Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Basics of Clicker Training + Positive Reinforcement

To be able to use Clicker Training, it is a good idea to know exactly how one goes about using this method before giving a shot. First off, begin by going to your local pet store and looking around the counter for little box-like objects. These objects are the cheapest and easiest way to training your canine!

Once you have obtained your 'magic box', test it out! The click makes a unique and interesting noise. This generally gains the dog's interest. When you test it out on your dog for the first time, you should have a hidden stash of treats in your hand, pocket or near by. Simply click the clicker and treat. This will help create a new bond of connection for your dog. Soon, he will realize that click = treat.

Once your dog understands that click equates to treat, you should always be sure to provide some sort of treat or praise after using the clicker; to reward your dog. The clicker's roots lie deep in Positive Reinforcement. Positive Reinforcement is a very excellent way to train a dog. The reason being is that dogs are social creatures and they love their family. I can't exactly say they want to please -- not all dogs were born to please, but most dogs like to listen to their owners when they ask something of them.

When you praise an animal for doing something that you ask of them, then it makes them happy. You are helping make a connection for your dog to understand. Dog's don't speak our language and we don't speak theirs -- but as the superior intellect in the relationship, it is our job to be able to help aid our animals in having a good understanding and smooth connection. If you punish your dog for doing something wrong, you are severing these bonds.

Now, i'm not saying punishing is a bad thing. Sometimes dogs need a time out, but dogs aren't humans. Dogs forget what mistake they've made -- and so they'll associate punishment with the person who punished them. And this is when a dog starts to distrust its' owners.

Friday, March 19, 2010


Hello, and welcome to Shiboku. There are many methods on dog training, but it's hard to decide which is right for your dog, especially since some of the most practiced and popular ones are ineffective and can actually be harmful after prolonged exposure. This blog will review the best methods for training your pup and techniques to help teach both you and your pet how to coexist happily and healthily.

My name is Steph; I am 20 years old and I am a 2nd year college student. I have a 2 1/2 year old purebred Shiba Inu named Toby. According to most of society, my dog is a 'dangerous' breed, a reactive, nasty breed that apparently is natually aggressive. ... seriously?

Now, lets look past this view.

The Shiba Inu is an ancient breed, evolved and formed from ancient/aboriginal Ainu hunting dogs in Japan. Being that it is an ancient breed, the Shiba exhibits behaviors that most people might seriously consider 'aggressive'. Why is this? This spitz breeds have a horrible reputation in the dog world, they're known for their 'free spirit', independence, and their toughness. Do you know what I say to those views? Push them aside. Look at the dog as-is. Don't brush assumptions on them. Dogs are not cookie cutter cut out shapes, each dog in a breed isn't going to be like the worst case recorded.

All dogs are trainable ( yes, even the worst cases ); you just have to find the appropriate method that clicks with the dog. In this case, my own Shiba, clicks amazingly with clicker training coinciding with positive reinforcement. This method works astoundingly well for -most- dogs, especially stubborn spitz breeds. They just love to be buttered up and praised. They love it. And you need to give it to them when they do something you really truly appreciate.

Redirection is a main key in properly training your dog to be the best it can be. A dog wasn't born to please or obey. A dog is born to provide companionship and well ... be a dog. Doing things going against the dog's nature will naturally create tension and lead to things many people refer to as 'aggression' and 'dominance'.

The goal of this blog is to educate the minds of dog owners. I do not consider myself in anyway an expert, but a person, just like you. A person who has taken many hours, days, weeks and months of their lives, to study, read, view, and educate themselves on dog language, behavior and training. I love dogs, I live for them. And my dog lives for me.