Author: Justin Jordan

Travelling with dogs

Travelling with Your Dogs

Travelling with your dog over the holidays is a great way to include your best friends in your adventures. Some important things to bear in mind are warm weather safety and car safety.

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3 Tips to Desensitise Your Reactive Dog

How to desensitise a reactive dog

In dog obedience training, there are often many different approaches to the same problem. At Jordan Dog Training we recommend the following approach for working with reactive dogs as it does no harm (emotionally or physically) to the dog and it uses a science-based understanding of canine stress and dog behavioural learning.

What do we mean by “reactive dogs”? This refers to more than just a nuisance habit such as jumping up on people in excitement. It’s a label that we give to dogs who perceive certain situations as a threat and react instinctively to try and protect themselves. To people, it often looks like an overreaction, but to the dog it is very real. read more

Breed Spotlight: Labrador Retriever

Considering buying a Labrador? Here are some facts and information on the breed to get you started.

Appearance

Labradors are a robust, athletic looking dog with a tail that will clear your coffee table. Their coat may be black, yellow or chocolate. Labradors typically weigh between 25 to 36 kilograms, and females are usually smaller than males.

Image result for labrador field

Temperament

Labradors have a cheerful, steady temperament that makes for a wonderful family dog. However, lab puppies in particular can be very bouncy, so care needs to be taken around small children. They are notoriously mouthy and need clear guidelines about what they may and may not chew.

Labradors are intelligent and eager to please, making them very responsive to training. They love company and will likely want to follow you around the house and rest at your feet.

 

Exercise and space needs

The Labrador Retriever is a large sporting dog, originally bred to work with fishermen and hunters. They are happiest when they have a job to do and when they get plenty and varied exercise, including walking, running, swimming, hiking or retrieving. While the don’t need a large yard, they do need plenty of opportunities to stretch their legs and engage their mental faculties.

Grooming

Labradors have a short coat with a dense undercoat that does shed, particularly when the seasons change. A good quality de-shedding tool or curry comb will help to reduce the amount of hair drop around your house, but it cannot be avoided entirely.

 

 

 

Positive reinforcement dog training

To treat or not to treat

Many people object to using rewards in training, particularly food rewards, which is the most common tool in the positive reinforcement toolbox. The primary objection is because the reward is seen as a “bribe”, creating dogs that need food to work.

Rewards come in many forms. Training a dog without offering any rewards, whether food, praise or play, will not be motivating for your dog and is likely to be damaging to your relationship with them.

Food: bribe or positive reinforcement?

Dog receiving a treat in positive reinforcement training

If rewards (food or otherwise) are used correctly, they are not a bribe but a reinforcer. A bribe is something that is presented before the desired behaviour to prompt them into action. A dog that is trained using bribes will generally only perform the behaviour if there is a reward in front of him first.

A reinforcer is something that is given after the desired behaviour by the dog. The dog understands that the reward appeared after they performed the behaviour, which reinforces the behaviour. A dog trained with positive reinforcement will perform the behaviour in the expectation or hope of a reward, but they don’t need to see or smell it ahead of time.

Luring – during early stages only

Treats are often used as a “lure” in the very early stages of training a specific behaviour. The food is used to guide the dog into a particular position.

The trick is to use an empty hand lure as soon as possible after the dog begins to grasp of the mechanics of the behaviour. You should still reward the behaviour, but don’t show the dog the treat until after the dog performs the behaviour – keep the treats in a pocket or treat pouch.

The next stage is to transform the empty hand lure into a hand gesture; again, only presenting the reward once the dog performs the behaviour.

Fading out the food

Once the dog is reliable in performing the behaviour, you can reward less frequently or sporadically. However, if they start to show reluctance to perform behaviours that they know perfectly well how to do, (after ruling out any medical issues), consider whether you should be paying (reinforcing) your dog for more of the work he does for you, particularly in distracting environments.

Distracted dog?

Another important tip for preventing accidental bribery is to ensure you have your dog’s attention before giving a cue. People often wave a treat under the dog’s nose to get their attention, unwittingly bribing their dog. Try making a silly noise to get your dog’s attention instead, or be more animated to gain your dog’s focus. If your dog is too distracted, move your training to a calmer environment until your dog is at a stage of training where he can remain focused on you without resorting to bribes.

My dog doesn’t work for food

If your dog doesn’t work well for food, it may be because he’s getting too much of it already or he has free access to it whenever he wants. If you load your dog’s meal up in a treat pouch instead of a bowl, he will soon be motivated to work for it. Food dispensing toys are another great way of encouraging your dog to work for his daily meals.

Another consideration is what types of food are you using in training. Some dogs are not that excited by kibble but will work well for soft, meaty treats. A trick to supercharge kibble is to place it in a bag with a couple of chunks of hot dog. The kibble will take on the smell of the hot dog. Remember, whatever calories you use as rewards should be subtracted from their meals to avoid weight gain.

Non-food rewards

However, some dogs will be more motivated by a tossed ball or a tug on a rope. The same considerations apply to these rewards. If you have to show your dog the ball before they will sit, the ball has become a bribe. The more effective sequence is to cue the behaviour, and only present the ball when the dog performs the behaviour. If the dog doesn’t perform the behaviour, it hasn’t been reinforced enough in the earlier stages. Take your training back a step to a calmer environment with more frequent positive reinforcement.

Jordan Dog Training Blog - Pack Mentality

Pack Mentality – Interview with Pets Magazine

Jordan Dog Training’s master dog trainer, Justin Jordan, speaks out against Alpha Dominance theories in edition 68 of pets magazine. Discussing tactics which push the Alpha theories away in favour of more encouraging techniques such as teaching your dog to trust you rather than fear you.

It’s trust techniques and positive reinforcement like this that has shaped Jordan Dog Training, allowing Justin and his trainers to bond with hundreds of dogs over the years. To read the full article subscribe to Pets Magazine.

Justin Jordan to Train Blue the Mascot

Justin Jordan to work with the Australian Army’s handler of the official 6th Battalion mascot, Blue.

Jordan will be working with Blue and also guiding Blue’s handler to help groom the Australian Cattle Dog into the ideal Army mascot.

Who is Sgt Ridgeliegh Blue III?

Blue is the official mascot for the 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment. The unit is an infantry battalion located at the Enoggera Barracks in Brisbane that was raised on June 6, 1965. The battalion has deployed on operations to Vietnam, East Timor, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

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Everything you need to know about BLOAT (GDV)

Bloat is a life-threatening condition which many dog owners are unaware of. It involves the stomach twisting, which creates an obstruction to major blood vessels and limits the heart’s ability to pump blood, damaging vital organs.

Bloat is a veterinary emergency.

Any symptoms should not be taken lightly with a “wait and see” approach. The longer it takes to see a vet, the less likely it is that your dog will survive. Death can be the result in just a few hours without appropriate treatment.

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piaa awards jordan dog training

Jordan Dog Training Receives the 2016 PIAA Dog Trainer of Excellence Award

This year, we were lucky enough to attend the Pet Industry of Association of Australia annual awards evening in Melbourne, where we were awarded the 2016 PIAA Dog Trainer of Excellence award in recognition of outstanding dog training performance. We are honoured and humbled to have won this award.

As always, we believe in going above and beyond for our clients and their pets. Our team takes pride in our puppy and dog training services, particularly our in-home behaviour programs. read more

dog asleep

A Tired Dog is a Happy Dog… Right?

The most common contributors to many of the behavioural problems that we see in dogs such as barking or destruction is from a lack of environmental enrichment, lack of exercise, and lack of interaction.

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Totally Wild interviews Justin Jordan

Like all animal lovers, we have a soft spot for Totally Wild, so were very excited when Justin Jordan was interviewed by them about ‘The Secret Life of Pets.’

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