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Are You Always Training that Dog?

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Are You Always Training that Dog?

By Lisa Spector, Canine Music Expert, Juilliard Graduate, and co-creator of Through a Dog’s Ear.

In honor of National Train your Dog Month sponsored by the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT), I have been dedicated my January blogs to dog training, specifically positive reinforcement, science-based training. My previous blog included an interview with veterinary behaviorist Ian Dunbar, the founder of APDT and the first trainer to start off-leash puppy and socialization classes with pups starting at 8 weeks of age.

A local business owner, who sees me often with Sanchez, made a passing comment the other day that really got my attention. He said, “You’re always training that dog.” While he didn’t mean it as a criticism, he certainly didn’t intend it to be a compliment, even though I replied with “Thank you.”  A better compliment might have been, “You are always building relationship with your dog.” But, I don’t think that’s what he saw.

Sanchez is seven and was bred to be a guide dog. He loves to socialize, work, and keep his mind active. Recently I read that keeping a dog’s brain engaged is the key to a happy, healthy companion. This is very true with Sanchez. His mind is always working and even though he gets a tremendous amount of exercise, it needs to be combined with mental stimulation. I live in a very dog friendly town and he goes almost everywhere with me and loves all the attention he gets. Most locals know him by name. I work with him whenever we are in line at the bank, the hardware store, and when he needs a break from being in a down stay at the Apple Store (where we are both receiving training).

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Lisa Spector

Lisa Spector is a concert pianist, Juilliard graduate, and canine music expert. She is co-founder of Through a Dog's Ear, the first music clinically demonstrated to calm the canine nervous system. Their new high-tech pet gadget, iCalmDog, is the portable solution to canine anxiety. Lisa shares her home and her heart with her two "career change" Labrador Retrievers from Guide Dogs for the Blind, Sanchez and Gina. Follow Lisa's blog here.


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6:00PM PST on Jan 26, 2013

We adopted a little rescue chihuahua last September and we believe she is about 2 years old. I love and adore her and have only been training her for about a month now and have been surprised at how easy it's been. She seems quite eager to learn and to please. I always carry training treats in my pockets and it's fun adding new little things to the mix. I rarely miss an opportunity to ask her to do something and she never misses the chance to try and do things on her own for a reward. She's just the sweetest little thing. I love her so, so much.

9:18AM PDT on Oct 29, 2011

Yeah whether or not you mean to you are always training your dog. This needs to be told to my mother who reinforces questionable behaviours by giving treats after they steal something from her plate >_>

5:39PM PST on Feb 22, 2011

No, I'm always training my cats!

2:07PM PST on Feb 15, 2011


12:47AM PST on Feb 6, 2011

What a good dog!

10:31AM PST on Feb 5, 2011

thank you

8:06PM PST on Jan 29, 2011

It is my understanding that training never ends.

10:37PM PST on Jan 21, 2011

noted, thanx

10:12AM PST on Jan 21, 2011

noted.. thanks

2:51AM PST on Jan 21, 2011

Thanks, I enjoy training and working with my dog

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