We've provided a few training and dog related articles that we find very helpful in the daily life of dog training. We hope you'll take the time to read them. If you have any questions about anything, don't hesitate to contact us and ask.
Below the articles there is a brief description of some of our most popular training tools and why we choose to use them. Not every tool is used on every dog as every dog is different, but we pride ourselves in having the knowledge and skills to correctly use each tool and have the ability to show you how to properly use them as well.
Stages of Canine Development
Understanding a dog’s developmental stages may help you understand current behaviors you’re seeing in your puppy or dog, and can help you be prepared with appropriate training and behavior-shaping and modification techniques.
Neonatal Period (0-12 days)
Transition Period (13-21 days)
Awareness Period (21-23 days)
Canine Socialization Period (3-7 weeks)
Human Socialization Period (7-12 weeks)
Fear Imprint Period (any time between 8-12 weeks)
Seniority Classification Period (3-4 months)
Flight Instinct Period (4-8 months)
Second Fear Imprint Period (6-14 months)
Young Adulthood (18-24 months)
Tips to deal with fear periods:
Remain as calm as possible
Pretend it's no big deal
Don't overwhelm, desensitize
Socialize - DON'T PUNISH THE FEAR
Nothing in Life is Free
Does your dog refuse to get off of the furniture? Defend their food bowl or toys from you? Are they constantly insisting on being petting or played with by nudging you or pawing at you? If so. NILF might just be the solution for you.
This is not a magic solution to all your problems but more a way of life that helps your dog better understand and learn to trust and accept you as their leader. Oddly enough this will also give your dog not only confidence but a peace of mind knowing where they fit into your family.
Train a few basic behaviors.
Begin asking for these behaviors BEFORE you give the dog what they want.
Do not give the "reward" until the dog as done what you have asked.
Some dogs will challenge their owners for control or push the limits.
Requiring the dog to earn everything is a safe, non-confrontational way to maintain control over your dog's behavior.
This method gently reminds the dog that you are in control.
Earning "real life rewards" benefits the dog to adhere to your rules.
Canine Good Citizen Test
At this time K9 Diversity Dog training is not able to certify the CGC test and title.
Instead we can use these guidelines to take a practice test or 2.
Once ready we will find a trainer that gives the CGC test.
Before taking the CGC test, owners will sign the Responsible Dog Owners Pledge. We believe that responsible dog ownership is a key part of the CGC concept and by signing the pledge, owners agree to take care of their dog’s health needs, safety, exercise, training and quality of life. Owners also agree to show responsibility by doing things such as cleaning up after their dogs in public places and never letting dogs infringe on the rights of others.
Items on the Canine Good Citizen Test include:
1. Accepting a Friendly Stranger
2. Sitting Politely for Petting
3. Appearance and Grooming
4. Out for a Walk (Walking on a Loose Lead)
5. Walking Through a Crowd
6. Sit and Down on Command and Staying in Place
7. Coming When Called
8. Reaction to Another Dog
9. Reaction to Distraction
10. Supervised Separation
ADI-ASSISTANCE DOG PUBLIC ACCESS
The purpose of this Public Access Test is to ensure that dogs that have public access are stable, well-behaved, and unobtrusive to the public. It is to ensure that the client has control over the dog, and the team is not a public hazard. This test is NOT intended as a substitute for the skill/task test that should be given by the program. It is to be used in addition to those skill/task tests. It is expected that the test will be adhered to as closely as possible. If modifications are necessary, they should be noted in the space provided at the end of the test.
Controlled Unload out of and Load Into a Vehicle
Approaching a Building
Controlled Entry and Exit Through a Doorway
Heeling Through a Building
Six Foot Recall on Lead
Sits and Downs on Command
Dog Taken by Another Person
As a reminder not every tool or technique is meant for every dog. Before using any tool be sure to ask a professional for their guidance in choosing the best tool for you and your dog and instructing/showing you how to use that tool correctly.
Food, Toys, Treats and Praise
Food, toys, treats and praise are of course the most used and prized training tool. They are all used as unconditioned reinforcers (rewards) for our dog(s). They are the object the dog finds most appealing and will receive after doing the behavior(s) we have ask of them. Some dogs prefer food, some dogs prefer toys or extra lovings and some dogs like it all! When using toys you always want to make sure it is a toy that they are ONLY getting to play with during training, this will build their drive and need/want to work for that specific toy. If it is a toy they play with all the time they may not find it rewarding enough to actually work for, especially when working in high distraction moments. When selecting treats for training the key is to get treats that are either very small (pea sized) or able to be cut into pea sized treats, boiled chicken and hot dogs work great as well. Working for food is an amazing way to make your dog work for their meals and avoid eating all those extra calories contained in treats (especially when combined with daily meals). The key is to find your dog's favorite toy or yummiest treat and use that for your training, especially when working on new cues, tricks or in high distracting situations. We will also praise, ex: head scratches or belly rubs - praise rewards come in extremely handy when you need to wean your dog off of treats - as we don't always have treats with us!
Clickers are small training devices that can be held in your hand, they make a small "click" noise when pressed, similar to the clicking of a pen (but usually louder).
Clickers are used as an operant conditioner to mark the exact behavior you are wanting the dog to perform. Ex: You want the dog to sit, so you ask for a sit and the second the dog's bottoms hits the floor you click and reward. They are especially amazing for trick training and obedience shaping.
Pinch Collar/Prong Collar
A pinch/prong collar is usually a metal collar that has prongs running along the inside of the collar; where the collar meets your dog's neck, the prongs will add mild pressure evenly around your dog's neck when they are pulling on the leash, similar to being corrected by their mother and the pressure her teeth apply. The most common and well made prong collar is Herm Sprenger (pictured). Prong collars are probably the most misunderstood tool in the dog training world, looking like a mid-evil torture devices definitely doesn't help. However when used and fitted correctly they are amazing for having control of your dog, they are also a self correction tool, as they add pressure the instant your dog tries moving ahead without you. They usually only require a very minimal correction to redirect your dog which means much less tugging, pulling and leash popping being used as compared to a normal buckle collar. Prong collars are designed to give even pressure all the way away your dog's neck and they are believe it or not, not designed to cause pain. The pressure from a prong collar is very similar to that given by a mother to one of her rambunctious puppies. Before using a prong collar be sure to have a professional show you how to use them correctly; when used incorrectly they can cause way more damage than good to your dog and their training.
Remote Training Collar
A remote training collar consists of a wireless remote and a wireless receiver; that allow you to send a tone, vibration or a small stimulation to your dog. One of our favorite remote training collars to use is the Mini Educator (pictured, this is also the collar we supply with our training programs). It is very user friendly, comes with 100 different stimulation settings, a vibrate/tone only setting and can be linked to multiple dogs with just the touch of 1 button to switch between dogs. Remote training collars are another very misunderstood training tool! When used correctly they come in handy working off leash with your dog in any and every situation. They can give you the ability to always have control of your dog, even from 100 feet away should they choose to disobey! Remote training collars are amazing backup tools for moments when you desperately need your dog to listen; ex: your dog is chasing a squirrel across a busy street, you call them off, they don't stop, heck they don't even look at you, even though you've practiced a million times and they have always done amazing. Without the remote training collar you could find yourself in a lot of trouble; you have NO way to get your dog's attention if they are choosing to ignore you, no way to break that high drive focus they have going. However with the remote training collar it allows you to break your dog's focus and redirect their attention before they ever even make it to the street. No matter how many times you practice something and how spot on your dog is, at the end of the day they have a choice to make, and what happens when they choose incorrectly in a situation where you so desperately needed them to make the right choice. Before using any remote training collar please be sure to seek professional help in making sure it is properly fitted and introduced to your dog correctly; misused and incorrect corrections can cause more damage than good to your dog and their training.
A muzzle is a tool that keeps your dog from biting or eating something they shouldn't. Our favorite muzzle to use is the Baskerville Ultra Muzzle (pictured); these muzzles still allow your dog to pant, eat and drink freely; they can also be boiled and then reshaped to fit your dog even better. Muzzles are not a bad thing, they can be an amazing tool for your dog. Even if your dog is not aggressive or a biter, we believe EVERY dog can benefit from muzzle training. Muzzles can be very stressful for dogs if just thrown on and used only in emergencies. However, by muzzle training you can get your dog comfortable wearing their muzzle; which means in the case of an emergency it is one less thing for them to be stressed about if by chance they do need one. A very good example is: your dog gets injured and must be rushed to the vet, but as the vet is examining your dog they are getting snippy and just want to be left alone, so they won't let the vet touch them (which if continued to push could result in your dog biting the vet). More than likely the vet will then have to muzzle your dog anyways; which in turn adds even more stress to the entire situation. But if your dog is already comfortable in a muzzle and knows it's not a bad thing and nothing to fear, you can walk into the vet with your dog already muzzled and the vet can get right to business and not worry about any possible danger to themselves, other dogs, their helpers nor you.