Preparation is the Key

Canine Coach Mike provides easy-to-learn training methods that will boost both you and your dog’s confidence!

Catching your dogs doing something great is important and rewarding them for it will set them up to repeat that behavior. This is easier If  the rewards are of high value to your dog.

Positive reinforcement training should be the first line of teaching, training and behavior change program considered, and be applied consistently.

Each time that I plan to train my dogs, I make sure to set up the area where I am going to train before I begin. If I’m using cones, or a jump or any other piece of equipment I always have them in place or nearby. The same goes for the rewards/treats that I am using. There is nothing that can slow down training more than being unprepared.

I will always have rewards somewhere close like in my pocket or in a small sandwich bag. This is helpful so I can reward my dog for doing something great like offering eye contact or a sit without me asking. This surprise payment will go a long way in your dogs learning since it was not a scheduled training session. If you train your dog the same time and the same room each day your dog may figure out the routine/pattern of the behaviors and start chaining them together. At some point you move around to different areas of your home.

Being prepared also means when you decide to move the training outside, your dog may have some trouble concentrating on simple behaviors. This is because, in part to the environment change. It could be as simple as the fresh air blowing in your dogs’ face or the rabbit bouncing away across your backyard! The value of the rabbit running is usually going to be higher than a piece of cheese or biscuit that you may be using to get your dogs attention. Try to step up the level of rewards you are using when training outside. Make it hard for your dog to look away when you call his/her name!

One final word on being prepared is when you are out on a walk with your dog. There should be a plan in place for when you get caught off guard by an approaching stranger, loose dog or a number of other distractions that will charge up your dog in a quick few seconds. When a dog is in a high level of stress it is easier to manage(walk away from trouble) the situation, since training will be very difficult at that particular moment. The frustration level of dog parents can be overwhelming when put in a situation that has not been practiced when training. I like to slowly add distractions while training since they happen each day in our lives.

Once you have learned how to be ready to handle any situation, you will find being prepared is on the top of the list of a good training plan.

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“Dogs really love to please their humans, and using positive training methods is the fastest way to get results!”

- Canine Coach Mike

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    Michael Muscato, CPDT-KA​

    The Canine Coach

    With a love for dogs and a passion for coaching, Mike is dedicated to educating people about their dogs behavior.

    Mike was introduced to horses and dogs at a young age and soon knew these animals would become a rewarding part of his life. He was inspired to train dogs by Sherwood, his first Golden Retriever in 1990. Mike is determined to make a lasting impact with every dog and their owner, using positive training methods.

    For over 20 years Mike has been a player development director for athletes, and feels right at home sharing his knowledge to help dog owners become a better coach to their dog!

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