Training Tips & Techniques

ann_logo_blankThere are four strategic training questions. Is your dog – 1) Paying attention; 2) Doing as you say; 3)  Staying on task; and 4) Having fun — and are you?

If the answer is “no” to one or more of those questions, you, as the dog’s teacher, need to change your approach to training.  Here are some tips:

Amanda and Border Collie puppies

Granddaughter, Amanda, was present for the birth of a litter of Border Collie puppies and for each step of their first weeks of development – eyes open at two weeks, ears open at three weeks — and first solid food on their third week birthday.

Amanda holds the first born of five Border Collie puppies, April 1, 2017.

Amanda get ‘how to’ instructions from her aunt Marcia

Before eating directly from a bowl, puppy sucks its first solid food from Amanda’s finger.

Amanda (center) and Lauren (right) give the three-week-old Border Collie puppies their first meal of solid food

Join Drill Team and Therapy Service

Imagine your dog among these members of the Drill Team and in therapy service. Here are some pictures.  Open to Building Members.

Border Collies have the run of the park

This sunny Thanksgiving afternoon was a great time for a romp in our 10-acre,wooded dog park.  The park is open for our Building Members.  Dogs have great fun.  Our Collies were eager to run when we opened the gate.  They continued to explore for the next hour or so – non-stop.

What do dogs learn from each other?

This_is_sitWe can see that dogs often play at the same tempo.  What else do they learn from each other?  How about the ‘sit’, ‘down’, ‘stand’ and ‘stay’ exercises?  Gretel surely seems to be looking toward the other dogs as if she would like some guidance – or – demonstrating the ‘sit’ and expecting the other guys to take a lesson from her.

For an advanced version of the sit – check out how Bart does it.

Canine Benefit Circus is tomorrow

Stage_set_canine_circus_thumbnailA reminder — the Canine Circus benefit from Shawn McCoy and his family is tomorrow (10th) – 2 to 4:30 pm at Ann Gafke’s Teacher’s Pet, 325 E. Dripping Springs Road, Columbia.

Scotia and her canine buddies are ready. The tents are up. The tables for the silent auction are set. Popcorn is ready to be popped. The hotdog vender is on the way. The face painter has her brushes ready. Books are laid out for Reading to Rover.

All that’s needed now — is you and your family.  Details here:

July 10 Canine Circus to Benefit Columbia Family

Kaitlyn & MisteA July 10 canine circus, silent auction, face painting and several children’s events will benefit the family of Columbia man, severely injured May 17.

The benefit will aid Shawn McCoy and his family. He was the victim of a severe collision on US Highway 63 in Columbia when a tractor-trailer crossed the median into the path of McCoy’s car.

His injuries have required multiple surgeries and a recovery period of six to eight months or longer.

The benefit will be at Ann Gafke’s Teacher’s Pet, dog training school in Columbia. The address is 325 E Dripping Springs Road. The benefit circus begins at 2 o’clock.

The canines are members of the Teacher’s Pet Dog Drill Team. The dogs perform advanced obedience skills matched to music. Between the Drill Team performances, the event will include face painting and several children’s activities.

“To add to the circus atmosphere, we will have free popcorn, soft drinks circus music,” Ann Gafke, event director, said. “Admission to the event is free; however, we ask that guests make a contribution of the McCoy benefit.”

“We are also collecting items for our silent auction. One can bring the items to the dog school. One may also make direct cash contributions with checks made to the Shawn McCoy Benefit at Landmark Bank,” she said. “Items donated so far include a sailboat cruise on Mark Twain Lake with a gourmet lunch or dinner for up to four, an 1880’s mandolin, an assortment of power tools, and craft items.”

“The McCoy family has been involved in with our Drill Team and dog school for years. Their daughter Kaitlyn performs with the Drill Team and Misty and Shawn help with the maintenance of the school and preparation for its major programs,” Gafke said.

Dogs visit Ellis Library as stress relief

Rudy_at_EllisRudy holds his ‘office hour’ at Ellis Library last week. He and several other dogs whose owners train with us took their dogs to Ellis Library on the Mizzou campus this past week as stress relievers for student prepping for final exams. Here is a sample of pictures from the week.

Win your dog’s attention with attention – great pay-off

Everyone wants her/his dog to pay attention. Here is a short video on how to earn that attention and another on the fun and joy oPay attention to your dog to get the dog's attentionne can have from that earning. The first [ ] shows how much attention the handler must pay to the dog. The second [] shows the payoff from that effort.

‘Daily Exam’ exercise essential

 Part of socialization -- A daily exam for the puppy.

There are at least five reasons why the ‘daily exam’ exercise is essential in early dog training and periodically for the dog’s well being there after.

Place you dog on his/her back between you legs belly-up.  In this position, you and your dog will be telling each other who is in charge and that the dog trusts you as the leader.  Of course, if the dog resists assuming this position, the dog may be telling you the dog does not accept you as leader and does not yet fully trust you.

After your dog lies quietly, exam the dogs parts — ears, teeth and gums, legs, feet and toenails, belly coat.  This is part grooming introduction and part physical exam.  In this process, you will be reducing the probability of a dog bite by getting the dog used to human hands in the dog’s mouth and handling the dog’s other primary tool — the feet.  Finally, the exercise teaches the dog to remain on task — in this case lying between your legs.