Monthly Archives: December 2017

Crate Training

CRATE TRAINING

CRATE TRAINING

Crate Training

CRATE TRAINING IS A MUST

Crate Training is a must for a well behaved and well trained puppy or dog.  Crate Training is one of the first training steps for house breaking any puppy or older dog that you might have.  I will go through the steps to successful crate training in this article, and be sure to watch the Crate Training Video that is in this article to show you the steps of crate training as well.  If you find that you are struggling with crate training even after this article and accompanying video, please contact me at PHOENIX DOG TRAINING for personal one on one puppy training and dog training help in crate training your dog.

CRATE TRAINING BENEFITS

  •  CRATE TRAINING KEEPS YOUR PUPPY OR DOG SAFE
  •  CRATE TRAINING HELPS WITH POTTY TRAINING AND HOUSE BREAKING
  •  CRATE TRAINING PREVENTS DESTRUCTIVE BEHAVIOR
  •  CRATE TRAINING TEACHES PUPPIES AND DOGS SELF CONTROL
  •  CRATE TRAINING CAN GIVE YOU THE DOG OWNER A BREAK FROM HAVING TO SUPERVISE YOUR DOG OR PUPPY WHEN BUSY

There are many benefits to crate training a puppy or crate training an older dog.  if you need to potty train a puppy or house break an older dog, the number one rule is to supervise or crate.  dogs and puppies typically will not want to soil their crate and lay in urine or poo.

Crate Training prevents destructive behavior in that you always need to correct and redirect your dog or puppy for unwanted behaviors when you are not available to directly supervise your puppy or dogs behavior. This is very important when house breaking a puppy or dog.

If your puppy or dog gets away with going potty in the house without you seeing it or correcting it, your dog will learn that going potty in the house is ok because there is no consequence.  you have to supervise or crate a dog so there are no missed opportunities to teach and correct your dog what not to do and teach appropriate house manners.

Because it is so important to watch, supervise or crate a puppy or dog with bad house manners, potty training and house breaking issues, how fast your dog learns is often determined on you crating your puppy or dog when you are not available to watch them.

The dog crate is never to be used as a punishment or time out.  think of it as a baby crib.  you place a baby in a crib or a play crib to keep the baby safe when you are not right their with it.

TOOLS YOU WILL NEED TO FOR CRATE TRAINING

crate training wire cratecrate training plastic airline crate

A wire or metal crate or a plastic crate (size of crate should be as long as the puppy or dog is and not much larger.

 

clicker for crate trainingA dog training CLICKER (best) or the word “YES” to mark the correct behavior

 

dog training treat bagA dog training treat or food reward pouch or bag

 

 

10 STEPS TO CRATE TRAIN A PUPPY OR DOG IN JUST 5 MINUTES A DAY

STEP 1 Throw high value treats in the crate.  The dog will follow the food into the crate associating the behavior of going in the crate with receiving a food reward. We want the dog to find the experience of going in the crate rewarding

STEP 2 After doing step 1 several times then add the next step of starting to “mark” the behavior of going in the crate with a clicker using the principles of clicker training .  Make sure to click as the dog goes into the crate and before the dog gets the food reward you are throwing in the crate in step 1.

PUTTING STEP 1 AND STEP 2 TOGETHER MEANS

  1. Throw treat in the crate
  2. Dog or Puppy goes in crate
  3. Click to mark the behavior of the dog going in the crate
  4. Dog or Puppy eats the treat or food reward.

STEP 3 After you have practiced both steps 1 and step 2 together successfully then add the next step.  Step 3 is to add a “cue” or “command” “Kennel” when the dog goes into the crate to get the treat.  Be sure to say the “cue” or “command” of “Kennel” after you throw the treat in the crate.  This should happen immediately after you throw the treat into the crate but before you click the clicker to mark the behavior of the dog entering the crate.  In this step we are just labeling the behavior the dog is performing.  We are not giving a command we are capturing the behavior of the dog going into the crate and adding a label to what the dog is doing. We don’t ask for the behavior yet with a command of “kennel,” we are just making the association of the word “kennel” with going in the crate several times.

PUTTING STEPS 1, 2, AND 3 ALL TOGETHER MEANS

  1. Throw treat in crate
  2. Say “kennel” as the dog first begins to move into the crate (remember we are not commanding “kennel” yet we are just saying the word “kennel” as the dog goes into the crate to follow and get the treat)
  3. Click and mark the behavior with the clicker of the dog going into the crate
  4. Dog eats the treat and is rewarded in the crate.

STEP 4 Begin to now ask for the behavior first by giving the cue or command “kennel” before you throw a treat into the crate.  Use your treat hand to point into the crate rather than throwing the treat first, or pretend to throw the treat into the crate.  If you spent enough time in steps 1,2, and 3, before moving on to step 4, your dog should now go into the crate when you give the command or cue “kennel” while you point the treat hand into the crate as if you had a treat and pretend you are pointing and throwing a treat into the crate. At this point in the training you are withholding the treat until the dog goes into the crate with the cue or command of “kennel” along with the hand pointing inside the crate. At this point you will reward the dog with the food only after you have given the cue or command of “kennel” and after the dog has gone into the crate and after you have marked that behavior with the clicker.  The treat is given to the dog from your hand now after the click.

STEP 5 Close the crate door before marking the behavior for the dog.  once the dog has gone into the crate on command or cue of ‘kennel” now close the door of the crate, then click and treat the dog. (Now the dog has to wait for the crate door to close before the click and treat happen.)  Click and treat several times for the dog being in the crate with the crate door closed.  You are now marking with the clicker and rewarding brief duration of the dog being in the crate for a brief time with the crate door closed.  This is part of preventing Separation Anxiety for dogs and puppies when in a crate.

STEP 6 Teach the puppy or dog to wait in the crate even when the door is open.  We are now opening and closing the crate door with the dog inside and teaching “kennel” as an implied stay.  We are clicking and rewarding the dog with treats when the dog does not come out of the crate even if we open the crate door.  If your dog or puppy tries to move out of the crate when you open the door, immediately close the crate door pushing the dog back into the crate while re- commanding “kennel.”  When you open the crate door if the dog stays click and reward the implied stay in the crate.

STEP 7 Click and treat the dog or puppy for not coming out of the crate when the door is open.  do this fast and often in the beginning.  YOU WANT TO CLICK AND TREAT OFTEN WHEN THE DOG IS IN THE CRATE WITH THE DOOR OPEN. If the dog tries to get out of the crate right as you click, do not dive the treat.  We don’t want to accidentally reward the behavior of coming out of the crate when we are trying to now teach this as an implied stay until released from the “kennel” command or cue. Remember if the dog tries to come out of the crate without permission, block the puppy or dog with the crate door from coming out, then try to slowly open the crate again.

STEP 8 Teach a release command or cue of “OK,” “Free,” or “Break.”  When teaching the dog the release command or cue, you will give the cue or command you pick, in this case “OK’ as this is what I use in the above video tutorial for crate training. Often you will need to help your dog to understand what the release command or cue is and what it means by helping the dog out of the crate and then marking that behavior with the clicker and then reward. Practice only letting your puppy or dog exit the crate when hearing the command or cue of “OK’ signaling it is OK to come out of the crate.

STEP 9 Add distance and duration (time), step outside briefly.  Come back in, click and reward for the duration and distance, also click and reward when you open the crate door and the puppy or dog stays in the crate.  In addition to crate training you are teaching the implied stay and you are beginning the process of desensitizing any possible separation anxiety that some puppies and dogs experience with crate training and being left in a crate for a period of time. When first starting out, only leave the house for a minute or two.  Gradually over 30 days increase your time away from 15-30 minutes.  Add a minute or two a day more duration while training until you have successfully  been able to train your puppy or dog to be in the crate calmly for 15-30 minutes.  MOST DOGS THAT CAN BE TRAINED TO BE IN A CRATE FOR 15 MINUTES WITHOUT BEING UPSET DO NOT DEVELOP SEPARATION ANXIETY.

STEP 10 Keep your puppy or dog calm when you come home by practicing the dog or puppy staying in the crate until it is calm and here the release command or cue of “OK.”  If your puppy or dog is more sensitive and prone to more anxiety when crated or left alone, begin to place your puppy’s or dog’s water bowl and food bowl in the crate along with your puppy or dog’s favorite toys.  this will further help to prevent and desensitize any potential anxiety.

Remember Practice Makes Permanent!  No one is Perfect!  Practice this 5 minutes a day and your puppy or dog will be crate trained in no time.  Review the Crate Training Video for further help.

Be sure to also check out our article on How to Potty Train a Puppy.

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Happy Training

 

 


Phoenix Dog Trainer Operant condition dog behavior science of how dogs are trained

HOW DOGS LEARN

HOW DOGS LEARN

OPERANT CONDITIONING THE SCIENCE BEHIND DOG TRAINING: HOW DOGS LEARN AND ARE TRAINED

how dogs learn operant conditioningHow dogs learn might be the most important question you could ask.  At Phoenix Dog Training, our  approach to dog obedience training is based on years of study. As one of the foremost students of dog behavior, our Phoenix Dog Behaviorist has seen firsthand the effect of a combination of Operant Conditioning, Positive Reinforcement and Negative Reinforcement, and has made these techniques the centerpieces of his training philosophy, which specializes in the elimination of aggression, fears, anxieties and phobias in dogs.

HOW DOGS LEARN 

At Phoenix Dog Training we use about 90% positive reinforcement and about 10% negative reinforcement.  I also use negative punishment which is the removal of something the dog wants to decrease or stop unwanted behavior.  An example of negative punishment is to take away your kids WiFi password until they do their homework.  You are trying to stop or decrease the child’s procrastination.  With a dog it might be removing a treat or a toy.  This is one of the many ways how dogs learn.

I personally do not use positive punishment because I do not believe that how dogs learn has to be to experience fear, pain and intimidation to be taught. But I do use negative reinforcement, but in a unique way.

This being the case, Here at Phoenix Dog Training we are always eager to counteract the flashing red lights some people see when they hear the word “negative reinforcement.” Don’t let the term scare you, because in truth it isn’t negative at all! In fact it is non-aversive, as we don’t believe any dog should be trained with fear, pain or intimidation. As an example consider the following:

  • I am walking a dog and want to turn right
  • The dog wants to continue going straight
  • I tap the dog on the shoulder to get its attention so it can turn with me
  • I stop tapping on the dog’s shoulder when the dog performs the wanted behavior.

HOW DOGS LEARN 

That is all there is to negative reinforcement!  People often confuse negative reinforcement with punishment.  the two are not the same.  Negative reinforcement increases and or strengthens behavior.  Punishment stops or decreases a behavior.

Traditionally, how dogs learn and the use of negative reinforcement has been to apply an unpleasant stimulus to the dog, and then help the dog to do the behavior in order to remove the unpleasantness.  The dog works to turn off the unpleasant stimulus, or to avoid it all together.  Different trainers will use negative reinforcement differently.  How unpleasant the stimulus is varies from trainer to trainer.

My experience and work with how dogs learn has shown me that negative reinforcement really does not need to be a true aversive.  To me when I think aversive, I think pain or unpleasant.  In fact, here is the dictionary definition of aversive:

” aversive. adjective. Causing avoidance of a thing, situation, or behavior by using an unpleasant or punishing stimulus, as in techniques of behavior modification.”

I have personally developed a system based on how dogs learn and the use of negative reinforcement that uses a non aversive tactile or touch sensation that is nuetral.  The tactile or touch sensation is not unpleasent, demonstrated by the dog’s behavior, there is no avoidance.  The tactile or touch stimulus becomes a tactile cue, prompt, or command that is paired with both auditory and visual cues, adding another layer of communication to both verbal commands and hand signals.  I use multiple modalities of communication with dogs for more complete understanding and clarity of communication. 

What the dog experiences is very light non aversive tapping on its neck while being given a verbal command along with a visual command (hand signal.) When the dog does the behavior, the light tapping stops.  Rather than being an aversive, it is neutral touch, or a non painful tactile touch.

I have seen mothers speaking to their children who did not respond to them, touch the child on the shoulder to get the child’s attention with light touch and to get them to follow through on what the mother was asking.  That is non aversive negative reinforcement.

Another example of non aversive negative reinforcement that people experience is the seat-belt indicator.  If you don’t put your seat-belt on, there will be a sound going off or a light going off until you fasten the belt.  Once you do the behavior, the sound goes away.  There was no pain, at most it was an annoyance.  

HOW DOGS LEARN 

There are total positive reinforcement only trainers that can not conceive of non aversive negative reinforcement.  They like to say their way of training is scientific, but they fail to discuss ALL of the science.  The total positive reinforcement trainers want to claim how dogs learn is only with positive reinforcement.  They refuse to correct a dog. One of the reasons they can not conceive of non aversive humane negative reinforcement is because they have ZERO experience with it. They are giving their opinion on something that they have never done.

By combining all of the aforementioned aspects of how dogs learn, Phoenix Dog Training Dog Trainers are able to make their intentions clear to puppies and dogs. By opening the lines of communication Phoenix Dog Training is able to provide a low stress atmosphere for puppy training and canine training while getting lasting results in a fraction of the time of other Phoenix dog trainers.

We are committed to how dogs learn and providing dog training in Phoenix that offer the least amount of stress and the quickest results. Remember, we are training you as well as your dog, and the knowledge and insight you’ll gain into your dog’s mind and regarding the techniques with which to communicate your wishes will result in lasting good behavior and a more balanced home life. 

Thanks for reading and hopefully you have learned a little something about how dogs learn.

Phoenix Dog Training are the best dog trainers we have found in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area. Their Dog Behaviorist has personally helped us with our dogs as we had a tough case. Our dogs are doing great and we would never go to anyone else to train our dogs. The people, service and knowledge of training dogs is the best we have seen by far! I would recommend them to all my friends and family! Thank you!– Greg and Jody Fossen


Keri Grunert
Keri Grunert
05:11 18 Jan 18
Phoenix Dog Training is Phenomenal!! From the very beginning we knew we were in good hands. They worked so well with our whole family. Getting the kids involved in the training was brilliant. We would definitely recommend this company.
Tyler Thompson
Tyler Thompson
15:37 30 Nov 17
I recently called Phoenix dog training to train my out of control hyper Australian Shepherd. The training was excellent and the service was A+ all the way. I have used two trainers before that could not help with the pulling on walks when any dog came by and jumping on guests. Now "Molly" knows to go to her "Place" when the door bell rings. Walks are now enjoyable. I can even take her off leash and she stays right with me. I can not thank you enough.Tyler Thompson
Jose Rivas
Jose Rivas
21:11 25 Jul 17
My wife and I highly recommend Phoenix Dog Training. Our dog, a Labrador Retriever/German Shepard Mix, (Mr. Pickles) was trained last summer and we could not be more happy with the results. Mr. Pickles has been an excellent dog ever since his training. Everyone that comes in contact with our dog is amazed by his obedience and uncanny maturity even though he is not even three years old. He has acted perfectly on an international flight in-cabin, in the grocery store, restaurants and practically any situation one can imagine. My wife and I have Phoenix Dog Training to thank for training our dog to be the most well behaved dog we have ever seen or met. Phoenix Dog Training understands dog behavior and knows how to train a dog to meet the needs of their owners. Phoenix Dog Training utilizes empathetic, efficient, and effective methodologies in training dogs and we give them an emphatic recommendation!
Charles F Frost
Charles F Frost
20:30 21 Sep 17
I was referred to Phoenix Dog Training by our Veterinarian because of our Boxer Max, and his aggression.Phoenix Dog Training and their Harvard schooled Animal Behaviorist did an incredible job helping myself and my family bring Max under control. We realize we will need to manage Max's behavior for as long as he is with us, but now we have the skills and the tools to keep Max and everyone happy and safe. Thank you for all the great training help and support with our dog Max.
The German Star Lord
The German Star Lord
06:53 20 Sep 17
I have always trained all of my dogs myself. I have never had a dog I could not train. My current dog Jasper is the exception. I truly thought my dog had a mental problem. Thanks to Phoenix Dog Training I no longer think Jasper is mental. Jasper just needed his owner trained. I would recommend Phoenix Dog Training to anyone needing professional dog training.
B B
B B
03:45 17 Sep 17
I am so grateful I found Phoenix Dog Training. I live up in North Scottsdale and have a large yard. We get a lot of wild animals that come onto our property. Coyotes, Havelina, Bob Cats Mountain Lion, you name it. The problem I was having was my dog Skip would not come when called. No matter what we did he would not come when called. He would call me when there were no distractions. He would come when nothing was going on. But up another dog or another person or another animal is there, he will not come for anything! I have tried several other dog trainers in Scottsdale. They all promised me they could get my dog to come, and they did a great job getting my dog to listen to me when there were no distractions. But if there's another animal, they were not able to get my dog to come when called. Out of frustration and skeptical, I called Phoenix dog training. They said they had a money back guarantee. I figured if there was ever a time they would have to honor their money back guarantee it would be with myself and my dog Skip. To my absolute amazement, the dog trainer from Phoenix Dog Training was able to get Skip to come with the distraction of another dog he brought with him within about 3 minutes! It was absolutely crazy!!! No one had been able to produce any results, and here they have skip coming when called with another dog around, skip would normally go crazy. But this time he was coming when called! I would definitely recommend Phoenix Dog Training!!! They saved my dog from being eaten from a Mountain Lion I'm sure!!!
Paras Dhankecha
Paras Dhankecha
06:03 19 Sep 17
I really want to thank you guys. Phoenix Dog Training has made my dogs life and my life so much better. I get to finally enjoy my dog. Walks are now a pleasure. She sits and stays when I tell her. When I call her to me, now she comes. I love the "place" command and that seems to be her favorite command too. I'm looking forward to the Polishing and Maintenance classes that Phoenix Dog Training offers after our completion of our private at home dog training lessons. Thank you again.
Numb Brrr
Numb Brrr
21:45 20 Sep 17
Phoenix Dog Training is AMAZING! They rehabilitated my aggressive PitBull when 3 other trainers failed and told me the only option was to euthanize my dog. Boy am I glad I did not listen to the other trainers and hired a real Dog Behaviorist. It is very different working with a professional Dog Behaviorist than just a Dog Trainer. It was worth the money and the time to save my dogs life. Definitely hire Phoenix Dog Training.
Linda Shoemaker
Linda Shoemaker
00:20 23 May 18
My husband, our Great Dane Misty, and I are so glad we signed up for training. We so appreciate all the training we received to help us better manage our girl. So much better but still a ways to go and now we have the knowledge and help we needed. We also know that anytime we have a question or issue that Bill will be there to help. Highly recommend. Jack, Linda, and Misty Shoemaker
Melinda McClean
Melinda McClean
01:12 05 Jun 18
My wife and I are more than happy with the work that Bill did for us, and our dog. We reached out to him for one-on-one training, frustrated and concerned about her reactive behavior. His knowledge of dog behavior is extensive, and his ability to impart that knowledge was exceptional. We learned more in one day, than we did in 6 months of group training with another organisation. Bill guided us through the training, and explained how we should progress through to maintenance, so that our dog's progress could continue. We've received many positive comments about our dog's improved behavior and we highly recommend Bill. He's given us the knowledge and confidence that we need to work with our dog.
Amanda Szolnok
Amanda Szolnok
18:18 27 Aug 18
I greatly appreciate Bill's help and support as my dog was going through some severe separation anxiety (barking loudly and whining anytime I left) after moving to a new apartment. I tried many different tips from multiple articles that I read online but nothing seemed to help. His barking was very loud for an apartment complex so I would need to keep him in doggy day care during the day while I worked as he couldn't be left alone in the apartment due to the noise level. It was a brand new behavior for my dog and I was pretty lost as to what steps to take. It seemed like a hopeless situation however Bill was very helpful and provided great insight and guidance in the situation. My dog is now doing great and is fine to be left alone while I go to work. He is very comfortable in the apartment and is back to being happy and playful. I really appreciate Phoenix Dog Training.
Lisa Richter
Lisa Richter
02:38 05 Mar 19
Bill came to our home and did an in depth evaluation of our beloved Irish Terrier Benji, who not only was disobedient, but also fearful of children...this is problem considering I have a 2 & 4 year old running around. My husband Mark and I sought out Bill due to his knowledge as an animal behaviorist and trainer as we were not getting the desired results with another trainer. Bill really came through for us and we couldn't be happier. It feels good and gives my husband and I peace of mind knowing we have control over Benji especially when around our children. Thanks a million Bill!!!
Robert Weedman
Robert Weedman
03:03 03 Mar 19
I own vizsla and he was more than rambunctious at only 4 months. After training with Phoenix dog training he is now good in public and in dog parks off leash. I never knew I could have a dog be so obedient and loving. Thank you for making my pet a full time best friend for life.
Marilyn Knapp
Marilyn Knapp
03:07 06 Mar 19
Awesome caring wonderful experience!! The best there is for dog whisper!!! Highly recommend would not go to anyone else to train a problematic dog!!
Carol Peck
Carol Peck
21:13 26 Jan 19
Bill did a terrific job training our little rescue dog and us! Ziggy was about a year old when he was dumped in neighborhood and hadn't even been house trained. He's come a long way thanks to Bill.
T Gant
T Gant
00:42 08 Mar 19
I would highly recommend to any dog lover! He’s the best.
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