Christopher Aust, Master Trainer
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I'm not sure why I said that. Maybe it's the redneck in me creeping out.
Well, I hope everyone has had a great week. Personally, I have been busier than a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest but that's okay. It has been productive.
First, I want to tell you about the teleclasses I am doing. They are going to be held weekly and we have managed one heck of a line up. The instructors are some of the biggies in the animal care, and training world. I'm really very excited to be a part of it and highly suggest you go to the link below to learn more. Additionally, the format used for the classes is incredible.
It is really rare to have such an extensive line up of leading professionals all in one place, so make sure you take the time to check it out.
Mr. Warner has visited literally thousands of classrooms all over the country and his humane education programs are in numerous countries. He is the founder and President of the non-profit organization, 21st Century Cares, where none of the members or employees receive any pay for their work, which would make the average HSUS executive faint.
He also has a series of books in both printed and ebook format that are absolutely excellent. I highly suggest you look at them and consider getting them for yourself if you are an educator, rescuer or just a lover of animals. His site has over 900 pages of Humane Education information. His efforts in Humane Education have been acknowledged in thousands of interviews as well as by talk show host David Letterman.
Mr. Warner is also a very straight-forward speaker and writer who calls it as he sees it - a lot like I do. (No doubt the reason for his being blacklisted by HSUS) However, I have never met anyone who has put so much compassion and knowledge to work for Humane Education as this man.
So, go by his site and check out his ebooks. He has offered to give a 25% discount to any of my readers and remember, all the proceeds go to educating the kids. Well worth it, believe me.
Okay, that's it for now. I'm outta here!
Dog Chewing the Sofa? Puppy Eating Your Shoes? Or WORSE?
Have a friend who just adopted a dog who turned out to be deaf. Any suggestions as to how to train him to come, sit, stay, etc. I told them for the come command to get a long training lead and lightly tug to get his attention and pull him towards them giving the come hand signal. Don't know if I was correct or not but thought in the interim it was a solution.
First, whenever you suspect a pet has any type of “disability” you need to address your concerns with a veterinarian. The condition could very well be treated making it a moot point. If your vet doesn't specialize in or have experience with the condition, take the time to find one that does.
Now we have to remember: animals that have lost one sense or another will rely on the others more keenly. Often, the other senses are actually heightened as a result. This something you need to watch for so you can use this to your advantage. Additionally, some dogs, depending upon the severity of their impairment, can still “feel” the vibrations of sound.
I will move into the actual training steps later in the article, but want to address the behavioral aspects that can come with a dog that is impaired. While some dogs will be just fine, others may have issues because of their personal confidence level or even the way they are treated by their owner as a result of their impairment.
First, even though we know we have to make some adjustments for the impairment, it is important we not coddle the dogs or allow undesirable behavior to occur because we feel sorry for them. They don't need a pity party from their pack leader. They need their leader(s) to be just that. Leaders.
Some dogs, as a result of this impairment, will develop confidence issues. It is extremely important that once a dog is determined to be deaf, they engage in confidence building exercises. This can be anything from doing basic obedience, teaching them to sniff out a favorite toy or treat. This will be important for the dog's social interactions with other people and more importantly, other dogs.
I am a firm believer that dogs can sense such impairments in other dogs and will often view it as a weakness. A dog that is comfortable with their impairment is going to be able to “stand his ground,” so to speak. In fact, I have seen dogs with a missing leg that have been able to maintain their role as the pack leader over other dogs in the family pack.
Dogs with a hearing impairment are capable of everything any other dog is - except hearing. With this in mind, we need to allow them to be dogs and not be overly protective. They can play fetch, do an obstacle course and, even, find drugs. They aren't china dolls and need to be allowed to be what they are. Dogs. Never allow such an impairment to put limits on your dog.
There really is little difference between the way we train a hearing dog from a non-hearing dog with the exception of the preparation and the order in which you proceed.
First, we know we are going to have to use hand commands. Before we start, we have to decide what they are going to be. Some trainers will say you have to use specific gestures. Honestly, they can really be just about anything you want. If you want to stick your finger up your nose to signal the dog to sit, then dig away. As long as you clearly introduce it to the dog it really doesn't matter.
Now, when devising hand commands, you should make sure they are somewhat distinctive so as not to confuse the dog with a common body movement. I will tell you the ones I use just to give you an idea of what I am talking about.
When I give the sit command, I use my right hand at my side, palm forward. I then raise my straight arm skyward until I reach a 45-degree angle and stop. That's it.
For down, I hold my right hand out, palm to the sky, with my elbow at my side. I then simply roll my palm over so it is facing the ground.
For come, I take both my palms and gently “slap” my waist in front one time
For stay I like what I call the traffic cop. With your right hand, palm towards the dog, I push my hand towards the dog as though I were stopping traffic.
No is a two part command. I quickly raise my right hand, with only the index finger extended, so it comes next to my face. This draws the dog's attention to your face and I then scowl at the dog. It's the same look we got from our parents when we were pushing our luck.
As I have said, the process is basically the same only we are substituting visual for audio. At first, I find it easier to have two people involved in the process of introducing the commands and required response. One is the teacher and the other is the tutor, for a lack of better words. The teacher gives all the commands, praise and/or corrections. The tutor holds the leash and will manipulate the dog's position.
Start with the come command, as this is the one I found to be the easiest. Have the tutor and the dog stand about 20 feet from the teacher. When the teacher sees the dog is visually focused on them, they give the hand command for come. The tutor then runs with the dog to the teacher. When the dog gets to the teacher, the teacher should give the dog lots of praise while the tutor stands quietly.
Repeat the process until the dog is responding to the hand command without prompting from the tutor. Believe it or not, the hardest part is over. The dog now understands that you communicate to them with your hands when you want them to exhibit a particular behavior.
You will repeat the same process as with the come command only the teacher should only be a few feet in front of the dog. Once the teacher gives the sit command, the tutor will place the dog into position by gently applying upward pressure with the leash while at the same time applying gentle downward pressure on the butt of the dog. Once in position, the teacher should give the dog the reward.
Once again, repeat the process until the dog is responding to the command without prompting. Now it is just a matter of introducing the rest of the commands to the dog like above.
Keep the training sessions fairly short. Ten minutes twice a day are more than adequate. Dogs can easily become bored or frustrated with lengthy training sessions. Between sessions, don't miss the chance to reinforce a command the dog knows how to perform. For instance, if the dog is walking by you while you are watching television give them the command and praise them up. This simply reinforces the benefit of following the commands to the dog all the time.
Whenever working with a dog with a disability of any kind, it is important to have a plan and give the plan an opportunity to work. It doesn't have to be complicated or time consuming, just realistic. If you run into a snag and can't work it out, don't get frustrated. Simply call a trainer or behaviorist who has experience with your situation.
There are many “disabled” dogs out there in shelters and rescues that have all of the same capabilities as any other dog. Unfortunately, these wonderful animals usually get overlooked because people are afraid they can't handle raising such an animal. Truth is, it's really quite simple with a little bit of thought.
I subscribed to your newsletter a while back after a friend told me about it. I will admit it was a little begrudgingly as I had been a member and fan of (name withheld) newsletter for a couple of years.
Now, I look for your newsletter every Friday morning. Your information is great and you absolutely crack me up! Keep up the great work. You have a new die-hard fan.
I was reading an article you did a few months back about jealousy between dogs and could have sworn you were talking about my dogs. Everything you pointed out was happening right down to moderate aggression. I did what you said in the article and was amazed in the changes we have seen in our dogs. I simply can't believe how easy it was. Thanks for all the help and guidance you give.
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You've been to a baby shower that has two mothers and a sperm donor.
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A really great parking space can totally move you to tears.
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Unlike back home, the guy at 8:30 am at Starbucks wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses, and looks like George Clooney really IS George Clooney.
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It's barely sprinkling rain outside, so you leave for work an hour early to avoid all the weather-related accidents.
Both you AND your dog have therapists.
The Terminator is your governor.
If you drive illegally, they take your driver's license. If
you're here illegally, they want to give you one.
Thank You For Reading! Have a Terrific Week!
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Thank You For Reading! Have a Terrific Week!
Don't forget to send your comments, questions and suggestions on the BARK 'n' SCRATCH Newsletter to:
Newsletter Archive: Master-Dog-Training.com/archive/
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