The dogma of Crate Training

Having a dog accustomed to a crate can be helpful in many situations. However, some people feel it is unfair to the dog and are concerned about this type of confinement. A crate can become a dog’s safe place and becomes a critical part of many behaviour problem solving plans. Below are some reasons to crate train your dog: Read more

The dogma of Socialization: Part One

“I have been reminded a few times already today of the importance of socialization for puppies as well as how many owners do not understand how critical this is for young dogs. I believe that socialization needs to continue throughout a dog’s life and the ideas really are endless. Part 1 is from a handout for our puppy students, so it is rather brief. We will discuss socialization in more detail in further posts.” Read more

The dogma of House Training

The key to effective house training is supervision, prevention and feeding schedules. As your puppy gets older, they will be better able to control their bladder and will be able to hold it for longer. Allow your puppy do this on their own time because if training is rushed, problems may develop. Most puppies are not reliably house trained until they are at least 6 months old. Read more

The dogma of Digging

Spring is upon us and with the disappearance of winter comes the emergence of long buried smells, insects, and new growth. Most dogs love this time of year for exploring, sniffing, and tearing up the earth. Digging can be a frustrating behaviour for dog owners and one that many dogs love to do! Much like chewing, it is a natural behaviour for dogs and a great stress relief for them. There are many reasons why a dog may dig – it could be because they are bored or feeling anxiety, trying to escape, or even to cool down. Read more

The dogma of Manners: Jumping

Many dog owners face the challenge of training their dog not to jump on people. It can be frustrating and embarrassing and we often unintentionally reward this behaviour. Whether it is the first time we bring our sweet puppy home and give them cuddles while they jump up on us, or even if we say “No!” and push them down, dogs learn that jumping up works to get our attention. Below are some ideas to help teach your dog appropriate ways to greet people. Read more

The dogma of Handling

One of the most important skills I have with my dogs is how they accept handling and the calming effect it has on them. I feel that this is a critical thing to work on with dogs, and in my experience, see that most dog owner’s and people who interact with dogs, unknowingly encourage the opposite. Every dog should be taught to calmly accept handling and to enjoy it, and the benefits are endless. Some of the main reasons why dogma focuses on this is because: Read more

The dogma of Dog Training: Introduction to Positive Training

Reward Based Training

At dogma, our approach to training is reward based. You may have heard this referred to as positive reinforcement training. The basic concept is that dogs learn primarily through association. So this means that if you reward them for a behaviour, they will perform this behaviour more.  Rewards can be anything and everything that your dog perceives as a positive. This includes food, toys, walks, getting to go through a door, your attention and affection, the opportunity to play with another dog or interact with a person, sniffing the ‘pee mail’ spot on a walk, and many more. We are in control of all of these resources, and if we use them as motivation for our dogs and make them work for all of them, training becomes an easy part of every day life. Read more