Best Siberian Husky Training Method

Combining the motto “nothing in life is free” with the focused attention, you are using a training method called “positive reinforcement”. Your dog needs to accept you as the leader for the training to be successful.

By earning the dog’s trust and respect, you can mold it into a pleasant four-footed family member. Be consistent in your training methods. The same as with kids, let your no be no and your yes be yes. Stick to the same rules every day.

Especially when your Husky is still young it will push the boundaries. If you show any sign of inconsistency, the dog will be hesitant to trust you. Start with all the basic commands such as sit, stay, speak, shake, down and roll over.

Make a list of the activities your Husky loves. Before a loved activity like petting, rubbing, playing or walking, let it execute one of the commands. The dog has to learn “no work, no play.”

Examples:

  1. You put the leash in place to go for a walk.
  2. The dog must patiently sit until you attach the leash.
  3. You feed the dog
  4. The dog must lie down and stay until you put the food bowl down.
  5. You play with the dog when you return home from work.
  6. The dog must sit and give paw each time you throw the ball for it to fetch.
  7. You rub the dog’s belly or scratch its head while watching TV.
  8. The dog must lie down and roll over before being petted.

Things to Remember During Siberian Husky Training

You should never attempt training when you are unwell. Also, don’t train while you are feeling upset, angry or negative. Make sure you are not low on energy or patience when you are busy with the Siberian Husky training.

Dogs are very sensitive to your mood, a dog will quickly pick up when you are not feeling 100% and respond negatively to your training attempt. Don’t train while your mind is distracted or when there’s lots of distractions in the training area.

Do not attempt a lesson if you are not confident about how to execute it. Rather postpone it until you’ve done some research about it or you’ve chatted with a professional trainer. 

Siberian Husky Training – The Biggest Trick

Stick to the two main rules: “nothing in life is free” and “no work, no play”. Remember, Siberian Huskies were bred to be helper dogs. If you can give them a sense of purpose, they will remain loyal. But you need to stick to the rules – once a command has been given, the dog must obey. Don’t cave in and still give the dog what it wants.

Your biggest training tool, is giving attention or taking it away. Show patience and persistence and your Husky will eventually submit to your leadership. But the biggest key is consistency. Don’t think that dog’s aren’t capable of manipulation. Your Husky will try to figure out what your weakness is and focus on taking over the alpha role through wearing you down.

Siberian Husky Training Videos

Below are some great videos that show you how to train your Siberian Husky.

​How to Potty Train your Puppy

How To Train Your Puppy To Sit, Lay Down and Stop Biting

Wrapping Up

Do you have a strong-willed Siberian Husky? Have you managed to tame the wildness? What was the most successful training method for you?

Training Golden Retriever Puppies

training golden retriever puppies

How do you train a Golden Retriever pupppy?

Golden Retrievers are a medium to large-sized dog breed and were originally bred as gun dogs to help retrieve ducks and other waterfowl as part of hunting parties. Hence the name “retriever”. They love water and, fortunately for us, are very easy to train!

The breed is often used as guide dogs and even as a search and rescue assistants. But the Golden Retriever is too friendly and gentle to be a professional guard dog. They are very popular as family dogs – third-most popular breed in the United States, fifth-most popular in Australia and the eighth-most in the United Kingdom.

They need a lot of outdoor exercise, but can adapt in suburbs. The Golden Retriever has an instinctual tendency to explore, so they must be kept behind proper fencing if you do not want your pup wandering off. The breed is very fond of playing and this natural inclination to seek out human attention and affirmation makes it highly trainable.

Quick NavigationWhy Training Golden Retriever Puppies Is ImportantThe Most Used Training Method – Operant ConditioningClassical ConditioningWhat Benefits Does Training Offer For You And Your Golden Retriever Puppy?

Why Training Golden Retriever Puppies Is Important

The importance of dog training is to help your puppy fit better into your home. Left to their own devices dogs will take over your home in no time. Because dogs are pack animals, they need to know who is in charge. You need to be the pack leader, otherwise they will gladly grab the title.

golden retriever puppy training

Golden Retriever puppy training offers you the opportunity to create a well-behaved dog that you can take with you anywhere. It will also save you lots of embarrassment when you have visitors at your home. Golden Retrievers often have strong personalities, so you need to train them from a young age when it’s time to play and when it’s time to be more docile. The training is especially important if you are going to allow your dog to be indoors with you.

The Most Used Training Method – Operant Conditioning

This type of dog training takes advantages of a dog’s natural love of rewards. Combine that with the Golden Retriever’s natural love of pleasing people, and you have a winning formula for Golden Retriever puppy training!

You know the story of Pavlov’s dogs? If you repeat the sequence of rewarding a certain type of behaviour often enough, your Golden Retriever’s clever brain will make the connection. Same goes for bad behaviour. If there’s negative consequences to not listening to you, they will stop doing whatever it is that’s annoying you.

There are four different ways to implement this kind of training. The combinations are: positive reinforcement, positive punishment, negative reinforcement and negative punishment.

To elaborate on the concepts, a reinforcement means an action that will increase a behaviour and a punishment means an action that will decrease certain behaviour. Positive means that something has been added to reinforce or punish, and negative means that something has been taken away.

Positive reinforcement – For example, when you praise your dog for bringing the ball back and dropping it at your feet. The more fuss you make over the accomplishment, the bigger the chances are that they will do it again next time.

Positive punishment – For example, spraying your dog with a water bottle when you catch it digging in your flowerbed. The fright it gets from the unexpected squirt will eventually make it stop digging. It might also make the connotation between the water bottle and getting a fright, so you could even try just placing the bottle between the flowers after a while.

Negative reinforcement – For example, while saying “sit” you press down on your dog’s bum until they sit and then release the pressure while saying “good boy/good girl!”. Eventually the word “sit” will remind them of being forced to sit down and they will do it themselves.

Negative punishment – For example, if they do something you don’t like, turn away and ignore them. Because Golden Retrievers are so people-orientated this will be torture for them, so they will soon learn to stop doing whatever it is that causes you to ignore them. You can add the words “bad dog” before turning away and ignoring them to make the punishment even more concrete.

DID YOU KNOW?

Studies have concluded that the average dog can understand up to 165 different words. You can increase this amount with proper training. Source: animalplanet.com

Classical Conditioning

This training method harnesses Pavlov’s experiment and it’s perfect for training golden retriever puppies. Golden Retrievers were bred to follow instructions, so they learn very quickly if you are consistent with your training.

You can use little things to train them, such as the sound of their bowl being filled with food. Or making a big fuss over getting the leash when it’s time for their daily walk. In modern dog training a concept called “charging the clicker” is used.

What Is Clicker Training?

A clicker is a small hand-held device that makes a distinct clicking sound when pressed. It’s a great tool to use to “mark” a behaviour that you want to reward at the exact time. Basically it works on the same concept as the bell that Pavlov used with the dogs that he conditioned in his experiment.

First off clicker training uses classical conditioning and thereafter it moves into the operant conditioning method of positive reinforcement. You “mark” the good behaviour with praise and a reward while clicking the clicker.

The reason why the clicker is so useful is because getting the “marker” timing right can be quite tricky. Say for instance you’re training your Golden Retriever puppy to sit and it obeys you for a moment, but then jumps up for the reward, the clicker can help you to train it which behaviour you want to reinforce.

By clicking the moment your puppy’s bum touches the ground and immediately giving it a reward, it will understand that the sitting is the important behaviour to master. But for this to work, you need to “charge the clicker” so that your Golden Retriever puppy understands it’s an important sound to take notice of.

What Does It Mean to Charge The Clicker?

This is where the concept of classical conditioning comes into play. You need to train your puppy’s brain to make the connection between the clicker sound and the feeling of getting a reward. It’s very easy to do. You click, reward, click, reward, click, reward until the sound evokes the pleasure of getting a reward.

The best way to charge the clicker is in a quiet room with just you and your puppy. Find somewhere to sit with a container of treat rewards close by and the clicker in your hand. Click and immediately give the reward.

Wait until the puppy loses interest and then repeat. Do this for several minutes. Make sure that the dog is not repeating some behaviour, you don’t want it to associate to a specific action or pattern. At first all you want is the association between clicker and reward. Repeat at least 20 times. Start the process again with about two hours between sessions.

Below is an adorable video of a Golden Retriever puppy getting clicker training. It takes a few minutes into the video before they get to explaining clicker training, so if you want you can skip to somewhere around minute 4:17 into the video to skip right to that part.

Once the puppy has successfully made the connection between the clicker and a reward, you can start using the clicker as a marker for specific behaviours. Implement one training goal at a time so as not to confuse your puppy.

What Benefits Does Training Offer For You And Your Golden Retriever Puppy?

When embarking on the journey of Golden Retriever puppy training, you should realize the importance of investing time in the training process. If your dog is well-trained, you can keep it safe from troubling situations with just a simple command.

For instance, you can train your dog to know what it means when you shout “drop!” if they want to chew a hazardous object. Or to obey “stop!” if they are about to run into a busy road. These two points can save you lots of unwanted vet bills.

After the Golden Retriever puppy training is completed, you will have a well-adjusted dog that fits into your home-life without being disruptive. You will be able to take your dog on walks and you won’t be dragged around the neighborhood.

Because Golden Retrievers were trained to assist humans, your dog’s life will be more enriched when it’s trained properly. The training will strengthen the bond between you and your dog, it will feel that it is serving a purpose in your life. And you won’t have to worry about coming home to a destroyed garden or house!

Conclusion – Training Golden Retriever Puppies

All dogs should be properly trained, but it is especially important to invest time in Golden Retriever puppy training because of its heritage as a helper dog. Your dog will become very frustrated if it doesn’t have a set of clear-cut rules to live by.

Yes, it is a big time and energy commitment, but the long term rewards you will reap are definitely worth the effort. You will have to be patient and stick to a regular routine. You might even have to learn a new set of skills yourself. Visit totallygoldens.com to read up more about the breed.

What method have you been using for training golden retriever puppies?