Review of Light of the Dog Online Class


A few months ago I wrote about the alternatives to standard in person obedience classes….including the online class offered by Light of the Dog. Since that post, I have enrolled in two of their classes and here is review of the basic obedience class. Continue reading


Free dog training video tips

Although I am a huge fan of dog training books, sometimes it can be more helpful to see a technique in practice rather than just using your imagination.

Here are a couple of videos from The Dog Mentalist (dog trainer) that could help you tackle some common issues owners face…
Dogs rushing to the door and barking when someone arrives?

Does your dog pull on the leash when walking?

When school is out…Dog Training Alternatives

Photo: andreaarden
Photo: andreaarden

Group classes can be great when you want to work on commands with distractions or want some in real time tips/corrections for you and your dog. But what happens if for some reason you can’t afford it (since many classes are over $100), you don’t have access to good trainers, or just don’t want to go to a group class (and private lessons aren’t an option). What are the alternatives? Continue reading

NILF method of training dogs?

Like a lot of things…there are many different philosophies when it comes to training dogs. One method that I’ve noticed is really popular among dog owners is often referred to as the NILF (Nothing In Life Is Free) method. Interestingly, I don’t think that the majority of dog owners actually use this method (rather than the Premack method). The NILF method involves having the dog understand that you control everything and therefore if the dog wants something then need to do something for you first. In theory, it doesn’t seem so horrible. After all, it’s not bad to expect a dog to sit quietly when you’re putting their leash on or putting out their food. The problem is if you basically expect your dog’s every wish and movement to be dictated by you (this may seem crazy but this is essentially what pure NILF expects). I’m more of a middle road (or Premack) believer…I think some good “manners” should be expected for somethings but other times it’s better to let a dog be free do what it feels like (eg. sniff around the backyard). Here are some interesting articles on the NILF debate.

Summer Reading Part Two…Training and Behavior

Photo: kke227
Photo: kke227

Last time I talked about books that can help you to entertain your pets…today I’ll be looking at some books to help you train and understand your dog’s behavior better.

There are two ebooks I really found helpful from Andrea Lambeth-Dugan (infinite journey dog training). I was searching for some good online training videos or books when I came across her website. I like the fact she incorporates an understanding of the environment (ie. what could be influencing/distracting your dog) into her training. The first ebook I read was the The Cycle of Dog Training. It covers why other methods may not work (eg. lure training)and how to ensure a command is “proofed” so your dog will respond to it anywhere and includes a sample 5 week training program for your dog.

Since I am interested in tracking but didn’t really know where to start, I also bought her ebook Sniff, Sniff, Found It! (TD/ TDX Training). It has good explainations of how to consider the weather/environment/etc when tracking, how to actually begin training your dog to track, how to keep good training notes, how to lay a track and more. In my opinion, this is a great read for anyone who is new to tracking. Both ebooks are available on her website ($7.50 and $6.50 respectively). Continue reading