Some thoughts, ideas, and considerations

Below are some random bits of writing. Because we're always so busy, the blog often takes a back seat to training. We'll do our best to include new content, but your patience is appreciated. If you have any questions or have something you want to say about an entry, please email us.

The 6 Most Important Things You Can Do For Your Dog
November 11, 2011

Getting a new puppy or dog is an exciting time for every new owner. There are so many things to consider to ensure your new canine addition becomes a life-long companion and good canine citizen. So what are the most important things you need to do with your dog?

1) Socialize: Many trainers believe that socialization is the vaccination against the outside world. While it is important to protect your pet from diseases, keeping your puppy isolated from people and other animals can cause major problems later in life. Set up many positive outings early in your dog's life. Pat Schaap is famous for developing the "Rule of Sevens" in which a puppy should experience seven new surfaces, new noises, new people, new dogs, new feeding locations, and so on throughout their puppy-hood. Keeping this socialization up is important for the adult dog as well. Make sure you introduce your dog to new situations and people in a positive and calm manner, and you will be rewarded with a well-adjusted companion that will be welcomed by everyone. Just remember to keep your dog or puppy safe while socializing: they do not need to meet every other dog they encounter. In fact, it is better to teach your dog restraint and calmness rather than letting them learn that they can drag you to see everyone you meet. Giving them a cue to "go meet" is best so that you can avoid the lunging and pulling many dogs exhibit when on leash.

2) A Reliable Recall and Stay: Although sit and down are typically the first cues or obedience exercises we teach our dogs, a strong recall ("come") and a stay are vitally important to a long, safe life.

3) Exercise: Regardless of the type of trainer you talk to, all will agree that exercise is the best thing you can give your dog. Dogs live through their noses first and foremost, and taking them out to "smell the news" not only exercises their bodies, but their minds too. Moreover, getting out with your dog keeps up his socialization: dogs that are walked daily are often more acclimatized to strange people, animals, and settings.

4) Calmness: When most people dream about their future dog, they envision long walks in some natural setting, sitting at a cafe with their dog laying at their feet, or cozy-ing up with their dog after a long day. What do all these things have in common? A calm dog and a calm owner. Teaching your dog to be calm is a vital skill. Owners often tend to pay attention to their dogs when the dog is in an excited or anxious state (i.e., the dog is bugging to play, the owner has just come home, they are going for a walk, etc.). When dogs are laying quietly, we often believe in the old adage "let sleeping dogs lie." Although at certain times leaving your dog alone is good, remember that we are always training our dogs how to behave - always. When your dog is laying quietly, just walk up quietly and give her a treat or praise. Take the time to teach your dog to be calm on leash by putting the leash on and just sitting in your living room. When the dog calms down, reward him. Make sure to keep your voice quiet and calm as well, and practice "calming signals" such as yawning and looking at your dog with half-closed eyes.

5) How To Be Alone: One of the major problems our social canine friends experience is anxiety from being separated from their family. Teaching your dog how to be comfortable alone is something few people think of when they first bring their new dog home. However, eventually, you'll have to leave your friend and making sure she has learned to be alone is helpful. You can train this by using a kennel, an exercise pen or play yard, a baby gate, or any other tactic to keep your dog confined. Put your dog in her "space" while you're home and reward her for being quiet and calm. Give her a toy filled with treats to reinforce the fact that being alone is a good experience. Continue this training as your dog matures, making sure to teach your dog that she does not need to be with you every moment you are in the house and that you will always be coming back.

6) Positive Interrupter: This is a noise or word you use to interrupt a behaviour that you do not want to continue. Rather than saying "no," using a positive interrupter gives your dog instructions. "No" simply means stop. It doesn't indicate how long the dog should stop or what the dog should do instead. A positive interrupter becomes a noise that means "hey, stop what you're doing and come over to me for further instructions." Check out Emily Larlham's video on teaching a positive interrupter.

Of course, there are many other things you will want to teach your dog. These are just a few of the things that I find help every single person I meet. It (almost) goes without saying that all of these behaviours and experiences should be taught through positive means (clicker training and classical conditioning). Being the source of only good things means your new dog will learn quickly and want to be with you.

Click it right! Keep it fun!

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We're on a break...
Jan 1, 2012
We're not "breaking up" with our fabulous clients, but rather taking a much needed break to work on exciting new plans! We hope everyone has a rejuvenating mid-winter and we look forward to tons of training fun soon.

New Blog Post
Nov 11th, 2011
We've finally found time to write something! Check it out on our blog

November Schedule Is Up!
Nov 7th, 2011
Basic Manners and Useful Dog Class registration is now open. Get some training in before the holidays (and impress your guests!).

November Schedule Is Up!
Oct 15th, 2011
We've posted the dates for Victoria (View Royal) classes! Check out the details on the classes and lessons page. If you are looking for small-sized clicker classes, email or call us to register. We're keeping these classes small, so space will be limited.

New Classes in Victoria
Oct 1st, 2011
Classes begin in Victoria in November! Details will be released soon. If you are looking for small-sized clicker classes, email or call us.

New Classes in Sooke
Aug 1st, 2011
Sooke classes begin again on Saturday, August 13th! We are starting another session of core classes in Sooke as well as offering some new exciting labs. This session we're offering Junior Puppy Class, Basic Manners/Level One, Great Dogs/Level Two, and two new labs: Rally Signs and The Useful Dog. See our Classes & Lessons for details on these classes. Contact Posh Paws Spa for details and to register: 250.642.2280.

Seminar News
Jul 14th, 2011
We will be scheduling seminars for both the Victoria area and Sooke shortly! If there is a seminar you're interested in, drop us an email and let us know.

And we're up!
Jun 22nd, 2011
Welcome to the new and improved Click It Right! website. We're still adding content as well as working on getting our online registration and calendar up and running. Online registration and scheduling will be available to our Victoria clients soon!

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