Category: Dog Training

Dark haired puppy looking sad with puppy eyes

Reducing Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Separation anxiety is a feeling of loneliness that is experienced when being separated from a parent, carer or loved one. While it is most often seen in children, it is also a very real feeling that our pets and especially dogs experience.

The inevitable truth of owning a dog is that you will have to leave them alone at times, no matter how much we don’t want to! Many dog owners must leave for work for upwards of 8 hours a day, meaning their dogs are left without social interaction and exercise for a large portion of their day.

 

Effects of Separation Anxiety on Your Dog’s Behaviour

Separation anxiety in dogs can cause bad behaviour and a decline in the mental health of your dog. One of the most common forms of bad behaviour that becomes apparent in dogs with separation anxiety is excessive barking. Dogs with separation anxiety often resort to barking or howling out of boredom, but other common problems that arise include escape attempts, digging in the yard or chewing. While separation anxiety can present itself in several ways, the resulting behaviour is often confused for your dog suffering from boredom.

 

Preventing Separation Anxiety in Dogs & Puppies

So how can you prevent separation anxiety in dogs and puppies? There are several ways in which you can help to ease the effect of separation anxiety for your dog. With some changes in your own behaviour and the help of some very clever dog products, you can provide your lonely dog with some relatively simple solutions to separation anxiety symptoms.

 

Separation Anxiety Dog Training

By changing your own behaviour slightly while leaving your dog alone, you can help your dog to deal with separation anxiety.

 

1. Stay assertive

Stay calm and collected while leaving your pup alone for the day. Dogs are very perceptive animals, so by displaying anxious behaviour yourself before leaving your dog will act accordingly.

 

2. Don’t make a big deal about leaving

Make sure that you show your pup the affection that it deserves long before you leave the house. By communicating to your dog that leaving the house is not a big deal, they can become more accustomed to spending time without you!

 

3. Socialise and exercise with your dog before leaving

By tiring your dog out a little through exercise, you can encourage your dog to spend its time alone resting. This is good behaviour to encourage, as your home time is seen as the more social time for you and your dog to enjoy.

 

Dog Toys for Separation Anxiety

There are also dog toys available online that can help you to reduce separation anxiety in your dog. These toys often provide stimulation and mental training for your dog, occupying them for hours. These can come in the form of chew toys, cuddle toys or slow-release treat games.

One of our favourite separation anxiety dog toys are Lickimats. By spreading soft food over the mat, dogs will spend hours slowly licking this off.  This provides your dog with a tasty treat while also stimulating them and keeping them busy. You can buy a Lickimat from our online store here.

 

How Jordan Dog Training Can Help with Separation Anxiety

If you’re struggling to help your dog with their separation anxiety, you can enlist the help of an expert dog trainer from Jordan Dog Training. The team offers home dog training services that can be targeted specifically to help with separation anxiety and other behavioural issues. Contact the team online today.

Group Obedience Class Video

We recently invited For You films down to one of our Group Obedience Classes to film a typical day with our expert dog trainers. In the video you can see how we run our group classes so that the dogs get a healthy exposure to other animals, while also building a stronger bond with you.

This particular class was run in Kedron, but we also offer classes in other regions surrounding Northern Brisbane. On this occasion we got to see our head trainer Mia working alongside our assistant trainers Emily, Sarah and Cath to foster healthy relationships between dog and owner.

Building a connection with your dog through obedience training means you can also work on any behavioural issues that you may see your dog exhibiting. Getting your dog used to behavioural training and socialising is a great first step to a well-trained pup. If you are interested in attending a group obedience session, click here to book online. You can also contact us for more information here.

 

Positive Reviews Help Others: Thank You

We get so many positive reviews for Jordan Dog Training across Facebook, Google My Business, and those who choose to email us directly. We love that our customers are happy enough with our services that they want to share their experiences with others. With so much negativity in the world today it’s even more important to pay attention to the positive messages. We recently got a review on our Facebook page by a lovely woman called Amy.

She wrote:

“We got so much out of our puppy preschool experience with Jordan Dog Training. Justin is such a conscientious, experienced trainer, and a true lover of all kinds of dogs! As new dog owners he really reassured us through the process and was incredibly supportive. All the sessions were super informative and helpful. We spend so much of our time googling and youtubing tips for training but that all paled in comparison to being able to speak to a proper trainer in person. We would recommend this class to anyone and everyone; it’s helped us and our lil boy immeasurably. Thanks Justin!”

 

 

As always, we offer ongoing support to the pups that are educated through our puppy preschool. We’re always available on email or via phone if anyone has any questions. We love hanging around after class to answer specific questions and share our knowledge and we hope that our advice has made you a more confident dog owner if you ever attended one of our classes.

Thank you for everyone’s ongoing support.

 

If you’d like to leave your own review, please visit our facebook page, or you can submit a testimonial.

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

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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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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bupa blog

Our Advice for a Great Family Dog

A great family dog is a wonderful thing, but it doesn’t happen by accident.

Think about it; if you were thrown into a new home with a bunch of new people, you’d act strangely too. Training a good family dog is all about patience and a soft, slow approach which brings your new family member into the fold one step at a time.

Take a look at a few extra expert tips, to ensure your new dog fits in quickly with your family.

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Red Dog with Union players

Want to train your dog like Red Dog?

If you’ve spotted a lively Aussie Red Cattle dog on the fields of a Queensland Reds match, you’ve had the pleasure of being entertained by Red Dog, the official junior team mascot.

As a pup, Red demonstrated a knack for quickly picking up new skills. He has delighted many with his talent for tricks and continues to charm audiences with his incredible memory and agility.

If this sounds impressive and you’d like to teach your dog some of Red’s tricks, read on to find out our five top tips for effective training!

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