How I Train Young Labrador Retrievers, Dog Training In Sunnyvale,Ca
The Border Collie is consistently ranked as the smartest dog in the world.
Here you can see me working Albert an 11 week old Border Collie puppy. I am teachng the dog one of the easiest dog tricks to learn, how to roll over.
If you want to see my dog Sadie do a hand stand on a fire hydrant click here https://youtu.be/cBzUTDnFHTE
When I train tricks I only use positive rewards. I never try to push or force the dog into anything. If I ever get into a situation where the dog isn’t on the same page as me I just switch to a different trick or another behavior all together. I have found if you use pressure for the tricks it takes some of the luster out of it.
I usually break the trick down into about four or five component parts. The first part os to get the dog to lie down. This is not to be confused with teaching the dog “down” I just need the dog to lie down to get the trick started. Again no pressure, just fun. Once the dog drops down I pay the dog with a small piece of hotdog or whatever. After the dog is down I then work towards getting it to turn it’s hips one way or the other. I work the roll in the direction of the hips.
In this picture you can see the dog’s hips are leaning to it’s left so I would roll it clockwise.
After the dog lies down and points it’s hips one way or the other (for our example towards it’s left) get the dog to roll towards it’s left side. Once it’s on it’s left side pay it again with a treat. Do this several times until the dog nails it easily. Each time you do this just try to get the dog to roll a little further than the last time. Remeber the dog just follows the food. If the food hand is going in crazy directions then so will the dog. Keep your food hand right on the dog’s nose.
Eventually the dog will roll all the way over. When this happens throw your dog a party. Lots of happy voice and several treats jackpot style.
Fetch is a great trick to teach your dog, it’s fun and it can be practical as well. Like in this dog training video where I ask my labrador retriever to fetch her dog bowl because I am too lazy to walk down the 4 steps of my school bus to go get her food bowl. Luckily when it comes to food my dog can be a little bit more ambitious than me.
If you are a pet dog owner like most of my clients at some point training behaviors like “sit” and “down” can get a bit boring. These dogs don’t have to be as precise as if they were competition dogs. So to keep the motivation going try training dog tricks. One of the most complicated is the “fetch” or the “motivated retrieve” This is where you tell your dog where to go, once there it picks a specific pre-determined object and puts it into it’s mouth, the completes the rest of the task with the object still in it’s mouth, then releases it on command.
I would suggest trying to teach your dog lot’s of tricks. They can usually be accomplished in large or small spaces, indoor or out. This is perfect if it rains where you are. A great place to learn the steps or to get ideas is of course youtube. I learned a ton of stuff there.
Here are some basic starter tricks
That should get you started. Good luck and keep it fun!
If you have questions regarding your dog feel free to call me and ask. 408-455-1503
If your dog would rather play “keep away” than fetch, then this is the video for you. Most dog owners mistakenly teach their dogs that the game ends when they spit out the toy object. When the dog learns this they become reluctant to return the toy to you and may even run when you try to grab it. A better way is you teach the dog that the game begins again when they return the toy and spit it out. In order for them to WANT to spit out the toy they have to have a over whelming and compelling reason to do this or anything else for that matter. Absolutely no force is used. Here is how it’s done.
As the dog is enjoying itself, running about the training area with it’s prize in it’s mouth, show it you have a second identical toy of the exact same value. Get all excited as you waive it about. At some point the dog is going to want what you have as it looks way more animated. The second your dog spits out the first object toss the second one just far enough so you can grab the first one. Only grab the first one when your dog is committed to getting the second. Never try to trick your dog as this will breed distrust. You are teaching your dog the game begins again when he spits out the first toy.
As time goes by you can shape the dog to bring the toy closer and closer to you. You may notice that your dog will run over to a certain spot in your yard. You can meet him there. As long as he is spitting the toy out in close proximity to you, you are on the right track.
In this video we are working our five month old Labrador puppy on the down command. What I would have you notice is that we are working off leash and we are working from a distance and the dog is very happy. Today’s dog training session is a little more free form and not so structured as it has been in the past. Really all I’m doing is walking her around the yard and telling her to lie down on whatever I point to. This is a great way to allow a bit of distraction into your training routine. I would only do it for a few minutes however because the dog is still very young. We are doing pretty good for five months old. If we keep this up she will be rock solid at about 10 months of age.
We have a lot more training yet to do but we have laid a great foundation to build from. We have created a bond built from trust and not from over compulsion and fear. Now we keep going through the daily routine and as the puppy gets a bit older and more mature we will add distraction, distance and duration, the three D’s of dog training. As the dog gets older many of the daily distractions will have less effect on the dog as she learns that they mean nothing. This is a matter of time and daily repetitions.
Here is the formula I would suggest if you want to be successful with your dog or puppy. You have to take the dog through ten thousand repetitions. That means any behavior must be repeated 30 times per day, everyday for one month. That will give you one 1,000 reps. Do that for 10 months and that will give you 10,000 reps and you will be successful.
If you want a dog that walks nice beside you and doesn’t pull on the leash and has a nice heel, then this is the dog training video for you.
The desire for the dog to stay next to you has to come from inside the dog and cannot be achieved by using harsh corrective measures. In the beginning we give the dog an over whelming compelling reason why staying next to you is better than doing anything else.
As you will notice I take one step infrequently, lure the dog with me, my food loaded hand right on the puppy’s nose, then ask the dog to sit and repeatedly pay the dog with food. Watch how much and how fast I pay the dog. If you do any less the dog or puppy will get distracted or bored. This is a literal one step at a time process. We keep this process up until the dog learns self restraint, until it learns that being next to you is better than anything else that could possibly happen.
When the dog is older and more mature we can start the dog on training collars but i usually start that when the dog is about 10-11 months old and that is a slow gradual process. Dog training takes time and patience. It’s kinda like painting a picture.
As you watch the video notice how I try to keep the dog’s head up. If the dog’s head is up that means the nose is not down sniffing for distractions. Remember to talk to your dog. Tell him or her that she is doing a good job. When that head comes up plop some tasty food in that mouth.
Over time you will be able to take more and more steps as the dog develops trust that you will deliver the food. In the beginning it is a literal one step at a time process.
Well It’s Tuesday morning and Murphy and I are back at it. You see he walks himself up the ramp, I’ll ask him to lay down and he plops himself right down. We are using my new dog training table. The long down is exactly what we are working on in this dog training video.
You can see I walk away then return to the dog, walk away then return to the dog repeatedly. My goal is to desensitize the dog to my body movements so we can get longer and longer downs. At 0:31 he sits up but then I ask him to down and he corrects himself nicely so we continue training.
You will notice I never turn away from the dog as I want to keep the connection strong between the dog and myself. As you do this incorporate some different body movements such as crouching down. That is a big trigger for dogs.
Our labrador puppy is doing really good, you can see how all the training has been paying off. He is only 16 weeks old. The training table does help a lot as I walk all around, return pay the dog, crouch down, pay the dog. As the puppy turns into a dog he will stay in his command longer and longer with ever increasing distractions. That is what we do here. We get dogs to learn the 4 or 5 basic dog training commands–SOLID. Later as they get more proficient we can incorporate more. So if you enjoy being able to take your dog everywhere you go, this is how you do it.
Now we have him walk himself down the ramp, jump up on the placeboard and have himself a little seat.
This little labrador retriever puppy is in our day training program. The owner drops the dog off in the morning, I work him all day, then the owner picks him up a few hours later.
So here we are, Murphy and I working on the long sit. Otherwise known as the Sit/Stay. I never say “Stay” however. It is a waste of time. As you can see the dog is sitting longer and longer and I am able to get further and further away every time we practice this. We do this about three times a day and we spend about two to five minutes each training session. You want to make your sessions short, fun and you want to make them succesfull. Surely and gradually you will get further and further away from your dog and it will sit longer and sit through bigger distractions as time goes by and as your puppy turns into a dog. If Murphy and I continue this, and we will, it is highly unlikely that Murphy will ever get up out of a sit. As the dog gets older and more mature we will add ever increasing levels of distraction.
As you watch me do this you will see that I never really turn my back on the dog. That is so we can stay connected. If I turn my back the dog will perceive me as leaving and it is programmed to follow me. So if I walk backward I am just moving. My goal is to desensitize the dog to my movements so I can walk all over the place and the dog won’t move out of a sit.
If you keep up with Murphy and me you will watch us do the same thing with the “Down” and the “Stand” or otherwise known in the hunting world as the “Whoa”
The owners of this labrador retriever have hired me to train their dog for basic dog obedience and we are going to get this puppy started on some wing work to start a solid retrieve for duck hunting.
Most dogs especially puppies when they are first starting out just follow the food. Here in this clip I am trying to teach this dog to lay down for longer and longer periods so I position myself and the food as to encourage the dog to stay down. Keep the food lower than the dog’s head. This way the dog will naturally stay in a down position longer and longer. It will make training the down easy and you won’t give as many mixed signals. Keep the food low and your dog will stay low.
To get the dog to sit I tap his paws with my feet and he pops right up. Then I keep the food up high so he can follow the food and keep his head up and stay in a sit. Remember dogs will always do the behavior right if you don’t give them a chance to do it wrong. You can see this dog is catching on quickly and in short order I can keep the food at a higher level and the dog stays in a down. The other thing I do is train the dog on all sorts of surface areas.
Last thing. Did you see how the dog went from enthusiastically jumping on the place boards to just lying down on the ground right next to it? That’s when you know your dog is done for the moment. If that were my dog I would kennel or crate him for and hour or so then train for about 5 more minutes. Do that a few times per day. When you see your dog start to loose steam and enthusiasm, that is when it is time to stop and give it a break. If you keep going then it becomes tedious and stressful.