It’s almost New Years here in California and what better time then now to start thinking about New Years Resolutions! Specifically, new years resolutions for the dogs and their dog training and behavior issues.
Do I think you can solve dog training problems in 30 days? NO and YES!
NO because dog training should be done over the life time of your dog not just for 30 days. Through your leadership your dog will learn what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior, but training needs to be consistent. It shouldn’t be just a 30 days and done. You need to constantly work on teaching and training good behavior to your dog(s).
YES because after training/teaching good dog behavior for 30 days you will form a habit and by forming that habit you will consistently work with your dog on his training and behavior problems. Check out this article I read several years ago about how to form a habit.
Try Something New For 30 Days
Dog training habits…teaching shake
Three blog posts popped up in my feed reader the past few days. The first one was from Jessica over at You Did What With Your Weiner (yeah, I love the name of her blog too). Take the 30/30 Challenge With Us was Jessica’s post about her goal to walk her weiners for 30 minutes for 30 days starting New Years day. While I don’t have a problem walking my guide pups 30+ minutes everyday Linus and Stetson are sometimes neglected. So I decided:
GOAL v1.0: Walk Linus and Stetson 30 minutes a day for 30 days starting on New Years day.
Next up in my RSS reader was a blog post from Pamela over at Something Wagging This Way Comes (another great blog name). This one was about Train Your Dog Month Challenge. This one was slightly different then Jessica’s challenge, but I guess I could get away with my 30/30 goal after all I would be working on heeling…correct!? This is a blog about training so I decided I should do a little more than just work on heeling so I decided to up the ante on my 30 day challenge:
GOAL v1.1: Walk Linus and Stetson 30 minutes a day for 30 days starting on New Years day and work on their dog leash aggression problems.
I like to try and stay in Matt Cutts’ good graces so I make sure and follow his blog and keep up to date on his happenings. It’s funny how a light bulb goes off in your head sometimes when you least expect it, but that’s what happened after reading Matt’s blog post and watching his TED video. Matt likes to try something new for 30 days. A few examples are writing a book during the month of November, cutting sugar out of his diet, or growing a mustache. This got me thinking…
GOAL v1.1: Walk Linus and Stetson 30 minutes a day for 30 days starting on New Years day and work on their dog leash aggression problems.
GOAL v2.0: The first of every month start a new 30 day challenge for Linus and Stetson and chronicle on the blog.
It’s funny how a mixture of events (or in my case blog posts) can suddenly get ideas to suddenly click. I like structure and schedule. When I blog only when “the spirit moves me” I end up getting nothing done. A monthly challenge is just the structure I need to start the year off right. Hopefully these 30 day challenges will turn into habits for me and the boys.
Solving Dog Training Problems
So here’s my monthly 30 day challenge goal for 2013:
Identify a dog training/behavior/grooming problem and put together a blog post on the 1st of the month.
Put together a strategy that I can work on with my dog every day for the next 30 days (I may have to modify throughout the month).
After 30 days I will form a habit and continue to consistently work on that problem (that’s my hope anyways).
Report my results on the last day of the month.
I love the feeling of being productive! A minimum of my first 24 blog posts are now at least in their infancy. The first of the month I will write my 30 day challenge post and the last day of the month I will give you an update on whether or not we achieved success (there will probably be a few posts updating you in between).
How about you guys? Do you have any dog training new years resolutions? Are there any dog training problems you’d like to see us tackle in one of our 30 day challenges?
If you’re interested I’d love to have you join our 30 day challenges throughout the year and it would be great to hear about your progress in our comment section below. Maybe by the time 2014 rolls around we’ll all have perfect dogs!
The good people at pet365 actually sent me this post on “Dog Training Statistics” many moons ago and unfortunately it’s taken me this long to get a blog article together about their wonderful infographic. One thing I definitely have to agree with is the first line: “A well trained dog is by far a happier dog!”
There are many reasons why I believe this is a true statement. Here are just a few of my personal reasons:
If your dog is well trained then you’re probably spending more time with your dog then the average non-trained dog.
Your dog knows the rules and boundaries because as a well-trained dog you’ve taught him these things.
Dog training is a great time for handlers and dogs to bound.
You as a dog handler understand your dog better.
Well trained dogs have been socialized with not only other dogs, but with different kinds of people places and things.
If you want to go places with your dog you feel much more comfortable if they are well trained. Thus your dog gets to go to more different places.
Those are just a few off the top of my head, but enough about my thoughts on dog training lets get to the infographic!
Infographics are very visual, but some of my readers cannot always see the images on my blog so here’s a little transcription of the Dog Training Statistics Infographic:
A well trained dog is by far happier dog! Why? Because a trained dog requires fewer restrictions. The more reliable the dog, the more freedom he is given. Also, he receives more attention and interaction with family members, visitors, and passer-by then does the ill mannered dog.
“How Well Trained Are They?” My Dog vs Other Dog (Marks out of 10 with 10 being the best)
4 or 5 – My Dog – 16.1%; Other Dog – 46.2%
7 or 8 – My Dog – 51.9%; Other Dog – 23.1%
“Most dog owners think their dogs are better trained than those belonging to other people.”
“Sit” is the most well-known command with 9 out of 10 dogs knowing how to put their bums on the floor when told…
99.5% of owners think that rewarding good behaviour is most effective when training.
94% of people do at least some training with their dog at home. Impressive!
Owners with 3 or more dogs were more likely to socialise their dog when it was a puppy. Proof that we do learn from our mistakes (eventually)!
Percentage of dogs socialised as puppies
Own’s 3+ Dogs – 50.6%
3 dogs or less – 26.5%
“How easy was your dog to train?”
Went to puppy socialisation – 9.6%
Didn’t go – 4.5%
Owners that went to socialisation classes found their dogs much easier to train. Only 4.5% of owners that had been gave their dogs less than 3 out of 10 as opposed to 9.6% that hadn’t.
What is the most important command for a dog to know?
Stay – 26.9%
Recall – 54.8%
Sit – 12.9%
Roll over! – 0.2%
Have you ever been to a dog training class?
Nope, Never – 53.1%
I still go* – 14.4%
I used to go, but don’t anymore – 32.5%
*This group is what dogs would call “favourite owners”. Woof!
What commands does your dog know?
Fetch – 50.4%
Stay – 83.8%
Recall – 82.1%
Sit – 90.2%
Rollover – 24%
So that’s the dog training infographic! Some pretty cool statistics there, but to me these stats seem a little bit inflated/biased and that’s mainly because the surveys were probably filled out by dog enthusiasts rather than your average dog owner.
I like that the infographic stresses puppy socialization which is an important part of what we do as puppy raisers when when training our guide dog puppies.
For more information about the research of these dog training statistics visit the pet365 website.
Do you have a well-trained dog? What do you think about this infographic and these statistics. Tell us about it in the comment section below!
It’s been over 4 months since I dropped off Dublin at guide dog college. I still think about him and how he’s doing just about every day. I like posting some of his old puppy pictures to our Facebook page. Every time I visit the Guide Dogs of America (GDA) campus I ask how he’s doing and of course the response is always that he’s doing great.
Just in case you haven’t been following us on Facebook (if you aren’t then you should) Dublin also sends us a postcard just about every month. Like I said in case you missed it here’s an image of the 4 postcards I’ve received so far.
Guide Dog Training Postcards
Postcards from Dublin while he's at Guide Dog College
It’s a little small and blurry so here’s what Dublin has to say in his 4 postcards:
Postcard #1 (received around December 2011)
How are you doing? I’m great! I am learning how to walk with a special black n white harness on. Boy do I look handsome! Next I will be learning how to make right and left turns. Hope you are well. Take care.
Wags + Kisses
Postcard #2 (received around January 2012)
It’s me again from Guide Dog College. I have learned right & left turns and how to cross streets safely. Soon we will start walking in busier areas with more to watch out for. It’s not all hard work though. I get to play with my friends and chew on all sorts of bones.
Hope all is well!
Wags & Kisses
Postcard #3 (received around February 2012)
My trainers tell me I’ve completed my first set of test wearing my harness! I got to guide my trainer while he was blindfolded! It sure was fun!
I know I still have lots to learn and soon will learn to guide on stairs, elevators, and even escalators!
We have fun when we’re not working too. The kennel staff gives us bones and toys to play with.
Wiggles & Wags
Postcard #4 (received around March 2012)
Here’s an update from Guide Dog College
I am learning new things everyday and we go to exciting places each week. The other day we rode the subway! Some of my friends have decided to go home but I want to stay and learn more.
Hope you are well!
More Dublin Updates
I’ve been hearing good things about Dublin and I’m hoping for an April graduation. However, you never really know, but just in case I have my fingers crossed and Sunday, April 22nd 2012 (date of the next GDA graduation) is circled on my calendar just in case Dublin graduates on that day. As soon as I hear news on whether or not Dublin is a part of the next GDA graduating class I’ll let everyone know here, on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Hopefully some of you out there can join us at Dublin’s graduation.
By the way I plan on putting together some bonus Puppy In Training TV videos with some extra never before seen footage in the near future leading up to hopefully Dublin’s upcoming graduation (and graduation video). As an added bonus I’m going to add short bonus segment at the end of each episode with the Adventures of Apache my most recent guide dog puppy in training.
In case you don’t know about out Puppy In Training TV series…way back when I first picked up Dublin I decided to create video episodes chronicling his journey to becoming a guide dog. Here’s a list of the 18 episodes we produced:
So…hoping for an April graduation and stay tuned for upcoming Puppy In Training TV episodes.
As I mentioned I started shooting video with Apache. If you have an idea for one of Apache’s bonus segment videos then please leave us a comment and let us know what you think in the comment section below.
Make sure you bring a handkerchief for this episode of Puppy In Training TV because it’s a real tear jerker. It seems just like yesterday that we picked up a 7 week old puppy from the “D” litter that we named Dublin. As a guide dog puppy raiser we work on basic dog obedience training, puppy socialization (taking our pups out in public), and good house manners. We begin working on these things from the time our pups are 7 weeks old until they are approximately 18 months. At about 18 months we return our puppies to the schools where they begin a more intense “formal” guide dog training. This is where they learn to wear their harness, left and right turns, intelligent disobedience, and many other advanced skills.
Curious Pup, Dublin!
Dublin was a shade under 18 months when we dropped him off for “Guide Dog College”. Puppy Turn In Day is one of the most difficult days for us as puppy raisers. This is the day we’ve all been dreading when we have to say good bye to our puppies, wish them the best, and hope to see them again wearing a nice shiny harness at graduation.
Check out this weeks episode of Puppy In Training TV – Ep 18 – Puppy Turn In Day:
That one makes me a little bit sad every time I watch it. I hope you enjoyed it. Below is the transcription for this weeks episode just in case you can’t see this weeks puppy training video.
Puppy Turn In Day Transcription
PuppyInTraining.com Logo and Website Address
Hi Everyone! Today’s Dublin’s last day here. He’s going off to Guide Dog College. Stetson and Linus just wanted to say goodbye. Welcome to this episode of Puppy In Training TV.
Guide Dog Puppy Training Starring DUBLIN
With Linus Aussie Shepherd Rescue
Also Colby The Human
And Stetson Career Changed Guide Dog
So Dublin and I headed out the front door for the last time. Just like we had done everyday for the past 1 ½ years Dublin hopped onto the passenger side floor boards of my car. And just like that we were on the road! Heading to Guide Dogs of America with Dublin for the last time.
Traffic can be unpredictable so we left nice and early. Lucky for us we arrived early…a chance to shoot some video of the campus!
The front office is normally closed on weekends so we went through the side gate. This gave Dublin a chance to work on walking calmly through a threshold.
We walked down the hill to the vets office. Then on the way back up the hill we saw Gentry and Denise who you might remember from Ep 17 and our trip to Disneyland.
We decided to walk over towards the puppy nursery and work on one last walk up the brick stairs.
Guide Dogs of America holds a short luncheon to thank all the puppy raisers on puppy turn in day. We also get a nice certificate and photo commemorating our accomplishment of raising a puppy.
We took one final snapshot with Dublin’s pal Chloe and then walked back down the hill and made our way towards the GDA kennels.
And just like that they called Dublin’s name. We’re allowed to walk our pups to the kennel and stay with them for a bit while they get used to their new roomate and their environment.
Dublin’s new roomate isa Yellow Lab Golden Retriever cross named Saffie and look! Chloe and Dublin got to be neighbors!
We went to the outdoor side of the kennel and Here comes Dublin happy to see me!
One final hug for me and Dublin and giving him some last minute advice to be a good boy.
It’s tough saying goodbye!
And finally my first walk without my pal Dublin…thinking back to all the happy memories I spent with my little buddy!
[Video of our adventures with Dublin]
Dropping your puppy off for formal guide dog training is one of the toughest things you can do as a puppy raiser. We worked really hard with Dublin on his training and we know he’ll do well in college. Thanks for joining us for our last episode…
Hold on! That can’t be the end. In fact we plan on posting more video in the coming months including hopefully a video of Dublin’s graduation. And of course there’s always a chance for Puppy In Training TV Season 2.
…of Puppy In Training TV and we hope to see you soon!
One of the saddest and happiest days of puppy raising. We’re always sad to say goodbye, but happy to let Dublin continue his journey to becoming a guide dog. A few points to add about our turn in day:
We always take off our Pet ID Tags at home. This way we don’t fumble around trying to remove the tags when we’re trying to say our goodbye’s at the kennel. The only tags you need to leave with your puppy are the ID tags that GDA originally issued to you on Puppy Pickup Day.
One of the toughest parts about turn in is so many others are crying that it just makes it that much more sad. Be prepared with sunglasses and a hanky.
We were lucky and all the pups were paired with a kennel mate. One of the things that made me feel better was to see Dublin playing with his new pal Saffie. It was the same when Stetson met up with his kennel mate. However, when we turned Stetson in there were a few pups without kennel mates which made me sad for those pups…so be prepared.
You can always call the school to see how your puppy is doing in his formal guide dog training.
Northwoods Inn generously donates food for the luncheon. Special thanks to Northwoods Inn for providing food!
We worked hard with Dublin’s obedience training, house manners, and socialization as you can see on all the puppy training videos we produced for our Puppy In Training TV series. I’m sure he’ll do well at Guide Dog College and even if he doesn’t make it as a guide we’ll still love him just the same.
How about you guys? Are you puppy raisers? What’s it like for you on Puppy Turn In Day? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.
Sorry we’re a bit late this week with our awesome doggy links of the week…
Here we are again at the end of the week (actually it’s now the beginning of the week) with our favorite posts from the top dog blogs around the world. We’re going to keep it short and sweet…so lets get started with our adorable puppy pic:
Dublin Puppy In Training
Now that we got the adorable puppy out of the way lets check out this weeks doggy blog articles:
Discouraging Your Dog’s Bad Behavior in 10 Easy Steps – A great thing about working on your dogs training is that it will strengthen the bond between you and your dog. One of my favorite points in this article helps curb destructive chewing. We use the same technique when training our own guide dog puppies. Another good point this article brings up is that you can change a dogs bad behavior and that bad behavior is not permanent. In other words you can teach an old dog new tricks.
Top 7 Holiday Dangers To Avoid For Your Dog – some great tips on foods your pet should avoid not just over the holidays, but always. Some foods you may not be aware of are onions, grapes, and raisins My ex-girlfriend actually gave my dog a few grapes and I flipped out. Lucky for us it was only about 3 which apparently was ok for a dog his size.
Top 10 Dog Breeds That Don’t Shed – Every day I wear black clothes by the end of the day I can see long yellow golden fur all over. If I don’t vacuum at least once a day the little fur ball tumbleweeds start forming. Lucky for me I don’t have allergies to dogs. However, lucky for some others not all dogs shed like my Labrador Retriever, my Australian Shepherd mix, and my Golden Retriever. This week we came across a list of dogs that do not shed so if you’re interested in not having to vacuum or use a lint brush on a daily basis then check out this weeks list of dog breeds that do not shed.
5 Easy Ways To Raise Funds For An Animal Shelter – If you volunteer at an animal shelter/rescue then check out this list. In fact if you volunteer for any non-profit organization (we volunteer as puppy raisers for Guide Dogs of America) you might find some helpful hints on how to raise funds for your favorite charity organization. If you’ve been following our blog for a while then you know we raised money for Guide Dogs of America through Dublin’s Puppy In Training TV video series (let us know if you want to sponsor an episode).
10 Great Holiday Gifts for Great Pet Lovers - If you haven’t already checked out our list of most popular dog toys then you might want to check it out now! However, if you can’t find the perfect dog toy then you might want to check out this weeks list of holiday gifts for pet lovers. It’s definitely a more high end list, but maybe you’re looking for something special this year like a pet portrait or personalized doggie jewelry…not really my cup of tea.
That’s it for this weeks Puppy In Training link roundup. If you want to submit a link for next week then just leave us a comment in the comments section below. Did you write a great blog article this week? Let us know about it.
Today we’re going to find out if Disneyland is the happiest place on earth for doggies too.
We took our guide dog puppy, Dublin to Downtown Disney when he was about 6 months old, but we usually don’t take our guide dog pups to the actual Disneyland park until they’re over 12 months old. In fact we sometimes don’t take our puppy’s in training to Disneyland at all if we don’t think they’re ready for the hustle and bustle of people, activities, characters, sights, sounds, and smells of a theme park.
If you’re thinking about taking your puppy in training to Disneyland be prepared to turn right around and head home if you notice your puppy stressing out from all the activity. You don’t want your pup to be frightened of the happiest place on earth. Lucky for us we have a Disney Passport that gets us in and out of Disneyland and California Adventure Parks just about any day of the year.
Dublin was the second puppy in training we took to Disneyland and while he was a very good boy throughout the day his reactions and behavior were much different then our first guide dog pup, Stetson. We took both pups on a few rides and Stetson really could care less what was going on around him and for the most part just lied down by my feet. Dublin was more interested and wanted to peek out and watch all the activity going on. Both pups did great and showed no anxiety in front of the crowds and different, sights, smells, and sounds.
While Disneyland may not be a puppy in trainings happiest place on earth I do think that our pups happiest place on earth is by the side of his owner/handler no matter where they may be. Thanks to Disneyland for being such a puppy in training friendly park and thanks to Denise and Gentry for being our tour guides for the day.
Have any of you taken your pups in training to Disneyland or any theme park? If so, tell us about your experience in the comment section below.
Do you have an adorable puppy who’s driving you nuts? Not long ago we brought home our first guide dog puppy and after the initial excitement wore off we soon realized we were in for an extreme test of our patience.
My name is Colby and I’ve been raising and training guide dog puppies for the past 5 years. Follow me and my pups on our journey from puppy to working guide dog.