Back to School Contest

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Fall is in the air!  We’re giving away a great IQ game for back to school.  Tell us in the comments below what you would do with your dog differently if you could go ‘back’ to school?

I would have weaned Nova off of treats at a much younger age, and made tugging her primary reinforcement. I think this would have helped with her later behavioral issues massively.

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49 Comments on “Back to School Contest

  1. I would have found a positive trainer for my deaf border collie to help me work on his fear-aggression and socialization issues before they started getting worse and worse.

  2. I would have taught my 13 yr old mix girl to offer me behaviors through shaping and clicker training. She’s learning through shaping now…and she’s a perfect example that you CAN teach and old dog new tricks 🙂

  3. My Jack Russel Chainsaw just turned three! We Just got out of open and to exallant A!!! I am 12 and LOVE doing agility! O ya Chainsaw is not mean I got the name from an old disney movie. WAIT not The Chainsaw Masicare. From Charlie the Lonesom Couger. We do realy good I think. He was jumping 12 inch and I will tell ya those jumps are way bigger than him!! So I decided to put him on a died FINALY we got down to 8!! He runs sooo fast! I think we can go far if he well keep the bars up!!! We are going to a show comeing up! We have been working on the A-frame a little bit more. He comes down like a slug!! He has learned to realy read my body! He saves me from the wroung obsticle all the time!!! One day I will have veislas and and more jacks. The weired thing about Chaunsaw is he would rather sleep ALL DAY!! I guss he is not like his relitives at all!! Hope we can get a mach one day!!

  4. Would have definitely done more tug training. Tugging is a reward that can be used at any time, with any object, and is immediate reinforcement. Food is good,,, tugging is great.

  5. I would have reinforced the sit and wait more strongly as we are now having problems with the obedience recall exercise for our CD work.

  6. I would have worked harder at building my dogs self confidence. He has only been trained by positive reinforcement with clicker training and using shaping but that wasn’t enough. I would have been doing more agility and rally obedience which has seemed to help a lot with his confidence.

  7. I would have done more attention work with Beezer. Once I get his attention its all good but getting it takes a little work.

  8. If I knew we were going to a class again, instead of pushing off some practicing with the few things I have made, I’d practice with her much more & not give up so readily.

    If only they could make a treat that was like a chipmunk (she’s good at hunting them) I could make her do all of it really easily! Even better, how about someone making something that’s like a chipmunk lead her through the course?! Speed would definitely NOT be a problem 🙂

    Win an IQ game? My dog can take out any treat in a Kong toy or Cube within minutes! I bet, as soon as she sees how these things work, she’ll do the same with these toys. I need to find something that’ll keep her occupied for much longer!

  9. I would have worked more on foundation skills while a small pup when they are so much like a sponge soaking up everything. Also wished I’d let him worked away from me more to build his confidence. He’s unsure of himself when out in front of me.

  10. I would have played with my puppy alone. I let my older dog play with us and she would run him over to retrieve whatever I threw. My puppy never got to retrieve the item and to this day (8 years later) he does not retrieve. I did not make this mistake with my new puppy.

  11. I would have started tugging much earlier! He’s tugging some now, but not as intense as I would like. We are now and always will be a work in progress, and everyday is fun and exciting!

  12. I would not have rushed so much in the beginning of agility training – running sequences was so much more fun than maintaining contact or weave pole criteria! And I would have socialized more to other dogs as he loves people, though basically ignores most other dogs.

  13. I would have changed trainers much quicker. My border collie is a rescue and our first trainer had a one size fits all approach to training. The trainer Refused to acknowledge that rescues can have issues that need special handling. Fortunately we found the right trainer who was able to make training fun. I am amazed how much the right trainer has enabled my scared abused rescue become a friendly confident member of our family.

  14. I have a 3 year old sheltie that I got out of a show kennel when he was 14 months old, because he is oversized they couldn’t use him for breeding. So I have started him on agility. I have to be really careful not to push him to far to fast or gets really overwhelmed because he so desperately wants to please me. At this point I am just really trying to build up his confidence.
    He’s also a certified therapy dog.

  15. Had I realized our youngest dogs was as fearful of people and other dogs as she is when we adopted her, I would have worked more on socializing her and getting her used to new things. She’s getting better, but still has her moments when she has to bark to let everyone know to stay away.

  16. I would have trained our puppy Rocky to stay of the couch. We thought it would be okay because it’s leather but now he takes “ownership”!

  17. My dogs and I are always in school. I feel you can always learn something new. With my newest little girl, a Chinese Crested, I would have done more obedience with her, teaching her to sit and stay. With small dogs it is so easy just to pick them up and put them where they need to be. She also has “come” issues at times, not too often but they do exist. I use positive training with all my dogs, they want and love to please me!

  18. Mine is a bit long. 🙂

    When I got my first dog that was 100% mine, I was only 8. I has saved up the $350 to buy her. I started with her training at home, but then started 4H Obedience classes using the choke-chain method. Angel was less than 6 months old, and by then I was 9. I trained and showed in 4H for probably two years before we became members of a dog club near us. We started training and showing in UKC Obedience, Agility, and Rally. In 2010-ish, we met someone who has multiple OTCH dogs. She saw potential in Angel and I, and ever since has been giving us private lessons using Sandy Ludwig’s training method. We now, instead of being scared to death of off leash stuff, can barely stand on leash heeling and are training Open and Utility exercises. The potential that was seen? I’m told now that there’s no reason that Angel and I can’t get our UD title – something that 4 years ago seemed like an impossible, unbelievable thing. We also have our UROCh in UKC Rally and our TMAG and TSAD in TDAA Agility, plus our UAG2 in UKC agility. We’ve been out to UKC Nationals (Premier) twice now, and TDAA Nationals (Petit Prix) once. At the Petit Prix (two years ago) we got into the semifinals, and at Premier two years ago and this past summer, we placed 2nd in Obedience in the Junior Invitationals.

    So what would I do differently? It’s true that Angel and I have done well, but we could have achieved so much more if we had started out with the Sandy Ludwig methods. Angel isn’t as good as she COULD be had we started out the right way. She has crooked fronts, forged sits, sloppy heeling (although this is improving a LOT), and not always the firmest stays. Had we started out with the right methods, we may have had our UD by now (Angel’s almost 5, I’m 13) but instead we’re still cleaning up things in Novice and getting ready for Open and Utility. In fact, we’ve never even shown in AKC, our first Novice A show is next weekend. So that’s what I would change with Angel, but I’m having a life-defining experience with Angel every time we train. That’s what matters.

    (By the way, my new puppy is 5 months old, and I’m starting him out with the Sandy Ludwig method. Training, training, training. Lots of cheese and hotdogs… He doesn’t even know he’s learning.)

    🙂

  19. Awwwhhh, the do overs! First, I would have been more consistent with dog obedience. I didn’t think that made a big difference, but after putting my other dog through obedience school I realized that consistency was the key to get your dog to obey every command.

  20. I wish I would have worked harder with Boomer on the basics(sit, down, stay, come). Though it may not have been all fun and games, I think our work together would be smoother.

  21. With all but my youngest, I would have thrown away my “have to” attitude, and replaced with with a “want to” attitude. Fortunately I learned the difference by the time my youngest joined our household!

  22. Definitely spend more time on foundation work and a solid recall. Training for Bridie to want to work with me rather than for me. Help her to learn to love the game as much as I do.

  23. All three of my pups and I will literally be going back to school!! They are all certified therapy dogs and canine good citizens and “own” their own reading program at a local elementary school. They have helped hundreds of children to learn to read by gazing intently at both the reader and their book! We continually train to be at the top of our game!!!

  24. I would have done more practices relying on toys rather than treats as a motivator. I think that dogs that are motivated by playing as a reward instead of food seem to enjoy the whole process of agility more. It’s just my opinion but toy motivated dogs seem more eager to do agility.

  25. I wouldn’t have done conformation with my Weim before doing agility. She doesn’t want to break out of an extended trot.

  26. I would have only used positive training and would have incouraged his toy drive more. With those things, he would be more confident in agility and in new situations. I wouldn’t focused on him being perfect, we would have just had fun!

  27. I would have gotten training for myself in good clicker timing. I think clicker training is good but my timing is not good and creates confusion.

  28. I would have worked on more shaping exercises and impulse control exercises. Maybe that would have helped her excitability and the impatient attitude that I’m dealing with now.

  29. We did go back to school! My chocolate Lab is working with kindergarten kids at the local elementary school, helping them with their literacy skills. This is win/win. My hyper Lab is so calm around these kids, that they just love to read to her. You can go back. 🙂

  30. I would have made it clear whose bed was whose so that my dog did not sleep in the middle with a special pillow tucked in with special covers every night in our bed – so what if he cried at night in his own bed? Then I would have socialized him more with other dogs – he loves other people, just not other dogs.

  31. I would have had more fun with my dog. I taught my dog how to be obedient and well behaved but not how to be friendly or how to play. Willow doesn’t know how to play fetch and hardly ever wags her tail.

  32. I would have worked more with obedience and agility.
    Looking at my dog now I wish I would have been more
    interested in dog obedience and agility. He is a great
    dog but i know he could do better.
    With my little dog obedience is something i wish i
    could go back and do all over again.
    I also would have done more clicker training
    with my little dog. Because i did not do it from the
    start he is afraid of it now

  33. I would teach relax as a every day occurance and have my dog do it in different locations and for different lenghts of time. With that it helps them learn to relax what ever is going on around them. So even if we go to.a show or out for a walk they will understand what relax means.

  34. I would have done WAY more socialization. When the shelter told me Archie was 18mo-2yrs old, I believed them. Looking back, I expect he was half that, if not younger. A few months of intense socialization would have made a world of difference for him now! Live and learn…

  35. My dogs are always in school, and so am I. I’m learning a lot more about shaping and am hoping to teach them some cool new tricks and improve some naughty behaviors with a clicker. One of my dogs is dog aggressive and I wish I had more opportunities to help her improve, and the guts to take her into these opportunities. I also want to teach them to retrieve, not pull on their leashes, and lots of other things!

  36. I started out with one Border Collie IF I could go back I would have insisted on better manners at he door. You see now I have 3 of my own and foster frequently another one or two for NEBCR. Now I have stampede at the door of otherwise very well behaved dogs.

  37. I would have started clicker training right away, and found an all positive training environment. I agree more toy motivation and less treats might have been a good idea.

  38. I would have started training my hyperactive Sooky girl to sit, walk on a loose leash, down, stay and other calm training; from the time I brought her home, at eight weeks.

  39. I would have taken him to puppy socialization classes and not waited until he’d had completed his series of puppy shots.

  40. I would have started agility training much earlier. I hemmed and hawed because she was such a mellow dog that I couldn’t imagine her being any good at it. Well, it turns out she’s doing really well and LOVES it and it’s given her so much more confidence it amazes me. I wish I had started when we first got her (at age 2) instead of waiting two more years to begin,

  41. I would have started my dog earlier in more diverse classes such as nose work and maybe swim lessons. I try to change up our routine but us humans can fall into ruts so easily. These puzzle games are a great way to introduce the use of “the nose” and provide a great new mental stim game!

  42. i certainly would teach my big dog to heel and my little dog to listen more when off leash, she is easily distracted by smells.

  43. I would have done more work on leash now I have a dog who is awesome off leash but turns into a maniac when leashed