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Is there something DIFFERENT we can do this fall?????

Discussion in 'Dogs - all breeds / types' started by NickSter7715, Sep 2, 2006.

  1. NickSter7715

    NickSter7715 New Member

    Fall is almost here, and thats the perfect weather for the dogs to be "out and about". I take my big girl, Tipsy on walks, and thats about all she'll do with me. (she's getting pretty old). But, I still have young wild, hyper, curious little Cody boy the carin whos just a ball of energy waiting to try new things. I was just wondering.... what kinds of fun things do YOU pet lovers out there do with YOUR dogs?? About all I can think of is the occaisional walk (can't do frisbie in the park, he'll run away), but he gets bored of that. Can ayone think of anything fun and exciting that I could try with my dog this fall??

  2. MyPetTherapyDog

    MyPetTherapyDog New Member

    Here is a neat idea that I do with my dogs as well as shelter dogs. I wrote this a while ago. Its really fun and teaches the dog as well!

    Written by obedience instructor Susan Parker

    Do you and your dog like to spend time together? If so, here is a neat idea that will stimulate your dogs mental and physical ability's as well as yours.

    What you do is incorporate come, jump, sit/stay weave, heel, & down along with agility jumps and exercise.

    The idea is to mentally stimulate the dog while allowing him/her to have fun at the same time. This is also good for humans to get much needed exercise and entertainment as well.

    This can be done at any picnic area that is somewhat remote and known not to have a lot of loose dogs running around.

    Tools needed: 26ft flexi leash, fanny pack and treats.

    Begin by taking your dog for a long relaxing walk using the flexi leash let the dog have fun running around without using any commands. The idea is to let the dog use up any Pent Up Energy.
    After 10 minutes or whenever you see the dog start to relax and chill, begin teaching the dog "Go Fetch" and "Come" using the flexi leash. First throw out a treat or toy and tell the dog to "Go Fetch". Allow the dog to run after the treat/toy and then tell the dog to "Come" Reeling in the flexi leash to get the dog to come if you have to. Once the dog comes, HIGH PRAISE and Reward!
    Repeat this process and let the dog think its a real cool game to play. This teaches the dog a nice fetch and recall at the same time.

    Next, go to some short fencing or something that the dog can easily jump. Most parks have 2 ft wooden fences that you can utilize as your jump area.
    Teach the dog to jump over the fence and reward for the jump. Continue until the dog realizes that this is a fun thing for him/her to do.

    Onto your next station area. Begin teaching the dog to "Heel". Practice "Heel" and teach the dog to sit each and every time you stop.

    Next find something that you can utilize as weave poles (cemented poles used for bikes work perfect) Practice the dog weaving in and out of the poles.
    (This takes lots of practice on both you and the dogs part) Just keep it fun it does not have to be perfect.

    Next find another jumping station. I use picnic tables and park benches for this. Make stations using the tables and benches. Let the dog jump onto the picnic table seat then the table then the other seat. Let the dog have fun! Let the dog walk across park benches. If there is a nearby playground, you can see if the dog can be taught to go down the slide.

    Next onto your obedience station. Practice teaching the dog down. High praise and reward if the dog does a down. If the dog does not know down, begin to teach him/her down at this station.

    Next find an area that you can utilize as your sit stay station.
    Sand boxes work well for this.
    Teach the dog to sit and stay. High praise and reward!

    Next, its time to play with toys. Let the dog play with tennis balls, basket balls rope toys etc... Keep the dog on the 26ft flexi leash and play fetch and come with the dog again. You also can work on "Drop it command" and "Leave it" with the dog at this training station.

    Next station practice more heel with the dog. Again, make the dog sit every-time you stop.

    Now its time to play king of the mountain. Find a hilly area and let the dog run up and down the hill to get into shape. Tell the dog he/ she is "King of the Mountain"

    Now, its back to leash training. Practice the dog walking with you on a 6ft leash. If the dog forges ahead, turn around on the dog and use the command "Lets go". You can use the flexi leash just tighten it up to around 6 ft.

    Now its the last station. Let the dog do a few more jumps and then practice a few more down. High praise and reward for the down.

    Let the dog end on a positive note. Tell the dog what a nice job he/she did.

    He will now be tired as will you.

    To end this perfect fun filled day, remember to pack a picnic basket for you and your dog.
    Bring a water dish and bottled water.
    You can pack dog bones filled on the inside with peanut butter as a cookie treat.
    Cheese cubes are also wonderful treats for the dogs.
    Dogs also love peanut butter sandwiches or turkey and cheese sandwiches.
    During the winter months, you can fill a thermos with beef stew. (Fill another one for you) along with some hot chocolate or hot coffee.
  3. Nik

    Nik New Member

    Hi Susan, I have a question you might be able to help me with...
    I do alot of what you've just discribed. I vary Floobs walks. We go different places and have 'stages' as we walk. Most of the walk is 'free play', then we have frizbee/boomerang type of play, then we do stuff like what you've suggested.

    My problem is his barking. He does what I ask/tell him to do, but he has a constant excitable bark. The second I even go to say 'Floob jump' he's barking and snapping at my hand. I use hand signals as they really are required, but he notices my hand going to point to the log/jump and he barks at it. It's so close that I sometimes pull back or even stop the fun because it's so loud.

    I've tried waiting until he's quiet... doesn't happen. Now it's got to where we do it once then I say a different command to stop his barking and move onto the next thing.
    I really want him to focus and stop barking but nothing's working.

    (it's not just a bark, he's jumping up and down, lunging at my hand. It's quite intimidating and someone who doesn't know him might even think it's aggressive. It's all total excitment though)

    Any training tips on stopping this behaviour?

    Please! :lol:
  4. NickSter7715

    NickSter7715 New Member

    Thanks for your ideas sue!!!! :eek: I've actually got a park 3 blocks from my home, and everything you mentioned, they've got!!! a HUGE feild for fetch, a path for walking, a sand box, slides, bike posts, park benches, a series of hills, and even an old enclosed tennis court that allows you to let your dog off-leash for a while. I've never thought of agility training, thanks. I take Cody to the tennis court, and I walk around the path, but now he's got something new to look forward to. :y_the_best:

    OH!!!! and my aunt and I also found a 10 mile lond dirt, hilly, twisty-turn, trail in our local forest preserve, so we're going to take all of our dogs there every week for a nice long walk---ending with a picnic of course. haha. :mrgreen:

    I've got some great fun to look forward to with my dog. \:D/

    THANKS!!!!!! :0017:
  5. MyPetTherapyDog

    MyPetTherapyDog New Member

  6. MyPetTherapyDog

    MyPetTherapyDog New Member

    I came up with a list of training exercises for you. I added in a ton of info and ideas for you. The biggest tip I can give you is establish yourself as the leader and you set the ground rules to play time. Consistancy is the key. It sounds like your dog anticipates all your moves and is ready for the next step all the time. Go back to the basics and begin with making him play by the rules. With consistancy and time his behavior will change and he will begin playing by your rules and not his own.

    You need to establish yourself as the pack leader. Your dog needs to realize that you are in charge of all games you play. Begin by setting ground rules for your dog to obey by.
    Throughout the process of training and living with your dog, you will find that some commands seem more practical than others. They seem to fit a lot of different situations and because of this, are used more frequently than others.
    Hope these ideas help you.

    I would begin practicing Nothing in life is free.

    Nothing in Life is Free Training Method

    Does your dog: Get on the furniture and refuse to get off? Nudge your hand, insisting on being petted or played with? Refuse to come when called? Defend its food bowl or toys from you? "Nothing in life is free" can help. "Nothing in life is free" is not a magic pill that will solve a specific behavior problem; rather it's a way of living with your dog that will help it behave better because it trusts and accepts you as its leader and is confident knowing its place in your family.

    How to practice "nothing in life is free:"
    Using positive reinforcement methods, teach your dog a few commands and/or tricks. "Sit," "Down" and "Stay" are useful commands and "Shake," "Speak" and "Rollover" are fun tricks to teach your dog.
    Once your dog knows a few commands, you can begin to practice "nothing in life is free." Before you give your dog anything (food, a treat, a walk, a pat on the head) it must first perform one of the commands it has learned. For example:

    YOU Put your dog's leash on to go for a walk
    YOUR DOG Must sit until you've put the leash on

    YOU Feed your dog
    YOUR DOG Must lie down and stay until you've put the bowl down

    YOU Play a game of fetch after work
    YOUR DOG Must sit and shake hands each time you throw the toy

    YOU Rub your dog's belly while watching TV
    YOUR DOG Must lie down and rollover before being petted

    Once you've given the command, don't give your dog what it wants until it does what you want. If it refuses to perform the command, walk away, come back a few minutes later and start again. If your dog refuses to obey the command, be patient and remember that eventually it will have to obey your command in order to get what it wants.
    Make sure your dog knows the command well and understands what you want before you begin practicing "nothing in life is free."
    The benefits of this technique:
    Most dogs assume a neutral or submissive role toward people, but some dogs will challenge their owners for dominance. Requiring a dominant dog to work for everything it wants is a safe and non-confrontational way to establish control.
    Dogs, who may never display aggressive behavior such as growling, snarling, or snapping, may still manage to manipulate you. These dogs may display affectionate, though "pushy" behavior, such as nudging your hand to be petted or "worming" its way on to the furniture in order to be close to you. This technique gently reminds the "pushy" dog that it must abide by your rules.
    Obeying commands helps build a fearful dog's confidence; having a strong leader and knowing its place in the hierarchy helps to make the submissive dog feel more secure.
    Why this technique works:
    Animals that live in groups, like dogs, establish a social structure within the group called a dominance hierarchy. This dominance hierarchy serves to maintain order, reduce conflict and promote cooperation among pack members. In order for your home to be a safe and happy place for pets and people, it's best that the humans in the household assume the highest positions in the dominance hierarchy. Practicing "nothing in life is free" effectively and gently communicates to your dog that its position in the hierarchy is subordinate to yours. From your dog's point of view, children also have a place in this hierarchy. Because children are small and can get down on the dog's level to play, dogs often consider them to be playmates, rather than superiors.

    You also need to set ground rules and boundaries for your dog. The dog needs to realize that when he acts up, GAME OVER. Consistency is the key. Don’t allow the behavior sometimes and not allow it other times.

    Ignore the barking, and ignore the dog. He needs to learn that he does not get attention from barking. The attention is part of the attraction.

    Give the dog attention when he is being quiet.
    Paying attention to the dog when he acts up is teaching him it is acceptable to act in that manner.

    Consciously decide to pay more attention to him when he being calm.

    As far as most of your dogs walk being “ free play”, you should begin "leash Training Walks" as opposed to allowing “Free Play.” Begin by teaching your dog to sit/stay each and every time you stop. Then begin teaching your dog to "Heel"


    I would also begin teaching your dog tug of war games using RULES!

    The Rules

    1. Choose a single toy to use for your tug games. Use only it until all of the rules are clearly understood by all involved. Store this toy somewhere out of the dog's reach - just bring it out on those special occasions when you want to play tug!

    2. Begin each game with a command such as "Want to tug?”

    3. Teach your dog to release the toy on command. You can teach this command ("Drop" or "Give") by offering a treat or another special toy in exchange for the tug toy. Do again & again until he learns the command. Be patient! After he releases, praise him & give him the treat or toy, but then quickly initiate another game of tug. Your dog is much more likely to give up the toy easily if he knows there is a good chance he will get it right back!

    4. Failing to give the toy causes a recess in the game. Running away or guarding the toy ends the game once the owner has regained possession of the toy. Don't chase your dog to get the toy! That is way too much fun for him. Ignore him for a while, then direct his attention to another activity & remove the tug toy when he leaves it.

    5. Take frequent breaks for some basic obedience commands (sit, down, or tricks of some sort). As a reward for the obedience, the tug game continues.

    6. Any time the dog grabs the toy without permission ("Want to tug?"), there is a recess of the game or end of it if the dog becomes really rowdy.

    7. Dogs really have very exacting control over their teeth. The dog must NEVER even "accidentally" touch the owner's hand with its teeth while playing. If this should happen, end the game immediately & ignore the dog for a few minutes. You CAN expect the dog to growl quite ferociously while tugging - that's part of the game & perfectly okay as long as those teeth don't touch you!

    Next: Begin teaching your dog to sit calmly for treats/toys. Then and only then will he be allowed to have the toy. If he jumps/lunges or barks, no toys or treats.

    Calm behavior = reward!!!

    I also would begin teaching the dog easy treat taking. Remember; don’t give the dog the treat if he is jumping/barking at you. Only reward for the easy treat taking and calm behavior as well!

    Easy treat taking

    Set aside the time to actually teach “EASY” treat-taking. If you try to teach it in conjunction with reinforcing another behavior, you will confuse your dog.

    Up until now, snatching that treat out of your hand probably worked really well for your dog. You probably started holding it at the very tips of your fingers (trying to keep them out of harm's way), which meant that it was released very quickly if he snapped at all. So... you have to make that behavior STOP WORKING for him.

    Take a tasty treat and have it in the palm of your hand, then make a soft fist with that hand. Offer that hand to your dog, and grin & bear it at first if he bites at your hand. (YOU CAN TRY WEARING A LEATHER GLOVE) But, be sure to NOT open your hand while that is going on! Simply wait him out. When he stops touching you with his teeth, tell him “EASY” and slowly open your hand to reveal the treat & let him have it.

    Continue, keeping the treats hidden in your hand. That way if he does bite at your hand, you will be able to resist dropping the treat. Remember... we don't want that behavior to work any more! Instead, we want your dog to learn that gentle nibbling and/or licking is what works now to release that treat!

    If you continue to say “Easy” while working on this, he will begin to associate that word with the behavior. Then you can start to expect that gentle treat-taking whenever he earns one. If he slips up and starts to get rough, say "Ah ah!" and pull your hand away. Then offer the treat again, reminding him to be “Easy”


    Teaching Wait: This command has the ability to save your dogs life.

    Wait can be used to teach your dog not to bolt out the front door, run blindly into street, or to not jump out of the car when you open the door. .

    We being teaching your dog to wait for you by controlling your environment.
    Let's start with a usual problem area "Your front door".

    Put a leash on your dog so you know he can't get away from you if your not fast enough.

    Before you open the door, place a flat open hand in front of your dog's eyes and tell him "WAIT". Only say this once, repeating yourself has no effect.

    You will then try to open the door, just a little at first. If your dog moves toward the door, tell him "Ah Ah " and shut the door. Your goal is to the the door totally open, the leash slack and your dog not bolting across the threshold. When your dog remains behind the door, reward him for it by throwing some treats onto his side of the door.

    Next, lets try to see if you can get through the door by yourself. Turn and face your dog as you back out the door. Two other ways that you can correct your dog if he starts to cross the doorway are using your body, you can do a body block and step into him as he BEGINS to cross don't wait for him to get across the doorway either) when he back up tell him "Good Wait". The final correction we will use the leash. At this point it should be slack in your hands. If your dog starts to cross, tell him "Ah Ah " and use the leash quickly to pull him back onto his side of the line. Remember you are on the other side of the doorway from him. Use these corrections in conjunction with each other stepping in towards the dog and then use the leash. Keep rewarding him when he is making no attempt to cross the line.

    Wait is not a stay. Stay means freeze, do not move. Wait allows your dog to move around anywhere behind the threshold that you have decided upon. There are not as many restrictions placed upon the dog with "Wait". However, Stay should be taught and re-enforced to your dog as well.

    So, now your dog is on one side of the door and you are on the other. Let's test to see if your obedience teaching has sunk in. You will add distractions to see if your dog remains on his side of the line even with the distractions on your side. Drop some of the same treats you have been rewarding your dog with into your side of the line. Yes, you have it correct. Your dog is not allowed to cross the line to get his rewards. If he tries to cross, Say "Ah Ah " and place him back onto his side of the line. Once he remains on his side tell him "Good Wait" and toss him succulent treats.

    How does your dog learn that he is allowed to cross the line? Use a release word. The word should be used for only that purpose. To release your dog from what he is doing, pick a word (I use OK) When you first use it your dog may not come across the line because for the past 5 minutes, you have been telling him this was not appropriate for him to do. You may have to bend down and act excited when you say it. Once he crosses to you, REWARD HEAVILY.

    Once you and your dog have a mutual understanding of how important this command is, you should start using it in as many different situations as possible. This will help cement it's importance in your dog's life.

    Teach your dog to focus on you:

    Watch me:

    How to Teach the Watch Me Command:

    Take whatever reward you are using.

    Food is easiest to work with for this command. Stick the treat either near your mouth or up by your face.

    If the dog already knows sit, Ask the dog to sit, once sitting in front of you,

    Say, "watch me" As soon as the dog looks directly into your eyes, ... "Say Good Watch me" INSTANTLY high praise, & treat!!! Gradually make the dog “Watch you” for longer intervals. Begin moving the treat with your hand and only give the dog the treat when he is watching you and not the treat!

    (This command becomes important to keep the dogs focus on you instead of elsewhere, and can be a big help in crowded areas where the dog may be overly excited or anxious)


    Teach your dog Drop it and leave it!


    Teach your dog a "drop it" command so when he does pick up an "off-limits" object, you can use your command and praise him for complying. The best way to teach "drop it" is to practice having him exchange a toy in his possession for a tidbit of high value food reward.


    "Leave it" Is the command most owners use. You begin to train by putting the dog on a leash & dropping a piece of food just beyond the dog's reach and saying "LEAVE IT." The dog will lunge, jump, pull, etc. to get to the treat. Maintain your position. When the dog finally looks at you, say “Good leave it" and give him/her a treat and lots of praise. Pick up the dropped piece of food and repeat the exercise until the minute you say "LEAVE IT," the dog comes to you. Vary the treats you drop. When you think the dog has the idea, switch to dropping a favorite toy. Say, "LEAVE IT!" When the dog turns to you say ""Good leave it" Treat, verbal high praise!!!

    When he/she is really solid on the leash work, take the leash off, drop a piece of food at your feet, and say "LEAVE IT!" If the dog makes a move for it, cover it with your foot so he/she can't get to it. When he/she looks up at you say " "Good leave it" & treat and praise.

    Eventually whatever you say “LEAVE IT" For, the dog will obey. You can assist at first by stopping, pulling the dog toward you, or veering away and pulling the dog until he/she's got the command down.

    By setting ground rules and establishing yourself as the pack leader you and your dog will build a better relationship and both be happier in the end.

    Good luck to you.
  7. Nik

    Nik New Member

    Hi Sue,
    Sorry I haven't been able to check in, so couldn't reply earlier.

    Thanks so much for all the info you took time out to post. I really hope people who are struggling a little bit with their dog have a good read and take it on board.

    We live by the NILF code.

    Everything you suggested is just daily life around here. He knows I'm in charge and doesn't seem to question it anymore. (he's just turned 3 so I'm putting it down to him accepting this is how things are now)

    He sits for EVERYTHING. I go through every door/gate/opening first and he just holds back now, I don't have to use the 'wait' command anymore but do so if there might be a danger to him. He's never been allowed on the furniture so never attempts to get on. He does jump on the bed for 5 minutes with me in a morning, but only after he's had the 'ok' and if he does it without, he gets told 'off' and jumps straight off. He walks the streets off leash, sits at curbs, eats after us... everything that I've worked hard to acheive has worked and paid off... except this one thing of his barking in excitment.

    I have tried for months to wait till he's quiet before going ahead with the game/command, but it just never happens.
    Guess I'll just have to keep going at it :)

    Thanks again!
  8. Jamiya

    Jamiya New Member

    That's Floob's drive kicking in. Some agility dogs bark at their handlers the whole way through the course. I think it's humorous, probably because my dog doesn't do it. :lol:

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