Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Crufts Hotel Deal 2014

Crufts Hotel 2014 

We would love to invite all those who are dog lovers to attend the world famous dog show Crufts and stay with us near the NEC. Crufts Dog Show is Thursday the 6th to Sunday the 9th of March 2014 inclusive. 

Fantastic demonstrations and competitions of all the major dog sports including all the finals for heelwork to music, agility and obedience. Of course there is also halls and halls of shopping plus discover dogs too. 

The Rates shown are per room and include a three course evening meal and full english and continental breakfast at the Holiday Inn Coventry. It is a fantastic deal and represents excellent value at greatly reduced prices. The hotel also has bar facilities, a swimming pool with steam room, sauna and Jacuzzi and a gym all inclusive in the room rates. 

If you are competing at Crufts dogs are also welcome in the hotel for a small fee of £15 per stay. 

Please remember you cannot take your own dogs to Crufts unless they have qualified to take part. 

The Rates Are: 

For a Double or Twin Room 
Mon to Thurs = £95 per night,
Fri/Sat/Sun = £80 per night 

For Single Occupancy 
Mon to Thurs =£80 per night, 
Fri/Sat/Sun = £65 per night 

For a Triple Room 
Mon to Thurs = £105 per night, 
Fri/Sat/Sun = £90 per night 

If you would like to book a room at the hotel please let me know by the 1st of September 2013 latest – a £10 non refundable deposit is required per room per night by that date. The Balance must be paid before on by the 1st of January 2014. My phone number for any questions or to book is 07958522732 or email miranda@sussexcountydogtraining.co.uk 

Would be great to have you there, Miranda. x

Attacking The Vacuum Cleaner??

Improving your dogs behavior around the vacuum cleaner.

First Thing, keep taking him out if you need to hoover unless you are training him (popping the dog in the car also tends to work). The more he growls and barks at the hoover the more ingrained the habit becomes and the more he will hate the hoover. 

Stage One:

Have the hoover off and still and simply treat him for looking at it or touching it but this should be done under his free will and the treats thrown away from the hoover. 
You can mark him looking at the hoover with "yes" or with a click (using a clicker - if ned be we can show you these stages in a one to one) 
When he is comfortable with the hoover in the room and is not jumping or avoiding it you can move on to stage two.

Stage Two:

Put the hoover in the furthest room from where you are training and turn it on. Shut all the doors so the sound is muffled. Mark each time he looks towards where the noise is coming from with a "yes"
When he seems very happy and comfortable you change the room where the sound is coming from and repeat. Remember you do not want him to see the hoover, even when you are moving it from room to room. 

Stage Three: 

Open the door to the furthest room and have the hoover on, same method reward him for looking but throw the treat away from where the hoover is (this needs to be the biggest distance in your house. You may also want to do these exercises on lead to prevent him rushing at the hoover. If at any stage he barks, growls or lunges however you have moved through the stages too quick. Don't forget to use amazing AAA+++ treats only the best will do and human food is normally the best!! 

Stage Four: 

Advance the game “look at the hoover” you are trying to get him closer and closer to the stationary but turned on hoover but without him showing any signs of stress or worry. It should be a game and he should be happy at all stages.  

Stage Five:

Now move him right away from the Hoover and turn it off, have some one else move it as if very very slowly hoovering and repeat the look at the hoover eat a treat game. Slowly move closer again. 

Stage Six:

Build up the speed of the turned off hoover until he will tolerate it being moved about in a normal hoovering fashion.

Stage Seven:

More right away again but now turn it on - repeat all the above steps. 

Stage Eight:

Now he should feel much better about the hoover but as a rule always pop him in another room with a lovely chew or bone to eat when you are hoovering. He is obviously frightened of it and whilst he should now feel better why make him tolerate something which he is so uncomfortable about? 

This should take about a month to achieve with very short daily sessions :) 

If you would like a one to one to combat this however please don't hesitate to ask. 

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Why don't clients see improvements with behavioural modification plans?

There is a common statement that clients will often make in their first consultation or I will over hear at shows, in pet shops and at the park etc that "nothing has worked for their dog". That their behaviour could not be changed or that the training they were given was incorrect, of a low standard, their dog is too naughty or doesn't listen.

Whilst there are some behaviours that are very hard to change, all behaviours can be altered in some way to some extent. These changes are very possible but they require a few things from the people training them.

  • A desire to change the behaviour in their dog that is strong enough that they will change their own lifestyle and routines and of course the ability for the owner to do this. 
  • A dedication to changing the behaviour that will last as long as the dog lives.
  • Hard work and practise.  

Whenever you try to change behaviour it takes time, regular practise and the dedication to keep practising for as long as it takes. In some cases this will be forever.

Having recently embarked on training my dog a new discipline that I have never before attempted and also making the decision that in order to do this I will need to get fit it has really been made clear to me why so many people fail to change their dogs behaviours to the extent they desire.

Training to get fit takes real dedication, committing to regular exercise, forever. Pushing yourself harder and possibly changing your routines and diet to fit with your new way of life. Without this you will not get fit, or you will get a degree of fitness but not what you could ultimately achieve. Of course there is also the fact that if you stop training you will again become unfit.

Training a dog to perform the required behaviours really well also takes all these things. The bigger change you require the more dedication it will take. The things that are required are:

  • Real dedication to run through training exercises and situational training every day. 
  • To train in alternative and new behaviour that is incompatible with the behaviour you want to change or stop. To keep that behaviour strong by practising it every day.
  • To proof the new behaviours so the dog will do them regardless of how hard the situation they find themselves in or what ever distractions are thrown at them.  
  • To be ready change personal routines and those of your dog, your expectations for your life with the dog (i.e. that it wont be the easy ride you had anticipated), to realise that the changes you make and the training you commit to will be life long.
In short many people do not or cannot dedicate enough resources to altering their dogs behaviours and thus do not make the improvements they seek. Whilst the right advice and coaching cannot be ignored, it is only effective if the advice and techniques are followed and more importantly practised. 

A great trainer will guide a client through these processes, explaining what is required, talking about how to make changes, what solutions are possible. Teach the client how to train the dog so they can practise, teach the client coping mechanisms for when things don't go to plan. Showing the client how to build on successes and improve the behaviour all the time till the client feels safe, happy and in control.  Make sure they motivate and inspire their clients to keep going because the persistence of trying with the right techniques and support is essential. 

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Don't Jump on My Guests or Me!

Teaching your dog not to jump up is about being consistent. I regularly see people telling their dogs to get off or down - the main problem is that this gives the dog attention every-time they jump - reinforcing the behaviour. Ignoring jumping can be really difficult as jumping up often hurts or can really knock the person the dog is jumping at.

DID YOU KNOW? - If you randomly reward a behaviour it becomes stronger than if you reward it all the time. Thats why jumping up, counter surfing and begging are so hard to break ... someone in the dogs life is 'sometimes' rewarding the behaviour. Thus randomly rewarding it - making it stronger still.

In this Video Emily Larlham shows you how to train the dog not to jump in the first place by rewarding the dog quickly and regularly for having four feet on the floor. She also puts the treat on the floor to stop the dog looking up for the reward.

Pay attention to the need to reward BEFORE the dog has jumped. This means you always need to be prepared whist teaching it, have treats ready in places around the house, by the front door inside and out, and always on your person when out and about. Remember keep some rewards up occasionally once trained (thus randomly rewarding this new feet on the floor behaviour, making it stronger!!).

When you don't have time or effort to train the dog don't allow them to jump at people by having them on the lead and standing far enough away your dog cannot make contact with people should he jump. Make sure people do not speak to him if he is leaping about on the lead. You can also put him in his crate or another room or garden if you have people round and you don't feel like training him the whole time. Sometimes you will also have guests of a certain type and it is not appropriate to train the dog with them there.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Puppy Biting - Ian Dumbar

Puppy Biting is Normal, Natural, and Necessary!

Puppy biting seldom causes appreciable harm, but many bites are quite painful and elicit an appropriate reaction—a yelp and a pause in an otherwise extremely enjoyable play session. Thus, your puppy learns that his sharp teeth and weak jaws can hurt. Since your puppy enjoys play-fighting, he will begin to inhibit the force of his biting to keep the game going. Thus your puppy will learn to play-bite gently before he acquires the formidable teeth and strong jaws of an adolescent dog.

Forbidding a young puppy from biting altogether may offer immediate and temporary relief, but it is potentially dangerous because your puppy will not learn that his jaws can inflict pain. Consequently, if ever provoked or frightened as an adult, the resultant bite is likely to be painful and cause serious injury.
Certainly, puppy play-biting must be controlled, but only in a progressive and systematic manner. The puppy must be taught to inhibit the force of his bites, before puppy biting is forbidden altogether. Once your puppy has developed a soft mouth, there is plenty of time to inhibit the frequency of his now gentler mouthing.

Teaching your puppy to inhibit the force of his bites is a two-step process: first, teach the pup not to hurt you; and second, teach your pup not to exert any pressure at all when biting. Thus the puppy's biting will become gentle mouthing.

Puppies bite. And thank goodness they do! Puppy play-fighting and play-biting are essential for your puppy to develop a soft mouth as an adult.

Teaching your puppy to inhibit the frequency of his mouthing is a two-step process: first, teach your puppy that whereas mouthing is OK, he must stop when requested; and second, teach your pup never to initiate mouthing unless requested.

No Pain

It is not necessary to hurt or frighten your pup to teach her that biting hurts. A simple "Ouch!" is sufficient. If your pup acknowledges your "ouch" and stops biting, praise her, lure her to sit (to reaffirm that you are in control), reward her with a liver treat, and then resume playing. If your pup ignores the "ouch" and continues biting, yelp "Owwwww!" and leave the room. Your puppy has lost her playmate. Return after a 30-second time-out and make up by lure-rewarding your puppy to come, sit, lie down, and calm down, before resuming play.

Do not attempt to take hold of your pup’s collar, or carry her to confinement; you are out of control and she will probably bite you again. Consequently, play with your puppy in a room where it is safe to leave her if she does not respond to your yelp. If she ignores you, she loses her playmate.

No Pressure

Once your pup's biting no longer hurts, still pretend that it does. Greet harder nips with a yelp of pseudo-pain. Your puppy will soon get the idea: "Whooahh! These humans are soooo super- sensitive. I'll have to be much gentler when I bite them." The pressure of your puppy's bites will progressively decrease until play-biting becomes play-mouthing.
Never allow your puppy to mouth human hair or clothing. Hair and clothing cannot feel. Allowing a puppy to mouth hair, scarves, shoelaces, trouser legs, or gloved hands, inadvertently trains the puppy to bite harder, extremely close to human flesh!

Should a dog ever bite as an adult, both the prognosis for rehabilitation and the fate of the dog are almost always decided by the severity of the injury, which is predetermined by the level of bite inhibition the dog acquired during puppyhood. The most important survival lesson for a puppy is to learn bites cause pain! Your puppy can only learn this lesson if he is allowed to play-bite other puppies and people, and if he receives appropriate feedback.

For more detailed information about bite-inhibition exercises, read our Preventing Aggression booklet and watch the SIRIUS Puppy Training and Biting DVDs. Both are available on-line from www.amazon.com. If you feel you are having any difficulty whatsoever teaching your puppy to play-bite gently, seek help immediately. To locate a Certified Pet Dog Trainer (CPDT) in your area, contact the Association of Pet Dog Trainers at 1-800 PET DOGS or www.apdt.com. 

Puppy Biting - Emily Larlham

This video is on how to stop your puppy biting you. 

The technique of clicking the absence of biting was shown to Emily by her mentor Kyle Rayon, who is one of the most amazing and innovative trainers, though she is very modest!

Dogs use their mouths to interact with their environment, so it is normal for a puppy to want to bite your hands or clothes. However in our society it is highly inappropriate. To train a puppy to stop using their mouth when interacting with humans is simple. All you have to do is set up training scenarios where your puppy would normally start biting and train an alternate response- calmly sitting, lying down, standing, or walking with a closed mouth. First you would start with the least arousing game- so simply just a reaching hand. As you reach, click or say "yes" and then feed a treat. As the puppy is successful you can progress to more and more arousing stimulus.

You should not allow your dog to be man handled or petted roughly. Petting should not only be rewarding for the human but for the dog as well. However at some point in your dogs life, someone might get to your dog before you can stop them and be overly rough. You can prepare your dog for these situations by playing training games. But when these situations do occur in real life, respect your dog, and get them out of the stressful situation. Do practice handling exercises for grooming as well as vet visits regularly...


These exercises should only be done by ADULTS. As children can actually TEACH dogs to find mouthing and biting fun.

If you want to work with your child as the distraction, have your puppy with you on leash while you control all interactions. Making sure to end the game if the puppy is getting too aroused. 

(Once your puppy is good at these games you can also teach your child how to appropriately interact with your dog under your supervision. Miranda)

Put your puppy on leash and tether him to a door so that you can escape him if you make a mistake by progressing too quickly and elicit mouthing.

If your puppy starts mouthing you during the training games it means you have gone too far too quickly- go back a step and make the game easier.

Make sure your puppy can always back away from you, so they don't feel trapped or forced when being handled. This is because they could start learning to bite out of fear or stress.

If you have an adult dog or adolescent dog that is mouthy watch my Handling Shyness video.

If you must rough house with your dog- have a structured game where you hold a toy in each hand that the dog can bite. Never allow your dog to bite your hands when playing. If you feel teeth the game ends. Always have a cue to start and end the game, and never reinforce the dog for starting the game on his own.

Travelling With Your Dog in A Car

Dogs traveling in cars

Travelling with your dog usually involves more than putting the them in a car and driving off, especially if you will be driving long distances or be away for a long time.
If your pet is not accustomed to the car, take it for a few short rides before the trip. This can help keep your pet from becoming nervous or agitated, and may lessen the effects of motion sickness. If, after a number of practice trips, your pet continues to cry excessively or becomes sick please contact Miranda or Jeff. 
Buckling up is an important safety precaution for your pet. Restraints have several advantages. They help protect pets in case of a crash, and they keep pets from running loose and distracting the driver. They also keep pets from escaping the car through an open window or door. Cats and smaller dogs are often most comfortable in crates or carriers, which can be purchased in various sizes. Crates give many dogs a sense of security and familiar surroundings, and can be secured to the car seat with a seat belt or a specially designed carrier restraint. There are also dogs restraints available that can be used without carriers, including harnesses, seat belt attachments and vehicle barriers. No matter what kind of restraint you use, be sure that it does not permit your pet's head to extend outside the car window. If pets ride with their heads outside the car, particles of dirt can penetrate the eyes, ears, and nose, causing injury or infections. Excessive amounts of cold air taken into lungs can also cause illness.
While packing for your trip, remember to throw in a few of your pet's favourite toys, food and water bowls, a leash, and food. You should also carry a first aid kit for your pet and know basic pet first aid. If your pet is on medication, be sure to have plenty for the trip, and then some.
Stick to your regular feeding routine while travelling, and give your pet its main meal at the end of the day or when you've reached your destination. It will be more convenient to feed dry food if your pet is used to it. Dispose of unused canned food unless it can be refrigerated. Take along a plastic jug of cold water to avoid possible stomach upset the first day, as new areas can have minerals or bacteria in their water supply that pets need time to adjust to. Give your pet small portions of both food and water and plan to stop every two hours for exercise/loo trips.
Remember that your vet is a good source of information about what your pet will need when travelling. Consider having your pet examined before you leave as well, to check for any developing problems. Have your current vet's phone number handy in case of an emergency. Also, be sure to travel with a copy of your pet's medical records, especially if the animal has a difficult medical history.
Find hotels, bed and breakfasts, and campsites that accept animals and book them ahead of time. Learn more about the area you will be visiting. Your vet can tell you if there are any diseases like heartworm or Lyme disease and vaccinations or medications your pets may require. If travelling outside of the UK your pet may require a pet passport. A health examination following your trip should be considered to determine if any internal parasites (roundworms, hookworms, heartworms) or external parasites (ticks, fleas) were picked up in contaminated exercise or wooded areas.
To avoid losing your pet during a trip, make sure your pet is wearing an i.d. tag. To be doubly protected, consider having your pet tattooed or having a microchip implanted.