Chicago Paws Dog Training Blog

Covers positive reinforcement dog training strategies and tips. Jeff strongly believes that positive reinforcement training is the only option and he is a vocal critic of other methods. You can also find product and book reviews and clicker training tips.

Your dog is stubborn? Here are some tips.

Stubborn is used frequently to describe dogs that don't perform a task that is asked of them. Maybe the dog is pulling on his leash, maybe he doesn't lie down when cued, or maybe he lies down when you he was asked to "Sit". I think it is much easier to call a dog stubborn than to get at the root of the problem.

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Should you use alpha rolls? No.

When I am working with my clients, I focus on determining what strategies are most effective with each individual dog. I have found certain techniques to be extremely effective and I also see mistakes and read about other trainer's suggestions that can create problems and cause the treatment to take longer or be ineffective.

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Common dog training questions

I frequently hear very similar questions from multiple clients. I also have random dog training thoughts that come to mind that might not lend themselves to a complete blog post. So, I thought I could blend the two and start this as an occasional series. This might contain questions and answers, observations or other dog training thoughts. When applicable, I will also reference other posts that expand on the answer for you.

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How to safely take your dog to a dog park

With summer weather finally here in Chicago, it is time to start thinking about more frequent trips to the dog park. You might feel uneasy when your dog plays with other dogs. Hopefully this alleviates some of your concerns by teaching you what to look for and how to react if there is a problem.

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The PETA Founder - I Am An Animal: The Story of Ingrid Newkirk and PETA

I just finished watching the documentary about Ingrid Newkirk, the co-founder of PETA. I really did not know much about her or her organization before this except for the various news stories that crop up here and there in the media. I have seen a few documentaries about animal rights and about 4 years ago Peaceable Kingdom: A Tribe of Heart Documentary was the final push I needed to become a vegetarian.

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Your dog is acting weird? It might be a physical problem

I received two calls this week that that reminded me about the importance of making sure a dog is physically healthy before I recommend training strategies. One call was in regards to a 3-year old dog that recently started whining uncontrollably whenever his person was out of the room or out of the home. He also had a few housetraining regressions and his guardian found a few accidents when he got home.

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Positive reinforcement dog training strategies

Did you know that there are different styles of training within the positive reinforcement "camp"? There are trainers that only use one style and others (like myself) use many different strategies depending on what works in a given situation. However, I NEVER use pain or fear when training.

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How long should dog training sessions last?

Did you know it is better to practice short training sessions and stop when your dog still wants more? This strategy will keep training interesting and you will avoid over training.

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Do you say, "No!" to your dog alot?

"No" (which means don't jump on the guests).
"No" (which means don't chew on the couch).
"No" (which means stop barking)
Sound familiar?

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Be a better dog trainer - understand criteria

A good strategy for dog training is to be aware of your rewards and how you use them. I recommend something called the calorie bowl to avoid over treating. But, using treats wisely is important for both keeping your dog slim and fit and creating the best environment for a motivated dog that loves to learn.

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Losing your cool with your dog is never cool

I saw something horrifying on Tuesday. I was working with two of my fantastic clients and their Bernese Mountain Dog puppy. I was hired to help McIntire with a bit of fear around men, hand shyness, and other assorted issues such as teaching him to have better off leash control.

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Do not wait until spring to socialize your puppy. Do it now.

Chicago is a wonderful place. It was ranked one of the most dog-friendly cities; there are lots of dog parks, a beautiful lakefront and tons of nice dogs and people for puppies to meet. However, Chicago's harsh, winter weather makes it a very challenging city to socialize a puppy in the winter months.

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Safely play tug with your dog

There are a lot of misconceptions about playing tug with your dog. In my experience, (and lots of other trainers I respect) as long as you teach your dog some ground rules, tug is a great way to condition your dog to have a soft mouth as well as providing your dog exercise.

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Summer dog training tips

As we approach summer, it is important to think about keeping your pooch safe. I live in Chicago where I have some unique things to worry about (such as dogs getting stolen out of cars), but wherever you live, it is important to keep in mind some basic safety tips for dogs.

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Try the clicker to train your dog. It works better.

My name is Jeff Millman and I am a clicker trainer. I know this sounds like the beginning of a 12-step program, but it is not. I am not ashamed of being a clicker trainer, nor do I want to change my ways.

I do want to help explain the benefits of clicker training so you too can train your dog faster and communicate better with him or her.

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Can a dog get too much exercise?

Exercise usually does a dog good, but there are times when too much exercise and activity cna actually be counter productive. Read on for a client case study.

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Train for the Canine Good Citizen Test

The Canine Good Citizen test is used to encourage the training of dogs to comply with guidelines that identify well-mannered dogs. Once a dog passes the test, they can receive a tag with the Canine Good Citizen designation. Sometimes landlords require this to live in their dog-friendly building. This is also the first step for dogs to gain the more advanced therapy dog certification.

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Feel like your dog only works for treats?

Ever feel like your dog ignores you unless you have treats? Do you feel like treats are a crutch that you can't move away from? Read on for some tips to help.

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One tip to cure dog boredom

Everyone is busy and can feel guilty for not spending enough time with their pooch. Here is one tip for giving your dog some much-needed fun.

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Does your dog have separation anxiety?

This is an excerpt from my EBook, "Separation Anxiety - Identification and Treatment"

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