N.J. promoted to Dog Trainer

 

On April 14, 2017 N.J. was promoted from the position of Assistant Dog Trainer to Dog Trainer with a specialization in E-Collar Training. She earned this prestigious achievement after having completed Michigan Dog Training’s Trainer program and successfully completed comprehensive written and practical exams.

In addition to training dogs in MDT’s Day Training and Board and Train programs, she continously steps up to new responsibilities. Some of these have included, teaching “go home” lessons to clients once their dog completed a residency program, teaching group classes, and being a pivotal contributing member of the MDT team.

Congratulations! Your accomplishment is well earned.

Rosebud -SDIT earns Adv. CGC

Michigan Dog Training, Plymouth, Michigan, Service Dog, Service Dog in Training, Mobility Service Dog, Advanced Canine Good Citizen, Advanced CGC, Community Canine Good Citizen

On February 25, 2017, Rosebud a Golden Retriever and her handler Laura-Jean Siggens of Ann Arbor, Michigan earned the American Kennel Club Advanced Canine Good Citizen title at Michigan Dog Training (MDT) in Plymouth, Michigan.

Rosebud is is participating in MDT’s Train Your Own Service Dog (TYOSD) program as a Mobility Service Dog. The TYOSD consists of 24 private and group class lessons and prepares dogs to become a Service Dog. Congratulations to Rosebud and Laura-Jean!

Dash a SDIT earns Urban CGC

Michigan Dog Training, Urban CGC, Urban Canine Good Citizen, Service Dog in Training, Service Dog, Diabetic Alert Dog

On the cold wintery day of January 25, 2017, Dash a Golden Doodle earned the American Kennel Club Urban Canine Good Citizen title. The testing was done by Michael Burkey of Michigan Dog Training in downtown Plymouth. Dash passed with flying colors heeling amongst distractions of people seeking warmth in the Panera Bread restaurant, disregarding walkers and joggers on city streets, sitting beforehand and calmly crossing city streets, loading and unloading from a vehicle under control, disregarding trash left on the sidewalk, transversing open back metal grated stairs and more.

Michigan Dog Training, Urban Canine Good Citizen, CGC, Urban CGC, Service Dog in Training, Service Dog, Diabetic Alert Dog, Michigan Dog Training

Down stay at a restaurant

Dash and her owner Shannon Inglis of Lake Orion, Michigan are participating in MDT’s Train Your Own Service Dog (TYOSD) Diabetic Alert Dog program which consists of 24 private and group lessons to gain public access obedience skills and to be able to alert when Shannon’s blood sugar goes low. They are doing an outstanding job and Dash has already alerted to Shannon’s lows in real world settings.

Congratulations Dash and Shannon!

 

6 New Trick Dogs

Do More With Your Dog, Kyra Sundance

On February 6, 2017  six dog teams earned their Novice Trick Dog Title as part of Kyra Sundance’s “Do More With Your Dog!” program at Michigan Dog Training in Plymouth, Michigan. The teams had to demonstrate 15 points worth of tricks that they learned in the Basic Manners group class. MDT’s Basic Manners group class incorporates both obedience skills and tricks to make learning fun for dogs and their owners.  Congratulations to the following teams:

  1. Michaela Gearin and Tobias Gearin, a Coon/Rott mix of Livonia, Michigan
  2. Barbara Gearin and Owen, an All American Dog of Livonia, Michigan
  3. Sarah Huddas and Rebel, an English Setter of Canton, Michigan
  4. Jillian Miller and Dobby Miller, a Vizsla/Labrador mix of Plymouth, Michigan
  5. Srujana Bolger and Penny Bolger a Rhodesian Ridgeback of Northville, MI
  6. Marvin Asuncion and Leroy, a Shepherd mix of Canton, Michigan

 

How do I teach my dog to go to “place”?

dog training, Michigan Dog Training, teach your dog to go to place, behavior shaping, clicker trainingMax and Lucky are attending private dog training lessons at Michigan Dog Training in Plymouth, Michigan with dog behaviorist Michael Burkey. In the video below, they demonstrate how to teach your dog to go to “place” via clicker training and behavior shaping.

Clicker training is using a sound such as the click of a clicker to mark the moment your dog did a desired behavior and to signal that a food reward is forthcoming. Behavior shaping is capturing and rewarding behavior as it occurs such as the dog touching the target stick with his nose versus luring the dog into the desired behavior. Luring tends to be a faster method of dog training but behavior shaping requires the dog to think instead of just follow a hand and thus cements the exercise into his mind more soundly. A dog taught via shaping is also more engaged in the learning exercise and willing to try new behaviors.

Teaching your dog to go to “place” (a pre-designated location) can be helpful when welcoming your guests into your home, having your dog go away from the kitchen table to prevent begging, jump into your vehicle, go to a spot and relax, etc.

Place can be taught via hand luring or in this example by teaching the dog to touch a target stick such as an Alley Pop freestanding target. The target stick is used to get the dog to move away from the handler. Later, the target stick is placed on the mat where you want your dog to go to and the final step is to remove the target stick and simply have the dog go to the mat on the cue of “place”.

The five steps for teaching your dog go to “place” using behavior shaping include:
1. Teach your dog to touch a target stick held in your hand,
2. Teach your dog to touch a free standing target stick,
3. Send your dog to the target stick from a distance,
4. Place the target stick on a mat to start teaching “place”,
5. Remove the target stick from the “place” mat and cue – Place

Service Dog earns Canine Good Citizen

Service Dog, Diabetic Alert Dog, Michigan Dog Training, Plymouth, Michigan

 

On January 31, 2017, Piper Dashwood Kane and his owners Sheldon and Cheryl Kane of W. Bloomfield, Michigan earned their Canine Good Citizen title.

Piper also successfully completed the Train Your Own Service Dog training program to become a Diabetic Alert Dog (DAD) at Michigan Dog Training in Plymouth, Michigan. The training was provided by Dog Behaviorist Michael Burkey and Assistant Dog Trainer Matthew Bryant.

Congratulations to Piper, Sheldon and Cheryl!

Michigan Dog Training, Diabetic Alert Dog, Service Dog, Canine Good Citizen

 

Number One Best Dog Training Tip

Michigan Dog Training, all dog breeds, large dog breeds, small dog breeds

What is the number one or best dog training tip that a dog trainer can offer? That can be a hard question to answer as there are a lot of things that go into training a dog to have the relationship you desire. However, if you pressed me to answer that question, the answer would be hands down – “consistency.”

Dogs are quick visual learners. They are keen observers and remember your routines. They jump for joy when you pick up their leash telegraphing them it’s time for a walk, they become anxious when you pick up your car keys signaling you’re going to work, etc. One of my clever clients told me that their dog got anxious when she washed her morning water glass as she always did that just prior to putting on her coat and leaving for the day. So sometimes it’s not just picking up the keys or coat that can trigger a response. A dog can recognize an earlier part of the chain of events, especially if you’re consistent in your routine.

When you think your dog has learned an obedience cue via a hand signal or a verbal cue, is that the only thing that triggered them to perform or do other subtle cues prompt them to act? Some examples may include; reaching into your treat pouch before giving a command, learning forward into the dog prior to giving a command to lay down, turning away from them as you want them to exit a vehicle instead of waiting for a command to do so, etc.

Michigan Dog Training, Police K9

K9 Simone

Before I worked on the street as a law enforcement officer, I did an internship in the county jail. That experience taught me I never wanted to work in the jail but it was an interesting social observation. Because the inmates have nothing but time on their hands, they are keen observers of the Correctional Officers’ (COs) routines. And, COs just like all humans are creatures of habits despite trying not to be so. Many of the inmates would purposely try to frustrate the COs for entertainment purposes. Some of the COs recognized it was all a game and were able to not take the inmates’ antics personally. Whereas, many others took it personally and sequentially caused themselves a lot of undue stress that would probably result in elevated blood pressures and other medical conditions.

Similarly, I see many dog owners who are stressed out and struggling with the undesired antics of their dogs. It doesn’t have to be that way. Just like one hires a professional to help them with their taxes, legal matters, and health issues; one should seek help from a professional dog trainer or dog behaviorist. The main thing that separates a pet owner from a dog trainer is consistency. Pet owners can learn how to train a dog but their success level will be dependent upon their consistent follow through.

Years ago, my college roommate was studying abnormal psychology. One of his homework assignments was to have his friends take a 500 question survey. When he scored my results, he told me that I was “abnormal”. I asked jokingly, “what do you mean I’m abnormal!?” He said I was considered abnormal because the test measured consistency and I scored a 100%. We had a good laugh about that and I told him I wasn’t surprised because I recognized many of the questions were the same questions with the same results, they were simply asked in a different manner. He said, well it’s not normal to score 100%. As a dog trainer, this analogy shows me how important it is that we be consistent in our physical cues (intended and unintended), verbal cues, and inflections with our dogs. They are keen observers of our behavior.

To be consistent with your dog:

  • Look how you might be giving unintended cues,
  • Understand your dog is always learning (desired or undesired behaviors)
  • Seek out a professional dog trainer/behaviorist to learn how to train your dog
  • Follow through with the instruction with deep practice
  • Realize your dog is a keen observer of your behavior and
  • Understand your dog’s antics are not personal but rather shows you what your dog still needs to learn.

Michigan dog training, teacherA dear client of mine was struggling to get her dog to go to and remain at “place” (a dedicated location such as a dog bed) while she prepared lesson plans on her computer for her school children. Her dog would do the command during a training session but not when she needed it otherwise. Her dog knew what the command meant so that wasn’t the problem. The problem was consistency. While my client was preoccupied, the dog was no longer receiving reinforcement for staying nor a fair correction for leaving the place.

She became increasingly frustrated with her dog leaving the dedicated place and thus gave up, allowing her dog to come off the place during “non-training sessions” (all moments of time are training sessions). So I asked her a question, “would you ask one of your students to do something that they understood but then take no action when the student simply walked away?” Her response with a smile of passionate enlightenment was, “nooo wayyyy!”

My suggestion was to either be mindful of her dog and be able to respond if her dog stepped off the dog bed or not to give the cue in the first place. It seems like a simple solution and it is. However, many times without a coach (dog trainer) to guide us, we can’t see the obvious because we are stuck in the mind.

Bart Bellon, an internationally known dog trainer coaches dog handlers to know what the rewards for doing are and consequences for not doing. Thus,

1. Teach your dog what to do,

2. Reward your dog for doing,

3. Use fair corrections for not doing, and

4. Above all else be consistent in your approach and response.

Please comment below how you will become more consistent with your dog. And, if you need help, contact Michigan Dog Training in Plymouth, Michigan at 734-634-4152. We can help you!

Key Cabinet Positions for your Dog

U.S. Capitol Building, Michigan Dog Training

Whether you agree with President Trump’s Key Cabinet Appointees or not; it is interesting to watch the selection and confirmation process. It would be interesting to know how President Trump goes about making his selections. How much of the decision process is related to the person’s skill sets and prior experience? Was the person crucial in supporting his bid for the presidency or was he willing to consider those who did not? Are they like minded or willing to question each other for the greater good? And, the confirmation process, what are their agendas in asking specific questions? Is it to further their own agenda or is it truly to ensure the right person is confirmed for the position?

So too it’s crucial to consider each family member’s agenda, skills, and prior experience when selecting a new dog or puppy. Will the right puppy or dog be confirmed to best suit the family’s lifestyle? Are the family members like-minded or willing to listen and compromise on important issues such as:

  • Is this the right time to bring a new dog or puppy into the home?
  • Why are we getting a dog or puppy?
  • Should we adopt or purchase our new family member?Golden Retriever, puppy, pup, puppy training, Michigan Dog Training, Plymouth, Michigan
  • Should we get a puppy or an adult dog? Male or female?
  • What breed of dog will best fit our lifestyle?
  • Is it a “should” that we get a puppy or dog or is it a “must” decision? (To be fair to the dog, it must be a “must decision.”)
  • Who will be the primary care takers?
  • Who will train the dog?
  • Where will we take our dog for dog training?
  • How will we properly socialize our new loved one?
  • Who else will take care of our dog and in what way?
  • If there are children, are they mature enough to interact safely with a dog?
  • How will the puppy or dog impact and add value to our life?
  • How will we add value to our pet’s life?
  • Who will be our veterinarian?
  • Can we afford the financial cost of a puppy or dog? (purchase price, training, veterinarian, food, grooming, boarding when away on vacations, etc)
  • Do we have enough time to spend with our puppy or dog?

So, who are your dog’s Key Cabinet Appointees? Do they want the job(s)? And, how will the family (department) carry out the mission and value of bringing a new puppy or dog into the home? And, what are the other considerations your family must consider before obtaining a new family member? Please comment below.

Jasper becomes a Canine Good Citizen

Michigan Dog Training, Canine Good Citizen, CGC, Plymouth, Michigan

Jasper CGC

Jasper who recently completed a Day Training program at Michigan Dog Training in Plymouth, Michigan earned his Canine Good Citizen (CGC) title on January 17, 2017.

He is an All American Dog (mixed German Shepherd Dog, Labrador Retriever, American Bulldog and Dutch Shepherd) and his human partner is Bethany Brake of Ferndale, Michigan. Congrats Jasper and Bethany!

Dogs learn good manners

puppy training classes, Puppy STAR, Michigan Dog Training, Plymouth, Michigan, puppy obedience, puppy training

Sobie

dog obedience, dog training, Michigan Dog Training, Plymouth, Michigan, Doberman

Luna, CGC

Rottweiler, dog training, dog training classes, Michigan Dog Training, Canine Good Citizen, Plymouth, Michigan

Cyrus, CGC

 

 

 

 

 

 

On January 10, 2017 three dogs showed off their good manners by passing the American Kennel Club Puppy STAR and Canine Good Citizen evaluations after having taken puppy training and dog training classes at Michigan Dog Training in Plymouth, Michigan.

Congrats to the following dog teams:

  1. Sobi, Polish Lowland Sheepdog, Puppy STAR and her handler Ed Abramoski of Canton, Michigan
  2. Cyrus, Rottweiler, Canine Good Citizen and his handlers Bernie White and Jeanette Garcia of Lincoln Park, Michigan
  3. Luna, Doberman, Canine Good Citizen and his handler James Remenapp of Redford, Michigan

 

Contact Michigan Dog Training at 734-634-4152 to learn how your dog can also become a Puppy STAR or Canine Good Citizen with good manners.