Tag Archives: self help

Motivating Your Dog

Keeping the attention of a dog while training is not always an easy task. Dogs are very easily distracted, and it is important to not allow the dog training sessions to be sabotaged by boredom. Making dog training fun for the dog and the human alike is vital to creating a happy, well-adjusted and well-trained dog.

Providing random positive stimuli throughout the day is a great way to keep the interest of your dog. Doing things the dog enjoys, like walking in the park, riding in the car, and playing with other dogs, are great ways to keep the dog’s attention, but you must reward him for small successes.

For instance, in order to reward the dog for coming to you when you call him, ask the dog to come to you, without giving any clues about going for a walk, a car ride, or other treats.

After the dog has come over to you and obediently sat down, attach the leash and begin the treat. This can be either the before-mentioned stroll in the park, ride in the car, or anything else the dog likes to do.

Giving some kind of reward, whether a treat, a special outing, or just a tickle behind the ears, every time the dog does something you want him to, is a great way to maintain your dog’s motivation while you are dog training.

If the dog knows something good is going to occur every time he obeys your commands, he will be more motivated to do want you tell him every time.

Distraction training.

When training a dog, it is important to not let distractions ruin the training. The dog must be taught to ignore distractions, such as other people, other dogs, other animals and loud noises, and focus on what is being taught These types of distractions can also be used as rewards when training the dog to come when called.

For instance, if your dog like romping with other dogs, whether it be in the park or with the neighbour’s dogs, let him play with those other dogs. Then go into the park or yard and call your dog.

When he comes to you, give him lots of praise, treats and other rewards, then immediately allow the dog to return to playing with his friends. Do this several times and praise the dog each time he comes over to you.

The dog will quickly learn that coming to your call results in good things (treats and praise) and not bad ones (being removed from the park).

This so-called distraction training is one of the hardest things for your dog to learn, because dogs are naturally social animals, and breaking away from the pack is one of the most difficult things you can ask your dog to do. Most dogs will be understandably unwilling to leave their canine companions, but it is important to persist in dog training.

Training the dog to come to you when you call may take some creativity on your behalf at first. For instance, waving one of his favourite toys, or a lure, is a good way to get your dog’s attention and put the focus back on you. If your dog has been clicker trained, a quick click can be a good motivator too in dog training.

Once your dog starts to become used to coming when called, you can start to reduce and then stop the visual cues and focus on making the dog respond to just your voice. It is vital that the dog responds to voice commands alone, as you will not always have a toy or lure to hand.

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The Perfect Barbecue

The three most essential elements of any barbecue party are the guests, the weather and the food. I can not make recommendations about your friends and family, you are on your own there, but I hope you will find my suggestions for the other two fronts practical.

An unplanned party in the garden is great and often the best parties are the ones that just happen off the cuff, but if you want something a little more formal or more notable then you have to organize. The first step is to pick a date far enough in the future for most people to be unlikely to have a prior engagement, but not so far that they might forget about your barbecue party.

Depending on where you live of course, try to pick a date when it is not likely to be cool or wet. This is hard in places like the UK, but may be easier where you live. If the party goes on into the night it may get chilly anyway and you could hire a few gas patio heaters in advance just in case. You could also have a sunshade or sheltered seating area in case of blazing sunshine or a light shower.

These days many people are vegetarian and you will have to plan in advance for them and other dieters, if they make up a sizable number of your guests. You could send out RSVP invitations and ask your guests to make known any special dietary requirements. I am not really suggesting that you have to cater to everybody, but if you have a lot of Jews or Arabs coming you will need to provide an alternative to pork chops and of course there are other minorities too.

In fact, you may have to do some research on the religions of the people coming to your barbecue party, because often cooking utensils may not have touched pork of meat or shellfish. Most people of the guests with these dietary requirements will have been in this situation before and will understand if you go some way to providing an alternative.

For this reason, you will need to get your RSVP cards back at least a week before your barbecue party and do a bit of research on the telephone or the Internet. Then start making up the barbecue side dishes. These should include baked or and boiled jacket potatoes and potato salad, baked beans, egg quarters and coleslaw along with pickles, relish, onions, chutneys tomato and curry sauces (hot and not so hot), as most people will eat them. These can be prepared a few days in advance and kept in Tupperware containers in the fridge. Bread in the form of buns is also essential so that people can make sandwiches.

It is important for a slick operation, to have your party area fully prepared before your guests arrive. it is a good idea to set the music system up in the garden shed or the garage to protect it it from any sudden shower. Provide plenty of tissues for wiping greasy fingers and plenty of bins for the debris. Finger bowls with lemon water would be useful for this objective too.

Owen Jones, the author of this piece, writes on many topics, but is currently involved with the propane outdoor heater. If you are interested in patio heaters too, please click through to Residential Patio Heaters.