Online Dog Training
Come along as I share our experience with Brain Training for Dogs online dog training course.
“There is no way we can take in a fourth dog”…ah, those famous last words.
Cully and I swore up and down “no more dogs”, but when faced with an adorable four-legged furry face in need, we just couldn’t say no.
It was Summer of 2020 when we took in our fourth rescue dog, Izzy. A three-ish year old Catahoula Bulldog mix full of love and LOTS of energy.
In less than 15 months, we had gone from one pup to four and we knew it was time to get serious about making sure their energy levels were managed appropriately.
They each came from various backgrounds (some good, some horrible) so for our own sanity, we started researching dog obedience training.
Due to covid, things were tight around this time and options were somewhat limited.
We were fortunate to find a local in-person dog trainer near us (who we absolutely love!). Only bummer part is we could not afford to put all four dogs through in-person dog obedience training.
To supplement their training, we researched options for online dog training. This is where we came across Adrienne’s Brain Training for Dogs online dog training course.
I’ll share with you some of the highlights since starting dog training and provide quick tips and ideas that have helped our dogs become more obedient.
How to Make Dogs Happy
The resounding message that sticks in our mind since starting dog training is a happy dog is a well behaved dog. And a tired dog is a well behaved dog.
Brain Training for Dogs teaches both how to make your dog happy and provide the stimulation (and training) needed to develop your dog into a well behaved pet.
While there are several ways to make your dog happy, here are a few quick, easy and effective ways that work well for our dogs:
Our dogs have a fairly regimented daily schedule and it is rare that we stray from their daily list of activities.
Part of their schedule is playtime. Right after work responsibilities are complete, Zilla and Snax have outdoor playtime with Cully or I. Then, Khumba and Izzy go out for playtime with either Cully or I.
Each dog is different with what they like to play and it’s important to find out what activities your dog(s) love most and do those activities with them.
Play Brain Games
Brain games are Khumba’s favorite and he is very food and treat motivated
We usually keep the brain games simple for him and the one he loves most is what we call the “Boopies” game.
Essentially, we take a piece of food, place it in our hand and make a fist so he can not access the treat. We say “boop” and Khumba knows he needs to touch his nose to our fist, wherever it is.
We move our fist to different positions so it keeps him guessing where he will have to touch. This means he may need to jump a bit to reach our hand, or he may need to crouch down to touch our hand. We also move around the yard to keep the game interesting.
Once he touches our hand we say “good boop” and we toss the treat in the grass. This encourages him to use his nose to find his reward.
He could play this game for four hours.
Throw the Ball
This one is super simple and is Izzy’s favorite.
Another tip we learned is: if you want your dog to pay attention to you, you need to be more interesting than anything else your dog may be distracted by.
So, when we play ball with Izzy, we don’t always just throw it and have her bring it back to us.
We run around the yard with her. This way, it keeps her guessing where she will need to meet us and it keeps her interested in the game.
She is obsessed with ball time and this is the perfect way to get her energy out and get her to pay attention to us.
We love Chuckit brand ball throwers and balls.
Give Your Dog a Bath
Bath time is not necessarily every dog’s favorite time. In fact, three of our four dogs do not enjoy bath time.
Our boy Snax is the one that is obsessed over bath time. He will lay wherever we need him to for hours just to get a scrub down.
We recently purchased a portable dog bath and it has been a lifesaver!
Kick a Ball Around with Your Dog
Zilla loves it when we kick around a basketball in the yard with her.
She is excited to chase the ball around the yard and loves to pounce on it like a cat.
We found a bin full of old basketballs at an estate sale recently and Zilla is on cloud nine now 🙂
In Brain Training for Dogs, Adrienne shows you many other ways to play with your dog and keep their minds occupied.
Here is an example of the airplane game she teaching in the online dog training:
How to Keep a Dog from Jumping
Nothing is worse than the fear of having company over because you just know that all 125 pounds of your Great Dane will want to jump on their shoulders (without permission, of course).
Khumba was the worst at jumping on our guests and we were legitimately concerned about the safety of visitors since this guy is over 100 pounds.
The most effective way we’ve found to stop unwanted jumping is the method Adrienne teaches.
I tried her method after many failed attempts of demanding Khumba get “off”, feverishly snapping my fingers and pointing to the ground, and shouting “no” (yeah, just a heads up, that word pretty much never works long term, LOL).
The first time I tried this method, there was a short gate in between Khumba and I. This helped mitigate any potential of Khumba being in physical contact with me.
I excitedly walked up to the fence and Kumba instantly jumped up on the fence. The second he did that, I turned my back and walked in the opposite direction.
Once he placed all four feet on the ground again, I started my way back toward him.
If he jumped up, I turned around and walked the other way.
The process was repeated several times and when he kept all four feet on the ground as I approached him, I gave him his treat reward with tons of verbal “good boys” and lots of loving pets.
How to Get a Dog to Stop Jumping Video
Many say dog training is more about training the human than it is the dog. Teaching your dog not to jump is the perfect example of this.
If the human allows the dog to jump on them, then rewards the dog with pets and love, the dog will think that is what the human wants and will keep doing it.
Make sure your guests know what they are supposed to do if your dogs jump up on them. If they are not on board with executing what needs to be done (ie: walking away and ignoring your dog), your dog may have a hard time learning what is appropriate behavior.
Stop Dog from Whining at the Door
We are very fortunate that our dogs don’t whine a lot. However, I’ve had dogs that whine and I know how incredibly frustrating it can be. It’s also a fairly common learned behavior in dogs.
Brain Training for Dogs is one of my favorite online dog training programs because Adrienne focuses on correcting unwanted behaviors with positive reinforcement.
Trying to discipline or “punish” your pup in an attempt to correct unwanted behavior does not work. Avoid anyone that teaches these methods. They are terribly outdated and do not help build a bond between you and your four-legged friend.
Here is a beautiful example of how to redirect your dog’s unwanted whining behavior by teaching them to do something productive.
How to Get Your Dog to Listen to You
How do you get a stubborn dog to listen to you?
Getting our dogs to listen to us was another challenge. I swore up and down that our Great Dane simply did not have the brain development to actually listen.
What I found is we simply were not using rewards that motivate him. We already knew he is very motivated by treats. But he also seemed to love affection.
Trying to avoid using treats for everything, we tried using pets and love as the only motivation. And it worked….for like five minutes.
We learned that affection is not usually a high motivator for dogs. You should still love and pet your dog, of course…it just may not be a very good motivator for your dog to listen.
We went back to treats as the reward, only we upped the quality of treat.
Instead of using basic kibble (which he usually responds to really well), we switched to hot dogs.
Point being is if your dog is not listening to you, you may need to up the motivation to listen (ie: give a more desirable treat or toy).
Similar to playtime, keep activities where you want them to listen random to keep them interested. And reward like crazy when they do.
And as always, reinforce the behavior you want with treats and ignore unwanted behavior. Do not hit, yell at, use any kind of force if your dog demonstrated unwanted behavior. This will only cause stress for your pup and will not help correct the unwanted behavior.
How to Keep a Dog from Digging
A bored or under stimulated dog will find ways to entertain themselves. This may include digging holes in the yard.
Both Zilla and Khumba were guilty of this behavior.
While Cully and I are home most of the time, we can’t always keep a close eye on what all the dogs are doing, since we are working.
And, we know it’s not realistic to think we can carve out several hours per day to play with our pups (but boy would that be nice!)
One thing that worked well for us was introducing treats like frozen raw meat bones, stuffed Kong’s and lick pads.
Tip: Get frozen raw meat bones from your local butcher. They usually cost less than going to a dog specialty store. We pay $1-$2 per bone through our butcher (and they are big enough for our Great Dane). Sometimes butchers may give raw meat bones away, so check around.
These treats keep them entertained for anywhere from 1-4 hours. The frozen raw meat bones keep them entertained the longest. We usually stash those away for special occasions (ie: company coming over).
So long as your dog’s brain is stimulated (or they are physically tired from exercise), they are less likely to get into disruptive behavior.
When you sign up for Brain Training For Dogs, you will get access to brain games and tricks that will keep your dog mentally stimulated and prevent backyard digging (and many other unwanted behaviors).
Online Dog Training Conclusion
Since getting our dogs started in training, we have seen a dramatic increase in their happiness level and ability to stay more focused and calm.
They are far from perfect but as long as we keep up with the training, we see improvement week over week.
Since three of our four pups (the three we recently acquired all in the last year) had no evidence of past training – and are all of adult age – it’s been a process. But a process that has been well worth it!
Now the question is…can Cully and I hold our commitment to “no more dogs”? Hmmmmm….only time will tell.
Until next time!
Related Reading: Affordable Vacuums that Eliminate Dog Hair from Floors
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