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Tips & Tricks Training

5 tips for walking on a lax leash

Do you also dream of a relaxing walk with your dog? Walks are supposed to be relaxing for the dog and owner, but when the dog rushes through the front door with a tight leash, the relaxation is often gone. The good thing is that there is another way! We at Pupy have 5 tips for you to help you bring more relaxation and peace into your walk as soon as you leave the front door.

1. Leashing

This is usually where the first stress arises for the dog and owner. To prevent this from happening, you can combine every leashing, whether at home or out and about, with a ritual. Give your dog a familiar command, e.g. sit or down, before you put the collar and leash on. You can then reward your dog with a treat or verbal praise. The ritual must take place calmly. If your dog is generally restless before the walk, you can use a calming ritual or a conditioned relaxation signal.

2. the safe haven

Some dogs pull on the leash to avoid an uncomfortable or threatening situation. Pay attention to your dog’s body language and keep your dog on a leash during dog encounters, always on the side away from the other dog. You can also reassure your dog in scary situations by putting your dog between your legs or standing in front of them.

3. casual and training mode

It’s not easy for any dog owner to always stay in training mode and work on leash handling. That’s why it’s a good idea to introduce a ritual that signals to your dog that the dog is now allowed to pull a little, or that a little tension on the leash is okay. To do this, you can put a harness on your dog and switch from the collar to the harness. Harnesses are designed to allow a dog to pull something, e.g. a sled or other load. Of course, there are rules here too, because you shouldn’t let your dog pull you around either. The harness should only allow you to be a little more inconsistent when you don’t have time or don’t feel like training – it’s your casual mode!

4. mood and posture

The leash is a positive thing and you should treat it as such. Dogs can perceive and mirror our emotional world through mood transmission. Therefore, it is extremely important to remain relaxed and calm when walking our dog. If you pull on the leash during a dog encounter, your dog may take this as a sign to start moving forward.

5. patience

Dogs are not born to walk beside their humans. Especially in the first year of life, there are so many new things for our dogs to discover. Therefore, any obedience training requires your patience. It is not about reaching the goal as quickly as possible, but about building a harmonious relationship with your dog in the long term. So practice patience and don’t be disappointed if things slow down during training. Sometimes it helps to take a short break so that you can relax and continue with the training again!

You can use our Pupy app to remind you of your training sessions. Daily tips and other expert articles will help you and your dog achieve your goals in the long run. Download the Pupy App today and start your first training session right now!

Categories
Tips & Tricks Training

What is Trickdogging?

A dog that can moonwalk, skateboard or do a handstand? These are all tricks that trick doggers engage in, among other things. Trickdogging is about teaching your dog various tricks, for example doing a manikin or a roll up to cleaning out he laundry and bringing in socks. After all, who hasn’t dreamed of their dog running the household and having fun at the same time? Regardless of whether the tricks are only practised in private or if the goal is perhaps to appear on a big stage or on television one day, trick dogging offers both dog and human many advantages.

Above all, it promotes bonding and trust. The dog’s self-confidence also increases and the dog becomes more balanced and attentive. At the same time, a dog that has been exercised to the full is usually much better behaved. Working for food or toys is a good way to reward your dog, it keeps the dog happy and can prevent behavioural problems. But apart from that, it is simply a lot of fun for both dog and human, and that is the main focus of trickdogging at all times.

Every dog can learn tricks

Trickdogging is suitable for any dog, can be done anywhere and apart from treats you don’t need anything else, although a clicker can be very helpful.

The clicker tells the dog that his behaviour was correct and that he will get a reward for it. In this way, exact reinforcement is possible. To condition your dog to the clicker, have your dog sit in front of you. Then you click and immediately give your dog a treat. Repeat this several times. To check whether your dog has understood the principle, you can click when he is slightly distracted. If your dog looks at you after the click, he has understood the link. Instead of a clicker, you can also use a marker signal, a word that you say instead of the clicker sound.

Training through positive reinforcement

In trickdogging, training is done through operant conditioning with positive reinforcement. This means that for every correct behaviour you give a treat, everything else is ignored. It is important that you build up each trick in small steps and only increase the demands when your dog can do the step safely.

Getting the desired behaviour

There are several ways to get your dog to perform a certain behaviour, which I would like to explain briefly. Capturing is when you capture spontaneous behaviour and reward it, for example when your dog shakes. With shaping, you reward the preliminary stages of the finished behaviour and thus keep moving forward. A special form of shaping is the so-called free shaping. The dog is not given any instructions on what to do and tries to get closer to the target behaviour by offering it. For example, if I want my dog to touch an object with a paw, I first reward every movement in the direction of the object, then movements with the paw towards the object and then the touching. The use of a clicker is particularly recommended here. Another variation is luring, but you have to be careful that the lure is released early enough. Furthermore, you can build up behaviour with targets or with the imitation method “Do As I Do” by Claudia Fugazza.

Attention!

During training it can always happen that your dog does not immediately understand what you want from him. The following behaviours show that your dog is overwhelmed: ears flattened, ears turned back, yawning, licking over the nose, stretching and stretching or shaking.

If you observe one or more of these behaviours, you should take a step back in the training, reduce the distraction, take a break, practice another trick or control the exercise set-up.

Designing the exercise

As a beginner, you should only practice with your dog for a few minutes at a time. If you are a bit more experienced, the training sessions can be longer, but should not exceed 20-30 minutes. Ideally, you should end the session before your dog loses interest.

Training tricks in different life situations

Adult, healthy dogs can practise and perform all tricks that are appropriate to their level of ability and physical condition. Very big and heavy dogs and dogs with long backs should not jump for example.

You can also start trick training with puppies, but no jumps or tricks that put a lot of strain on the musculoskeletal system should be practised. The puppy period is suitable for learning the basics, not only of the dog ABC, but also of trick training. Conditioning on the clicker, target training and introduction to free shaping or Do As I Do are also suitable for puppies. For senior dogs, if in doubt, the tricks should be discussed with the vet or physiotherapist. In general, older dogs can do all the tricks they like to do as well as tricks that are not very physically demanding or have a risk of injury. Paw tricks, looking for and bringing objects, slalom through legs or rolling out carpet are also fun for older dogs.

The first tricks

These tricks are especially good for the beginning.

  • Give paw
  • Twist
  • Slalom through the legs

If you’ve got trick fever now, then…

… download Pupy App and start with the first trick right away, order our book: “Hundetricks mit Nala: Vom Stra├čenhund zum Fernsehstar” by Frederike Spyrka