Sep 04

Specialized Dog Training Tests

German Shepherds

German Shepherds

It’s no accident that some breeds are more commonly found as working dogs. Retrievers, Shepherds and a few others tend to have the physical characteristics, intelligence and temperament needed to perform the complex behaviors even they need several years to master.

Specialized training for service, assistance or even therapy dogs begins before birth and continues for several years after.

After the pups have matured a few weeks to a few months, selector-trainers run a series of tests to determine stamina, aptitude and overall personality. Candidates first receive a thorough physical to check for diseases or potentially debilitating conditions such as hip dysplaysia or weak joints. Then come the personality tests.

Alpha or Omega?

Dogs are social animals with a natural hierarchy. Through in-built characteristics and early circumstances they take on varying roles from alpha (leader) to beta (second in command) to omega (submissive, sometimes on the periphery of the pack).

In any human-dog pair, the human must always take the alpha role, but service dogs still need to have a fair amount of assertiveness to perform their duties. A common indicator for this is the dominance-submission test.

Puppies six to twelve weeks old are placed on their backs and the evaluator places a hand on its chest. They observe to what degree the puppy protests being placed in that submissive, vulnerable position and how long the dog struggles before pulling back its paws and tilting its head to indicate surrender.

Variations involve having the dog stand on all four with the evaluator in front. The person then lifts the dog by the chest and monitors how much the dog struggles and for how long.

Dogs that are too assertive may never make suitable working dogs since they’ll tend to ignore commands. Dogs that are too passive will also be poor candidates, since they need the confidence to take on the role of guide, rescuer or some other requiring some initiative and risk-taking.

Noise Sensitivity

Working dogs are often placed in noisy, potentially distracting environments. The average canine would react fearfully or playfully to all the stimulus, but working dogs need to focus on a task.

To test for the dog’s potential, evaluators clap hands in front of the face or near the ears, bang pots together, rattle chains and so on. Preferred candidates will exhibit a curious sniff. Frightened running and hiding or excessive barking flunks the dog before they pass freshman class.

Foreign Objects

Many working dogs have to deal with a variety of objects large and small that others might find intimidating. Be they moving cars and equipment or simply coat racks, curiosity signaled by approach and sniffing followed by acceptance is needed. Fear of the unknown puts them out of the working dog category.

Stamina

Service dogs need to ford rivers, open doors, hurdle obstacles, herd sheep or cattle and be on the go for long periods. Some breeds and individual dogs naturally have a higher capacity and even eagerness for long periods of activity. Testing the dog’s reaction to or willingness to surmount a board or pole is just the first test among many to test for stamina.

Motivation

The most essential characteristic for any working dog is the desire to work. Like humans, individual dogs vary in their eagerness to carry out assigned tasks. A variety of exercises test the intelligence and willingness to jump an obstacle, retrieve an object, return on command, focus on a task and so forth.

Dogs that are quick to learn and eager to please demonstrate the motivation to take on the complex roles performed by service dogs.

Aug 29

Dog Training – Socializing Your Dog

Four Australian Shepherds

Four Australian Shepherds

Dogs, like humans, show a wide range of tolerance for others. Some are immediately friendly with every new dog, cat or lizard. Others are forever hostile to even the opposite sex of their own breed. Considering dogs are by nature territorial the diversity is odd, but there it is.

Naturally, animal lovers like to have more than one dog around and often several breeds or other species. Ensuring that chairs remain upright and necks un-bitten can be a real challenge. Add to the mix the neighbor’s pets or random critters who wander into your companion’s territory and your furniture, not to mention your sanity, can be at real risk.

The first step is to start the process of socializing your dog as early as possible. Like children, puppies are much more accepting of strangers. They haven’t yet distinguished between friend and foe and everything is a new experience to be explored rather than feared or chased.

If you have only one dog, expose the puppy early on to other dogs and people. Get them used to being touched, especially between the toes, in the ears and near the eyes. Apart from impact on interaction with animals, that will make vet visits and trips to the store a lot easier.

Dogs, of course, sniff everything. When they’re about to interact with another, control them until you’re confident there won’t be chasing or violence, then let them explore the other dog, cat or creature.

If the dog shows a tendency to leap or bite, tolerate it to the point someone is going to get injured. It’s normal for dogs to rough house, knock one another over and even lightly bite legs and necks. Stay close and be prepared to snatch them away, if necessary. Leather gloves may be useful during the initial experiments.

If they continually bark, distract them with a treat, a toy or a sharp command. If they refuse to cease pulling or barking after several attempts at control, try another day. What works will vary widely depending on the individual dog and some will simply never tolerate others. You’ll discover what’s more and less effective as you observe their interactions over time.

It may be necessary to put the dog on it’s back, then hold it down with a firm hand on the chest. In harder cases a bark or shout in the dog’s face is useful. Yes, you will look like a lunatic to others, but this technique is even employed by the Monks of New Skeet. The brothers of this upper New York State religious order are world-renown for their German Shepherd raising practices.

Rescued or animal shelter dogs can require extra patience when socializing. These animals have often been abused by people or injured by other dogs. Those experiences naturally often lead to aggression or fear. Remarkable transformations have been seen even in these dogs, though. After repeated exposure they often learn to at least tolerate other people and pets.

Start early, expose for short intervals leading to longer ones, repeat as needed. In every case, be prepared to physically and mentally control the dog.

 

Aug 20

Purebred Dog Training

Miniature Pinscher

Miniature Pinscher

The term ‘purebred’ is relative. No breed has been so isolated that it’s never mated with another.

But taken over the last hundred years or so, there are populations of Golden Retriever, German Shepherds and many others that have bred only with their own kind. As with any inbreeding program, the results tend to produce extremes, both good and bad.

The bad aspect is that, for technical reasons, genes that lead to undesirable conditions will occur more frequently the narrower the population. Instances of hip dysplasia in Golden Retrievers are more likely to be passed on if programs are careless. Fortunately, they rarely are.

The other extreme produces show dogs or simply companions that tend to have a higher capacity for learning and stronger bodies. But even in these ‘better’ types, training is challenging.

Along with superior physical capacity comes the confidence to tackle larger obstacles, the need for more interaction, and – there’s no other way to put it – a more finicky character. Mutts, on the whole, are more relaxed than purebreds.

As a consequence, be prepared to commit extra time and attention to the standard ‘sit’, ‘stay’, ‘come’ basics. Expect a greater capacity for attention, but also a higher likelihood of willfulness. Purebreds tend to be more independent.

Both mixed and purebreds love exercise and play. But the purebred will often want to play ‘his’ way. Increased repetition and a refusal to compromise will help you maintain and reinforce your alpha (leader) status. Fortunately, as can be seen from show trials on television, purebreds can exhibit a wide variety of complex behavior flawlessly.

That behavior comes, though, from the many hours over many months or years of focused training. A superior potential is just that – a capacity. To bring out that capacity, focus on the dog’s strengths.

One well-known woman on the show circuit has trained her companion to perform a complex dance routine lasting several minutes. The dog backs up, shoots through her legs, winds around in a circle, and much more but always in a pattern. Taking what would be random movements and turning them into choreography requires breaking down the routine into short segments.

Focus on a specific, say moving backwards as you move forward. Face the dog, who starts in a sit position. Then ‘up’ and step forward. Even highly intelligent dogs don’t spontaneously back up on command. Encourage the behavior by holding a treat or toy above the head and slightly beyond the eyes, moving forward in steps.

Try one step, then two, then six, then twelve. Repeat the exercise daily until the dog has it completely automated and executes flawlessly.

Accompany your movement with a unique tone and word combination. Praise lavishly for correct execution and display firm patience, not harsh condemnation, for errors.

Consistency will eventually lead to the desired results.

 

Aug 17

Dog Training – Pet Tricks Training

Girl teaching puppy new tricksTeaching your pet tricks is easiest when you work with their nature, not against it. Most dogs are eager to please and respond enthusiastically to rewards. Teaching tricks is often as much a matter of simply using those rewards to direct or build on a spontaneous behavior as it is teaching an entirely foreign one.

Watch for spontaneous behavior close to the one desired. A dog will sometimes crawl on its belly for no apparent reason. It may be scratching, it may simply be having fun. If this is a desired trick, watch for the beginnings of the behavior, then be prepared to associate it with a hand gesture and voice command, then reward immediately.

Teaching the basic ‘sit’, ‘come’, etc commands is usually simple. A few repetitions with a treat or verbal praise and the dog learns rapidly. Teaching tricks can sometimes be as easy as expanding on the basic behaviors. ‘Come’ can easily be transformed into ‘walk in a circle’. Abbreviate to one word, such as ‘circle’ or ‘spin’ for example.

At first it might be helpful to use treats to encourage wanted actions, but don’t overdo it. Diets spoil easily, and ultimately you want the dog to respond to verbal command and praise without food rewards. After the command-behavior pair becomes automatic, treats can be withdrawn.

Favorite toys are a good way to encourage certain tricks. Take a short rope the dog loves to play tug with and encourage a jump by moving it rapidly up and down, just out of reach. Then, after the command-behavior pair is established forgo the rope and just use your hand.

Hide-and-seek is another game easily taught using a favorite bone or chew ball. The dog’s sense of smell is keen not only close up but at surprising distances. Take advantage of it by hiding the toy under a box a few feet away, then lengthen the distance, remove the box to another room or place it up on a table. Proceed in stages.

Dogs’ affection is a useful trick training aid. Many spontaneously want to offer a paw to express themselves. Put the dog in a ‘sit’, then kneel down in front of him. Hold up your own ‘paw’ and give a command ‘five’ (for ‘high five’ or ‘give me five’ or ‘paw’, whatever works).

Sometimes the paw comes up right away, for others you may have to gently pull it up using the voice command at the same time. Praise anyway, once you’re in position. Put the paw back down and try again.

Extending tricks is easy, too. Start with one ‘high five’, then extend into ‘sit pretty’ by taking the paw and lifting gently. The other will often come up spontaneously. Hold both and praise and reward. When sitting at the desk and I want mine to sit pretty, I often pat my chest and up he comes followed by lavish praise.

Training tricks should be fun, both for you and the dog. Other training is for safety, control, discouraging property destruction, etc. Tricks are strictly to give you and your friend something to laugh about. Enjoy!

Aug 12

Dog Training – No, YOU Stay!

West Highland White Terrier

West Highland White Terrier

Dogs have a significant capacity for training their trainers. Apart from making us wave our hands and bark odd words, we regularly fetch treats and run after tennis balls. Not useful to us, but the dog enjoys it.

To put things back the way they’re meant to be, assert your alpha status. One of the foremost methods is a frequent use of ‘the stay’. Just what it sounds like, the stay requires the dog to remain stationary, in place, while you move about. Just the reverse of the usual situation in too many cases.

First, train the dog to ‘sit’ on command using the word and hand signals. I snap my fingers and simultaneously flip my extended index finger down at an angle to the ground. This gets the dog’s attention – without tying up my hands with a clicker – and shows the proper direction for the dog’s rear. It works surprisingly well.

Then with the pup, teen or mature dog in the sit, I thrust a hand in the dog’s direction palm first and fingers raised giving the voice command ‘stay!’. Not yelling, just distinct and audible over other noise and distractions. Hand movements should be precise and unique to a particular command/behavior.

Take one step back.

The dog will tend to follow, so repeat the hand gestures for sit and stay. If the dog fails to comply, take a treat or toy and move it over the dog’s head and slightly back of the eyes. Still visible, but in a direction that forces the chin up. Some dogs will rotate around. Repeat until you get the correct behavior then praise lavishly.

Now try again.

Once the dog will remain stationary after one step back, take two. Then four, then eight. Usually the further you are away the less control you have. The dog naturally wants to follow the alpha (leader).

One trick for overcoming this is to leash the dog on a collar and long leash or rope. Wrap the leash around a tree or post a few feet behind the dog and hold the leash as you face the dog. As the dog stands and steps forward, give a tug on the rope and issue the voice command and hand gesture. Don’t pull so hard as to unbalance the dog. You want to restrain not punish. A partner can be used instead of a tree, but dogs can become confused about whom to obey, making that a secondary choice.

Some dogs will tend to lie down during the exercise, especially as you back away a few feet. You may have to train an ‘up’-‘sit’ combination before mastering ‘stay’. Breeds and individuals will vary in how long – how many repetitions over how many days – it takes them to consistently obey, but almost all get it eventually.

After the stay has lasted a few seconds, issue ‘come’ with a unique tone and hand gesture. Make it something you can do precisely, but aren’t likely to do during normal activity. Command gestures should be unique and reserved for specific behaviors.

When the dog comes, praise lavishly and repeat the exercise, making the stay last longer as the dog learns. You’ll have succeeded completely when you can go back into the house and the dog will ‘stay’. Don’t forget to release him after a minute.

Of course, he’ll be expecting you to bring back treats and a tennis ball. Don’t disappoint.

Aug 03

Dog Training – No, YOU Down!

Blue-Eyed Husky Looking Up

Blue-Eyed Husky Looking Up

‘Nature to be commanded, must be obeyed’ said Francis Bacon. Nowhere more true than dog training. Dogs have a natural tendency to seek and adhere to a hierarchy with an alpha (leader) at the top on down to an omega at the bottom. ‘Down’ is one effective technique for enforcing your alpha status.

It also has practical benefits. When a dog is in the ‘down’ position, it isn’t knocking over the furniture or small children. It also leads naturally to subsequent behaviors such as ‘rollover’, ‘crawl’ and other keen tricks.

Fortunately, the behavior is usually very easy to train. Take advantage of spontaneous behavior whenever possible, by observing the dog and waiting for a movement from standing or sitting to down.

When you see it occurring, execute a unique voice command and hand gesture pair. Every behavior should be associated with a unique hand gesture, not used spontaneously during the day, as well as a clear, precise word and tone.

After the command when the behavior is complete, praise lavishly. At first, the dog will have no idea why it’s being praised. It doesn’t matter. With repetition the behavior will follow the command. It’s results you’re after.

Most dogs won’t perform the desired behavior on command the first few times. Be patient and clear and consistent. As with all training, minimize noise and movement distractions during the training session. Try to be alone with the dog as far from other voices as possible.

Encourage the behavior by taking a treat or favored toy and putting the dog in a ‘sit’, then move the treat or toy all the way to the ground just in front of the nose.

After several repetitions with the treat or toy, try just using a ‘waving down’ hand movement, palm toward the floor or ground. Never reward with praise or treat until the behavior is complete and correct, but also don’t become tense or angry after failure.

For the slow learner or assertive dog, it may be necessary to supplement training with a collar and leash. Use a short nylon or leather leash – two to four feet is best – and put the dog in a sit and kneel down facing him.

Make the hand gesture, issue the voice command and move a treat or toy from the dog’s chin to the ground while pulling gently on the leash. The goal is to encourage, not to punish.

In the really hard cases, kneel down and put the leash loop under one foot and slide it under the knee of the opposite leg, facing at a slight angle to the dog. Pull the leash loop with your foot, sliding it over your leg. Simultaneously, gently take both the dog’s forelegs and pull toward you, issuing the voice command.

When the dog is in position, praise lavishly even though you executed the movement not the dog. You want the dog to associate the position with good feelings – his and yours.

Patience and commitment to regular sessions is key to training any behavior.

Jul 27

Dog Training – No, YOU Come!

Two dogs playing with a ballDogs aren’t really stubborn. But they often don’t clearly know what’s wanted. Make it clear by quickly establishing alpha (dominant leader) status. Be willing to exercise the patience and modest, firm force to get the desired behavior. This can be particularly challenging when training a ‘come’.

Dogs naturally want to explore the environment. They sniff everything, turn things over, dig and snatch small objects. As with any training session, minimize the distractions by arranging to be as alone and far from other voices as possible. A backyard with a clear area or a large room with few small objects on the floor is best.

Take advantage of spontaneous behavior by observing when the dog is heading toward you and execute a voice-command/hand gesture pair that’s unique for this behavior. Try to select a hand-gesture and word that you wouldn’t normally use except during training.

Start by facing the dog, putting it in a sit. Execute the ‘stay!’ command, then back away a step or two. Issue the hand-gesture and voice command. Praise lavishly for the correct behavior, but never reward ‘partial’ or incorrect ones.

Repeat, stepping further away. If the the dog comes too soon, put it in a sit/stay and try again. If the dog won’t come at all, encourage with a treat or favorite toy.

For the slow learners or the, well let’s not say stubborn but just reluctant, leash and collar training can be a useful supplement. Put the dog in a sit/stay and back off a few feet reeling out the slack leash. If the dog refuses to come, give a gentle but unmistakable tug while executing the voice command and hand gesture.

For the dog who comes a little to readily, get a long leash or rope and wrap around a tree or post. As the dog lifts off too early, give the leash a tug and execute a ‘stay’ command. If you don’t have a tree handy, try to find a partner to help with the training. The downside to using a partner is the dog will more readily become confused about whom to obey. Focus on a single person is always more efficient.

As with any training, patience and consistency are essential. Dogs don’t spontaneously understand the usefulness of ‘come’ or any other human-induced behavior. Speaking harshly when the dog commits errors or is willful is usually counter-productive. Establish alpha status by firmness of voice, body posture and willingness to wait for compliance. Physical restraint or leading is a less helpful technique.

Most dogs quickly prove themselves eager to please and responsive to praise following the correct behavior. Just make sure they’re the ones ‘coming’, not you. If necessary, prove that you’re the stubborn one.

Jul 03

Dog Training – How To Stop Chewing

Badly Behaved DogA dog’s jaw muscles are among his strongest. An average-sized Golden Retriever can untie the knot in a rawhide bone (or just chew it off) in minutes. If only they’d stick to those!

The tendency to chew will vary from one breed – and one individual – to another. But most dogs will chew on objects in and around the house. Keeping them focused on objects intended for them is a continuing challenge.

Younger dogs, puppies in particular, will usually have a greater tendency to chew and less discrimination about what they choose. But even young puppies can be discouraged from grabbing things the owner would prefer to keep whole.

First, as always, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Keep shoes, laundry (socks, t-shirts, etc), where dogs can’t get them. Keep children’s toys separated from the dog’s. Which implies that the dog has some. So…

Keep plenty of attractive toys on hand, whether indoors or out, for Fido to chew on. Rawhide bones are attractive to some dogs, others prefer hard rubber or special plastic ‘dental’ bones. With some exceptions, real bones are usually not a good idea. Large beef bones are okay, but chicken and pork can easily splinter and lead to injury.

Fortunately, all kinds of special toys are available. Some even have hollow interiors suitable for holding treats. The dog usually has to struggle a bit to get at the treat in the center. That’s the whole idea. It keeps them occupied and gives them a good mental and physical workout striving to access the reward.

A sharp tone or a mild tap for grabbing an unsuitable object, such as a shoe or sock, is useful and appropriate. Yelling or harsh physical punishment is counter-productive. It’s better for both dog and ‘alpha’ (the leader of the pack – you) to vent that frustration elsewhere. Easier said than done the tenth time you’ve scolded the dog, but necessary for the mental well-being of both parties.

To practice developing specific habits, take some time (daily, if necessary and possible) to leash the dog and present an inappropriate object. If the dog moves toward it, jerk the leash sideways quickly and firmly and give a loud ‘No!’.

Be sure to jerk sideways, not back. A dog’s neck muscles are very strong, but throats can be too easily bruised. The movement is to inform, not to punish.

Outside, if the dog has a tendency to chew on plants, fences, etc, you can take advantage of some commercial mixtures or home recipes to discourage the behavior. A little cayenne pepper paste smeared on the leaves of ‘attractive’ plants can often eliminate chewing in one lesson. Some commercial preparations contain ‘bitter apple’, which discourages some dogs.

As with any dog training, patience, persistence and consistency are the keys to success. Suppressing chewing is often one of the more challenging since you’re training the dog to NOT do something, rather than to DO something.

Redirection to acceptable objects is your best bet, since you can’t eliminate the instinct. Stay alert and keep a cool head. Even when they’ve just chewed a hole in that new carpet. That’s expensive and annoying, but carpet can be replaced. Your relationship with your pet can’t.

Jun 29

How NOT To Train Your Dog

Treat time, dog trainingMost dog owners sincerely want to train their dog well. But an almost equal number will underestimate the time and effort it takes to do so. The result is frequently a common set of mistakes that can be, with more or less effort, avoided.

Dogs are not furry children. Though the average mature dog has a mental development somewhere around the level of a human two year old, there are more differences than there are similarities. Dogs can be amazing at processing language. But they don’t reason the way humans do. They don’t connect cause and effect in the same way.

As a result, it can be frustrating to repeat the same command over and over, only to have the dog apparently ignore you. Most times, they are not ignoring the command as much as failing to understand it. It seems it should be obvious – they’ve done the behavior successfully many times before – but today they are just ‘being stubborn’.

Some dogs probably are what would, in humans, be called stubborn. But they can be easily distracted, or fail to connect today’s instance of ‘come’ with yesterday’s behavior and subsequent reward. There are alternative explanations for their behavior.

Patience is the number one needed quality, therefore. You have to be prepared to repeat the same command, day in and day out, and sometimes not get the same result. Many dogs take two years to learn anything beyond the simplest basics to the point that it consistently sticks.

Part of that patience means keeping your temper when you want to lash out physically. It’s easy to take physical punishment as the first route of correcting a dog’s behavior. But that’s reserved in the wild for only the most severe circumstances. So, the dog hasn’t evolved to understand why you’re hitting them. It instills fear, not trust.

Dogs, like humans, much more readily follow those they trust than those they fear. The latter they do only when they have no choice. But dogs make choices very differently from people. They will often just endure the punishment without learning anything. Physical punishment simply isn’t an effective training method.

So, here’s how NOT to train your dog:

– Forget that your dog has a nature different from yours. Talk to them like they were human.

– Believe that the dog can connect events across time and circumstances, then draw the same conclusion you would.

– Get impatient and frustrated when they don’t behave as you want them to. Punish them for not behaving the way you want.

Follow those useless methods and you’ll reap the reward of a maladjusted dog and an unhappy owner. But if those are not the results you seek, be prepared to change YOUR behavior, before you try to change the dog’s.

Jun 18

Dog Training – Housebreaking Your Puppy

Golden Retriever puppy

Golden Retriever puppy

No training is more basic for pet owners than that first important lesson: Do it outside!

Teaching your pet to eliminate outside the home, not in it, usually starts between six and eight weeks of age. Dogs as young as four weeks have been started on the program, but at that age few have the muscular control to succeed.

Like any dog training regimen, trainer patience is as important as the dog’s temperament. ‘Sit’, ‘stay’ and other behaviors can often be learned in a few days. ‘Potty’ training typically takes weeks – sometimes as short as two, often a month or more.

As with other learned behaviors, it helps to watch for signs of the desired actions and enforce and direct them with a voice command followed by praise. In this case that technique works even more to the trainer’s advantage, since all dogs will naturally eliminate. The trick is to get them to do it when and where you want!

Watch for circling or squatting, then pick up the pup, say ‘outside’ and dash outside. The puppy may circle some more, but will often squat immediately. As it begins, say ‘Go potty’ (or some other unique phrase) in a clear, firm (but not angry) voice. Wait until it’s finished and praise lavishly.

You won’t always be able to catch the puppy about to begin, but don’t become angry or impatient when the dog eliminates indoors. It takes time for the dog to learn to tell you it’s time to ‘go outside’. It also takes time for the muscles needed to control bladder and bowels to develop.

Young dogs need to eliminate every 2-3 hours, on average. If you haven’t spotted pre-elimination behavior within that time, take the dog outside anyway. Issue the command ‘Go potty’ and wait. At first, usually, the dog will have no clue what you want.

Again, even when outside, it helps to wait and watch for the desired behavior then issue the command. That helps the dog associate the command with the behavior. If the dog hasn’t gone after a few minutes and a few ‘Go potty’ commands, take it back inside for an hour. Of course, if you spot the pre-elimination behavior in less time, go outside again immediately.

Dogs have a surprising ability to quickly learn what their ‘alpha’ (the leader of the pack) wants. This is almost always accomplished by associating a verbal command with behavior, followed by praise. Punishment is usually counter-productive, and nowhere more so than in waste elimination training. Never rub a dog’s nose in waste.

Paper and/or crate training is preferred by some. A pup can be trained to go on a newspaper, or on one of the chemically treated pads designed for the purpose. Some small breeds that live all day in the home may not need to go outside at all.

The technique has a couple of downsides however. Unlike cats, dogs will rarely go in a perfumed litter box. Newspapers (even with the top layer removed after the dog goes) will eventually create an unpleasant smell in the house.

Also, long before the odor becomes unattractive to humans, dogs can smell their own distinctive aroma. They don’t find it unattractive – quite the opposite. And that’s the problem.

Dogs that are paper trained will often prefer to eliminate indoors. Sometimes they’ll miss the paper by only an inch, creating a mess to clean up.

Once the odor is in the carpet, the dog will often seek that spot out as its proper ‘place to go’. This makes training the dog to eliminate outside even more difficult. Best to suffer a few accidents than to create a hard-to-overcome habit.

Patience, praise and consistency are the keys to any dog training. Elimination training is the first test for you and your dog.

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