Feathers And Fleece Farm Training
Sheepadoodle Tips on How to Avoid and Treat Behavior ProblemsDogs and humans have lived in unison for thousands of years.
This may be true, but it does NOT mean that we always understand one another.
Living with pets can sometimes be as frustrating as living with people,
or maybe even worse!
This page will help you make the most of your new-found relationship with your
Feathers And Fleece Sheepadoodle puppy.
Sheepadoodle puppy from Feathers & Fleece Farm
Dogs are pack animals.
They are social and enjoy interacting with people and other dogs, maybe more-so than you do.
You can use this to your benefit.
For example, your dog will listen to you and do what you want if he is praised afterward.
He/She will consider you the leader of the pack.
This is the key to behavior in dogs because all dog packs must have a leader who makes
decisions for the rest of the group.
Other dogs are subordinate to the leader.
It is your job to make sure your dog realizes he is below you in pack terms.
Letting him lose sight of that could cause confusion, which could lead to behavioral issues.
You are the one who decides when to eat, go outside, go to the vet, go to the groomer, and even take a nap.
As with children, dogs who have rules are better behaved than those without.
They are respectful of the leaders, or parents in cases of children.
Many behavioral problems arise as a direct result of lack of relationship on the part of the owners.
Dogs behave as though they prefer knowing that you are in charge.
They need that sense of leadership.
They will be much happier once they realize there is a someone who has taken charge.
Following the advice we are about to give may be harder on you than your new pup.
It's lonely at the top, so give your dog a break and take over.
He'll love you just as much for it, if not more!
It is also important to keep in mind that dogs are very sensitive to body language and visual cues.
Hand movements and sudden behaviors that you don't think twice about may have a big impact on your pet.
They could take your gestures as threatening, which could potentially cause him to fear you.
For example, talking face to face is more confrontational to a dog, compared to sitting side by side.
You can learn to use these nonverbal cues to your advantage.
The following suggestions are an effective and humane way to handle your dog and let him know that he is
safe and well loved with you.
Keep in mind that love is not related to social status and that most dogs live in relaxed harmony
when the social hierarchy is clear, no matter where they stand in it.
These are not practices that you need to follow every minute of every day,
but it is not good to cater to your dog either.
Your dog's behavior should drive your decisions on how to treat him or her.
If your dog has always been a perfect gentleman, you may not want to change any regular habits.
However, if the situation is different, you may want to follow these "social distance" suggestions.
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Mini Sheepadoodle from Feathers And Fleece Farm
If your dog just bit you, ignore him completely for a couple days to notify him there's been a
change in the household.
Don't speak to him even while feeding or letting him out.
Then follow this program for a least a month before giving him any slack.
If your pup ignored your command, adopt these tips for a few days and see how it goes.
Applying these tips when your dog is misbehaving and rewarding them with praise only when he is good
is the key to good behavior.
You must reward the behavior that you wish to continue to see!
So this is what you need to do:
* Pet only for obedience. Reward obeying commands with attention.
* Keep petting brief.
* If your dog demands petting, either look away or ask for a sit or down, and then pet when he obeys.
* If you want to pet your pup, call him to you. Don't go to him.
2. PRACTICE LOOK-AWAYS
* Don't let your dog demand play, food or petting.
If your dog gets pushy, simply cross your arms, turn your head upward and to the side away from your dog.
If your dog counters by moving to your side, turn your head the other way.
This is a good practice to do any time your dog approaches you if he is very dominant and pushy.
If it is especially important if your dog has been aggressive toward you.
3. TEACH LIE DOWN AND SIT
* Down and stay are two of the best learning tools for dogs.
It teaches your dog to have patience and to wait for your command.
You can practice while watching tv.
Start with one seconds stays for the first few days and work up to longer ones.
After three weeks, most dogs can handle a half hour down during a quiet time of day.
Correct breaks with a body block or a downward leash correction not by simply
repeating "down" and "stay" over and over again.
If your dog gets up 25 times, then correct him or her 25 times with the same actions and tone of voice.
Do NOT include anger in your correction. Be very matter of fact.
4. WAIT AT THE DOOR
* Alpha dogs (pack leader) have priority access to limited resources, which means
they get to push out the door first to get something they want.
This is why a lot of dog fights occur at doorways.
Control the space in front of the dog and you control the dog-use body blocks again
to herd him away from the door.
Another way of avoiding this is to go to another door and then suddenly turn and go
the other way if your dog tries to get ahead of you.
This puts you back in the lead.
Praise and pet your dog when he starts to turn around after you and keep moving
until he reaches you.
Practice this as you move around the house until your dog is content to stay behind you
and follow your lead.
5. FOUR ON THE FLOOR
* Dogs interpret and increase in height as an increase in status.
Dogs who sleep on the bed are especially impressed with themselves.
Keep dominant dogs on the floor, not up on chairs, couches or beds.
If you want to cuddle, get down on the floor; ask for obedience and then pet when your dog complies.
6. TEACH HEEL
* Leaders are ALWAYS in the lead.
Teach your dog to stay at your side while you initiate pace and direction.
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Sheepadoodle puppy from Feathers And Fleece Farm
This 6 part obedience program should make treating any other behavioral problems easier.
A dog that looks to you for guidance can be taught nearly anything.
He will be happy to work for what he wants and it helps keep his mind occupied constructively.
Integrate this training into your day by asking your pet to perform some action whenever it wants to
go outside, get dinner, play ball, etc.
Letting you be in charge will soon become second nature to your dog.
Much progress has been made in the past few years in understanding how dogs think and learn.
We are able to deal with problem behaviors much more effectively when we understand
how a dog's mind processes signals and information.
Most problem behaviors are NORMAL dog behaviors that are simply unacceptable
to the humans they live with.
Redirecting and retraining can make our canine companions better and happier pets.
Here are a few more tips to make training more effective:
Do your homework! There are reams of books available to assist in training.
Be cautious, as some are better than others.
Outdated and cruel methodologies are still widely available in print.
Read more than one and pick the methods that seem to make the most sense to you.
Consult with us, a good dog trainer or a behavioral specialist.
What works for one dog may not work for another.
The experience and training of those educated in the field of canine behavior and training is invaluable.
Consider using a Promise Halter.
This is a different style of training collar which takes advantage of the dog's natural
response to pressure over the muzzle and behind the ears, rather than a choke collar.
Promise halters are more humane and more effective and can aid in solving several behavioral problems.
Using food as a reward for learning new commands is fine, but don't give a food reward every time.
Giving food intermittently means your dog will perform commands for you even when you don't have food,
and also prevents weight again.
Keep all training positive and consistent.
There is no need to scold or punish your dog if you tap your dog's inborn need to follow
a leader and respond eagerly.
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