When dog owners all over the world face training challenges, there’s one place they know they can turn: Absolute Dogs. Aside from its reward-based dog behaviour courses, Absolute Dogs offers several free training resources. These resources span from YouTube videos to blog posts to the Absolute Dogs podcast.
Each concept-focused dog training resource provides essential guidance to help you train your dog, even when it seems that nothing is working. In particular, the Absolute Dogs podcast delves into several training challenges that dog owners face.
These are three of the topics discussed recently on the Absolute Dogs podcast to help dog owners overcome training challenges:
- Improving your dog’s recall.
- Communicating with your deaf dog.
- Training your dog effectively with play.
Recently On the Absolute Dogs Podcast: Recall Training Tips
Dog owners trying to help their dogs improve their recall will find this off-leash training episode of the Absolute Dogs podcast helpful. This episode covers several recall tips to help dogs become more responsive when off the lead.
Team Your Communications With Positive Outcomes
Be aware that your dog will decide whether your words are important. They’ll make this decision based on the outcome of the words and signals you use. When they learn that a certain word or phrase leads to a positive outcome, they’ll be much more likely to respond.
If you over-talk to your dog, your words may become like white noise to them. However, when you use specific communications that always lead to positive outcomes, your dog will be more likely to respond to these communications.
Learn Which Rewards Your Dog Loves
Remember that what you consider a great outcome might not be a great treat for your dog. For example, some dogs prefer an experience with a toy to edible treats.
If the experience you’re offering isn’t more rewarding than the alternative (such as chasing a squirrel), your dog isn’t likely to come when you call them. Learn which rewards your dog loves most and use these in the experiences you create when you recall.
Play Hard to Get
Make it both challenging and rewarding for your dog to find you, perhaps by hiding behind a tree or waiting in an area that requires them to jump over an obstacle to reach you.
Just like chasing a squirrel, chasing you adds an element of fun that can engage your dog. Therefore, adding a hide-and-seek twist to your recall can encourage your dog to be more responsive.
Reward Your Dog for Making Great Decisions 24/7
Rather than limiting your recall training to specific sessions, shape your dog’s behaviour 24/7 by always celebrating their great decisions. The whole picture is important to recall training. As a result, rewarding dogs when they take a certain position, catch an item, or focus can all help them become more responsive.
If you’re using food as a reward, you can allocate treats over a day rather than at mealtimes. By spreading the food allowance throughout the day, you can reward your dog every time they make a good decision.
Start Recall Training on the Lead
Your dog doesn’t have to practise running to you off the lead to improve their recall right away. Start your recall training with your dog on their lead, whether in the house or outside.
The more your dog understands that a recall means they should look at you because you’re about to do something fun, the more likely they are to respond. Otherwise, they learn that a recall means they should come to you, sit, and receive a treat. This can feel transactional and may not be so exciting.
Make Recall Experiences Unpredictable
Once your dog knows what to expect when you call them, mix it up with some new recall experiences. When your dog can’t predict the fun experience that will follow, they’ll be more likely to respond.
Keep Decision Times Short
Keep decision times short so your dog doesn’t have time to hesitate. If you call your dog and then move away quickly, your dog won’t have time to wonder what the experience you’re going to give them is. They won’t have time to decide whether this experience is worth it. Instead, instantly, they know they need to follow you.
Find What Works
If your recall doesn’t work, don’t panic. Attract your dog calmly by scattering food and guiding your dog by their collar. From here, try new recall games until you find the approaches that work for your dog.
Don’t keep calling your dog’s name if you don’t think they’re coming back. You get what you rehearse, so continuously calling a dog’s name when they’re not responding will embed this behaviour.
Recently On the Absolute Dogs Podcast: Tips for Training Deaf Dogs
In a recent Absolute Dogs podcast episode, co-founder Lauren Langman teamed up with deaf dog advocate and Pro Dog Trainer Natalie Rogers. Together, they debunked the myth that deaf dogs are harder to train and offered advice on how to train deaf dogs.
Debunking The Myth That Deaf Dogs Are Difficult to Train
It’s a myth that deaf (and blind) dogs are difficult to train. Dogs’ sensory abilities don’t affect how difficult it is to train them. The difficulty comes from a dog’s lack of susceptibility to reinforcement and/or not knowing which rewards they really enjoy.
Game-Based Training: The Ideal Way to Train Deaf Dogs
As they can’t hear, deaf dogs need to look at their owners to receive directions. It also helps if they learn how to make great choices independently.
Game-based training is the ideal way to train deaf dogs. Games can teach a dog the same concepts in several ways, helping them build strong behaviours for all sorts of contexts that can come up in day-to-day life. As verbal cues aren’t effective for deaf dogs, games can get them to practise non-verbal cues that are effective.
For example, dog owners can practise an orientation game in which they toss a piece of food for their dog to catch. When the dog catches the food, the owner gives them a thumbs up instead of verbal praise. This way, the dog learns that when they look at their owner, good things happen.
Giving a thumbs up is one of many visual cues a dog owner can give. Another example is a double tap on the shoulder or hip.
Talking To Your Deaf Dog
Whether your dog is deaf or partially deaf, talk to them. Even if they can’t hear you, talking will make your gestures more natural, and you’ll communicate more clearly.
Recently On the Absolute Dogs Podcast: Play, Never Punishment
Traditionally, many owners have used punishment to train their dogs. But punishment is never necessary. There isn’t any evidence to suggest that punishing animals helps them improve their behaviour. In this episode of the Absolute Dogs podcast, Lauren and dog trainer Zak George explain why the power of play is much more effective (and ethical).
Sometimes, when a dog behaves a certain way, it’s easy to consider this negative behaviour. But this behaviour may be natural behaviour for a dog. For example, it’s natural for dogs to bark and chase other animals.
With the right training, dog owners can reshape the behaviours that their dog chooses. This doesn’t mean the dog is behaving negatively pre-training or that punishment is necessary to train them out of these behaviours.
Games That Involve Play
Training can be fun and accessible when it involves games, rather than tests or stressful situations. When dog training is fun, results are typically much better. Tug, fetch, catch, and chase games are simple but effective games that teach dogs how to respond to your cues.
In these games, play, food, or other rewards can help reinforce a dog’s new behaviour. These rewards don’t have to be conventional. Lauren has worked with dog owners who love everything from mini Hoovers to brooms and hot chicken.
One of Lauren’s favourite games is “magic hand,” which involves dropping food from one hand to keep dogs focused. Lauren Langman uses this game in agility competitions, where she may have to keep her dog focused in an arena with 20 rings and 500 dogs. She mixes up the treats she drops to keep things unpredictable and exciting.
Another of her favourites is a “wrapping” game. This game involves encouraging a dog to run around an item to catch a toy on a leash. This is also a good training game for dogs who are preparing for agility competitions.
Training Tips on the Absolute Dogs Podcast
These are just three of the training challenges solved on the Absolute Dogs podcast. The dog training experts also delve into topics like:
- Canine body language.
- How to tame puppies who bite.
- Strategies for when training isn’t working.
- Staying energised when training your dog.
- Fostering, rescuing, and rehoming dogs.
- Raw feeding and holistic wellness for dogs.
Tune into the Absolute Dogs podcast.
About Absolute Dogs
Absolute Dogs has conceptualised an array of games that dog owners can employ to help their dogs overcome virtually any challenge. Not only do these games enable dogs to develop the skills they need, but they also provide opportunities for dogs to bond with their owners.
Each game focuses on why a dog is behaving a certain way and upholds kindness at all times. The game-focused approach solves problems in behaviour rather than suppressing these.
Since launching in 2014, Absolute Dogs has created a wealth of resources to help dog owners all over the world train their dogs and build fulfilling relationships with their pets. The company’s initial offering was its Games Club, which more than 7,000 members have now joined.
Since then, Absolute Dogs has:
- Held in-person events like Super Trainer Live.
- Developed courses like Naughty But Nice and Pro Dog Trainer, which thousands of dog owners have completed.
- Opened its Pro Dog Trainer Club, which builds on the Pro Dog Trainer course with a monthly membership package.
- Released Naughty But Nice Revolution, a book that delves into dog behaviour and transforming negative patterns.
- Added nutritional A-OK9 supplements to its online shop, making it easy for dog owners to access high-quality supplements for their dogs.
- Launched the 25-day Sexier Than a Squirrel challenge.