Basic Pet Training Rules

Before we actually start puppy training or even thinking about it, it is important that we get ourselves in the right frame of mind. If we do this and know where we are going, we will be much less likely to violate certain training rules that may hinder or prevent us from attaining our goals. Additionally, we want to prevent ourselves from doing anything that may adversely affect the relationship we hope to develop with our puppy. In our article on Housebreaking, we alluded to the fact that everything we do in training can result in positive or negative effects on how our puppy sees us. We start out with the idea of ​​making our dog more like we want him to be, but if we are not careful our pet may end up seeing us as something he does not want us to be.

Rule 1 – Always Be Consistent – The First Rule of general training is Always Be Consistent. There should be no exceptions here if you want the training to go as quickly and as easily as possible. This refers to your actions and words. From the very start you need to decide exactly what you are trying to teach or control and how you will do it. If you are going to use a definite word or phrase as part of a command or in conjunction with a certain point you are trying to make, always say the exact same thing in the same tone of voice. This is important for all members of a household or anyone else working with the puppy. Everyone that is involved in the training should know and use the same expression. As an example, let us think in terms of the "Come" command. It obviously will not make things go faster if you use the word "Come," your spouse uses the word "Here," and one of the children uses "Yo, Boy." All of this simply confuses the dog. Remember, we are trying to train him in our language; We can not expect the puppy to be multilingual at 8 weeks of age.

Every time you give a command or are working on a training point, consistently carry it through to completion. Do not tug on the check cord for the pup to come to you and then become distracted and forget what you are doing. If you start pulling the animal in but then stop with him halfway to you, he becomes confused. The puppy is expected to come to you, all the way to you. If you do not ensure that happens, the puppy may think that it is okay, when given the 'Come' command, to only come in part way to you or completely ignore the command.

Try to expect the same reaction out of the puppy each time. If you use any form of praise or reward for a job well done, be consistent on how well the task in question is completed before the praise or reward is forthcoming. If the puppy is supposedly to sit, do not praise him if he only bends the rear legs a little bit. People love to praise their dogs and sometimes they are so anxious to do this that the animal is hearing a string of "Good Boys," but it has not yet completed what he was supposed to. Over time this tells the puppy that he does not have to sit all the way down but rather a slight crouch will do. The puppy will believe that close is good enough.

When you start training the dog on a particular day, think of the next few minutes as classroom time. When children are in school, there is classroom time for learning and recess for playing. The same should occur with your puppy. When you start a training session, maintain a consistent training attitude for you and your puppy. Think training and not play. Work only on training issues and do them over and over. Stay in control so it does not become playtime for the puppy. When you are not in a training session, be careful of what you say and do.

In the early stages of training, never give a command unless you can control the puppy's actions. This is a part of consistency that many owners overlook. As an example, let us say you are currently in the process of teaching your puppy the 'Come' command. She does not respond every time yet but she is learning what the word means. You are in the backyard together playing with the puppy and children. It is recess, not classroom time. The puppy is off of her lead and suddenly takes off after a wild rabbit. Do not, we repeat, do not even think about saying "Come!" You know the puppy is not going to respond because her mind is on the rabbit and only the rabbit. If you do scream "Come," hopefully the dog will be so distracted that she will not hear you. Because if she does recognize the command but continues after the rabbit, the puppy has just learned that when you are not in control, she can get away with ignoring what you say. During the training phase, when the pup is doing something, and you are in a position that you are unable to control or restrain her, do not say anything. Rather move to the animal and stop or prevent her from what it is she is doing. In the above example, you have two correct choices. You can either let her continue the chase or run and catch the puppy. Do not scream "Come."

Along the way, you may make configurations in your training method but that point on be consistent. You may find that certain styles of training work better on your pup. That is okay, but do not start switching back and forth. Just because one command is going slow, you should not change from method to method, hoping you find the magic formula that speeds up the process. This rarely happens and in the interim, the puppy may become hopelessly confused. We have found that any individual pup, regardless of the method used, may have trouble with a certain command but not the others. This probably relates back to some experience in the animal's past.

Rule 2 – Keep Training Sessions Short – The Second Rule of general training is Keep Training Sessions Short. In many instances, young children can become engrossed for several hours in a game, book, or television show. Successful kindergarten teachers can make learning fun and productive often for an hour or so. However, dogs and especially puppies, do not possess long attention spans. Young pups will not spend more than a few minutes chasing an exciting, moving stimulus like a butterfly or bird. They simply lose interest and go on to the next thing. The same is true with training, they burn out quickly and become bored. After that has happened, nothing further will be learned.

Generally speaking, most successful trainers limit training sessions to no more that 10 or 15 minutes regardless of the age of the animal. This seems to be a good duration for most dogs to tolerate or enjoy. If this window of time is exceeded, the learning process actually starts to go backwards. It is important that the puppy enjoy these sessions. If not, they may resent the entire program. If forced to continue training after they have lost interest, this same behavior may spill over into future sessions. Keep their minds occupied and keep it fun.

Set up a schedule and stick to it. It is much better to train for 10 minutes every day than 60 minutes once a week. Plan to have your training times revolve around the pup's schedule. Do not expect the puppy to be a ball of energy and willing to learn if you try to work on the commands when it would normally be napping or eating. Plan your training sessions when distractions are at a minimum. If you have young children, it might go better if you trained while they are at school or in some way occupied.

There are ways to get additional training time other than the brief scheduled periods and these extra ones can be very important. If your animal is doing something that you are trying to train him to do, use obvious opportunities to reinforce the command. A best case scenario would be when you are getting ready to feed the puppy. You have learned that as soon as the animal hears you filling the bowl he automatically comes running. As soon as he starts toward you, bend down with the bowl and say "Come." It is a free, can not fail training session. Another example would be when you are trying to train the puppy not to do something. Let us say you are trying to keep him from jumping on people. You have learned that every time you first come home, the puppy rockets through the house and jumps up on your leg. Be prepared and when he jumps up immediately put light pressure on his toes (see our article on Jumping Up on People). Then immediately bend down and greet the puppy just like you always do. Do not say anything about the jumping as you two are happy to see each other. Whenever you can control the animal or know what he is going to do, it is a good idea to use these situations as a continuation of your training.

Rule 3 – Stay Calm and In Control – The Third Rule of general training is Stay Calm and In Control. This is where most people fail in training. By staying calm and in control we are talking about you, not the dog. In training situations you can never lose control or get excited because when you do you may become mad, lose your temper, and do something exceptionally stupid. Training should be enjoyable for both you and the animal. If the puppy is not having a good time she will not learn anything. Likewise, if you are out of control or are not enjoying yourself you are not teaching anything.

During training there should not be any distractions for the puppy to contend with. You should guide her through the command so that she does it and is then praised for the successful completion of the task. If you are excited or angry your puppy will pick up on this and not be thinking about the task in question. You have to be focused for the animal to be able to concentrate on the training. You will learn that your demeanor during training is directly proportional to the amount the puppy will learn. If you are up for this and enjoying it, the potential is there for the dog to make a solid headway during the lesson. But if you are down then the pup's potential for anything good coming from the session is also way down.

Carried to the extreme, if you get mad and lash out or treat the puppy harshly, you have destroyed any good that might have come out of this individual training session. You have also set back the animal's understanding of the particular command or act in question and put a black cloud over the relationship between the two of you. When you do something to another person that you should be sorry for, you can actually review your regret and apologize. If they are of a forgiving nature, the act or unkind words are forgotten. Unfortunately, you can not sit down with your puppy and reason through the stupidity of your act. What is done is done, and you must work long hours to regain the animal's trust. You will need to take time that could and should have been used for training just becoming her friend again.

Some people do better in training if they use a system in which they do not talk to the dog during training. They teach the dog the command without using or putting a verbal command to it. We will go over this method later but if you tend to raise your voice when you sense that you are not in control (or in the process of losing control), this may be a useful technique to try. Most people talk way too much during training and for some this becomes a stepping stone to shouting and anger.

Rule 4 – Do Not Over Praise – The Fourth Rule of general training Is Do Not Over Praise. In dog training, praise for doing something correctly can take a variety of forms. Some prefer to give a treat, others may use the expression "Good Dog," and a third group may only give a single, gentle petting action across the animal's shoulder. They all work because they show to the dog that you are pleased or approve of his actions. You said "Come," and the puppy came. You indicated for the dog to sit, and he sat down. The animal did what he was supposed to. Praise is important, but the animal needs only to recognize it as a thank you for a job well done. You communicate to the dog that he did something correctly and you are happy he did. If your form of praise is always consistent in method and amount, the puppy will understand perfectly.

Where many owners err is that they bury their animal in praise. Rather than say a single "Good Dog," they get down on their knee and let out a string of forty "Good Dogs." Instead of a single stroke over the shoulder, they give the animal a full body massage. Instead of a single small piece of a biscuit or treat, the dog is given half a box. All of these overdoses do the same thing. They distract the dog from what it has just learned. Too much of a good thing and the animal monsters what the two of you are doing. The command and his response are no longer reinforcing correct behavior. The entire incident may be lost in the past.

Rule 5 – Always End on A Positive Note – The Fifth Rule of general training is to Always End on A Positive Note. Every training session should end with praise. The last thing you ask or command the puppy to do should be completed with the puppy doing it correctly. Someday, when things are not going as well as you would prefer, for the last command, choose something that is easy and can not fail. When the puppy does it correctly, praise her and move someplace else for some recess time or relaxation. Ending a session on a bad note may continue into the next training period. You want the pup to finish one lesson and because of the visa, to look forward to the next session. Always remember that to the dog, praise helps fulfill her desire to please you.

Rule 6 – Forget Discipline (Punishment) – The Sixth Rule of general training is Forget Discipline. Now before you overreact, understand what we mean. To some trainers and most dog owners, discipline usually means to punish the animal for something he has done. To these same people, punishment usually means to hurt the animal in some way. In our minds this just is not necessary. If discipline means punishment or causes pain, forget it.

Let us look at the most common reasons people discline their dogs. The most common one is for something the animal did. Notice we did not say "something the animal was doing." Rather, we used the past tense. People punish their dog for something she did in the past. Examples would be finding a stool in the house during the housebreaking process. You did not catch the animal doing it, you only discovered it later. The pup is picked up, scolded, and put in her crate. A second example would be if someone's dog runs away from home without them knowing it. Two or three hours later she returns, so to make her see the error of her ways, the owner punishes her. They use a rolled-up newspaper to give her a spanking. Neither of these animals had any idea what the punishment was for. They did not sit there thinking, "Gosh, I wonder what I did thatly deserved punishment?" Dogs do not reason. Just because they got punished, they do not assume they did something wrong. All they know is that their owners were mad.

Often punishment that occurs as part of training is thought about because the owner is impatient with the improvement of the dog. The owner is trying to push the animal through training too fast, assuming the dog should already know the command or action. Be patient, remember that with most training you are altering the natural instinctive behavior of the animal. The best punishment for an incorrect reaction in training is a lack of a reward. If the animal does it right she is afraid, if she makes a mistake she receives no praise. If praise from you is important, a lack of it may send a message. Praise is positive reinforcement, punishment is a distraction.

There has to be a good way to communicate to the animal when she is currently misbehaving. And there are but they are not going to hurt anyone. In some cases a stern "No" is all that is required. You catch the animal urinating in the house, you say "No," pick the puppy up and carry her outside. Dogs understand a change in the tone of your voice much better than they do most punishment.

In human behavioral medicine today, a "time out" is believed to be an excellent way to get across to children that they are acting in an unacceptable fashion. When they act up or do something wrong, they must live through a period of "time out." This is a new way of saying 'go to your room' or 'stand in the corner.' The same method can be used for dogs. If they are out of control, barking excessively, or jumping on the furniture, they are given some "time out" by being placed in a cage or crate. A stern "No" may also be part of the treatment.

And lastly, in place of punishment we can simply choose to ignore them. When children act in a way solely to gain attention, good therapy is to ignore them. In some examples this also works for dogs. A dog might bark just to get a treat or to go outside. If you want them to have either, consistently ignorant them will probably break the behavior pattern. If the barking does not work and they do not get what they want, they will probably stop the barking.

Most things we want to punish our dogs for indicate a lack of training. Rather than punish them for doing something you do not want, train them to do what you would prefer. Until that can be accomplished, a firm "No," being placed in a crate, or ignored will bring an end to most unacceptable behavior.

Be Honest – Can You Train? – Be honest with yourself. Not everyone can train his or her dog. Many people say they do not have the time but if they can not afford 10 minutes a day then do they really have the time to have a dog? Maybe the issue is that they do not enjoy training. This is understandable. Training is not for everyone. Some do not have the patience for it, some can not control their temper, and some simply do not enjoy it. If you think any of these describe you, then you probably should not try to train your dog. It would be smarter to use a professional trainer. Your dog will not care. In fact, it would probably prefer it. A good professional trainer will only help a dog, while an individual owner who loses control may destroy one. The owner may or may not physically injure the animal but may cripple the dog's personality and self-confidence. If you think you can not handle the job, use a trainer. You may want to invest in some Dog Training Supplies to help you.

A Short Article on Technology

The world has undergone severe changes over the past decade. We now live in a world where communication is paramount. It seems that everyone and everything is connected in some way.

For school students this has made things much more efficient. Research papers that used to involve hours of laborious effort, can now be searched and documented without ever touching a card catalog or a periodic index. Worlds of information are now available at the click of a mouse.

Questions that people pondered without any answer previously can now simply be typed into any convenient search engine and answered almost immediately. There are countless sites filled with informative short articles all over the Internet. Videos and music can now be seen on demand and news from across the world can be delivered in an instant.

There are some people who worry that the technological revolution and evolution we are experiencing today is moving too fast. There seems to be a loss of privacy in some respects and the specter of a Big Brother society looms larger than it has since 1984. Whether their fears are well founded or not will remain to be seen, but it is unlikely that people will ever willingly Give up the almost instant connections to our wired world.

Flying in the face of these fears are individuals who share their worlds through their blogs. What used to be shared with only close friends is now put online for millions of people to see if they should happen upon the blogger's website. Individuals are learning to take advantage of this by using their well placed blogs to sell products and services. The internet has allowed individuals an opportunity to step on to the same playing field as the big boys of business. With the right information and the ability to get it seen, anyone can now reach the masses and share their thoughts, feelings and even sales pitches.

Businesses as well as individuals have come to relly on the Internet as a source of advertising and actual sales. Entire business models have been constructed and thriving based solely on using Internet websites. It is rare today to find a traditional brick and mortar establishment that does not have some type of online presence. Any business that does not adapt and grow to keep up with the latest technology seriously risks being left behind in the wake of their competitors who choose to ride technology's leading edge.

Time will tell where this all will lead. We should make the most of the positive capabilities technology promises, but we should also keep a careful watch on where we are going.

Car Charity Donations: How To Go About Them Seamlessly

Every once in a while, the need for a new car arises, and when it does, many people are often at a loss on what to do with their current or old car. The options most of them have in mind include delivering the old car to a junk yard, selling it, or possibly relinquishing ownership to a friend or relative. Yet, car charity donates provide a fourth and better option, which is totally hassle-free.

First things first, car charity donation reiterates the transfer of ownership of an automobile one no longer needs to a charitable organization. People do this for various reasons including tax relief, but before one jumps onto the bandwagon of car donation, they need to know the basics of how car charity contributions work.

People have been told that the process of donating a car to a charitable organization is as easy as calling them to come and drive or haul it away. Well, this is true, but like everything else in life, one has to prepare their car for donation to avoid unnecessary complications that may come afterward.

Since the donation process involves a complete transfer of ownership, it is advisable to capture clear images of the inside and outside of the car, if possible, with dates. This is necessitated by the fact that once the car leaves the custody of the donor, so does its official documentation including proof of ownership documents. Some unscrupulous individuals or organizations are likely to take advantage of this loophole to defraud otherwise good-intentioned citizens of their cars for selfish gain. Having clear images of the car just before the donation can help with the recovery process should the need arise.

Another element of preparation worthy considering prior to donating a car to charity involves keeping track of repair and maintenance records. This applies to cases where the car needs to be fixed before before donation. The service and spare part receipts increase the value of the car when dealing with the taxman.

Once these preliminary preparations have been completed successfully, it is time to call the charity organization to come for the car or drive it there. Most people tend to focus only on this step to show how easy it is to donate a car to charity. It is, but for the individual who seeks to draw the full benefits of donating a car to charity, the outstanding preparations are inevitable. When a representative from the organization finally comes for the car (they normally do), it is critical to ensure that they leave behind a document showing the full details of the organization in question, the car, as well as the time and reason for pickup . This should be some sort of receipt acknowledging the donation.

The above step concludes the donation process. What follows is beyond the donor's influence. All they can do from this point onwards is to wait until the car has been sold. Typically, the charity organization notifies the car donor of a sale within a span of one month after the sale is made. If they fail to do so, the donor has the right to make an inquiry about the same. When the organization sells the car, they are obliged to supply the donor with a written acknowledgment of the sale.

The donor can then proceed to claim a tax relief from the IRS using the donation documents and any other relevant documents. Also, of critical importance is that the donor may be required to inform the relevant authority about the change of ownership depending on the state in which they benefit. This serves to protect the donor from bearing the burden of tickets and other car-related costs, which should be paid for by the next owner of the car.

Online Shopping Lingo: Abbreviations and Acronyms

Visiting coupon, refunding or bargain sites may, at first, seem
Like visiting a foreign country. You see phrases such as:

GDA! BBW B & M BOGO on soaps, HTH

And you think WHAT? Huh? What are they talking about? What
Language is THAT?

(Translation: Good Deal Alert! Bath & Body Works
Brick-and-mortar store has buy-one-get-one on soaps, hope this
Helps!)

I mean, it's enough to make you want to TYHO!
(Tear Your Hair Out – I made that one up.)

Before you click away in frustration, let me reassure you that
It IS possible to speak like a native – you just need a guide to
The terminology, acronyms, abbreviations, definitions and common
Word usage found on rebate and premium product lists, coupon and
Online code lists, and reimbursement and trading forums.

Each site you visit may have its own particular phrases, but
Generally speaking the most common terms are found in the list
Below.

TTFN …

B & M = Brick & Mortar

B1G1F = Buy One Get One Free

BOGO = (the same as B1G1), Buy One, Get One (usually free)

C / O = Cash Off or Cents Off

CPN = Coupon

CRT = Cash Register Tape

CSR = Customer Service Reps

CVS = A pharmacy / drug store like Rite-Aid

DB = Dear / Darling / Darn Brother

DCRT = Dated Cash Register Receipt

DD * = Dear / Darling / Darn Daughter

DG = Dear / Darling / Darn Girlfriend

DH = Dear / Darling / Darn Husband

DND = Do Not Double

DS * = Dear / Darling / Darn Son

DUPES = Duplicates

DW = Dear / Darling / Darn Wife

EB = Extra Bucks (CVS)

ECB = Extra Care Bucks (CVS)

ESR = Easy Saver Rebate (Walgreens monthly rebate)

FAB = From another Board

GC = Gift Certificate

GDA = Good deal alert

GWP = Gift With Purchase

H / F = Handling Fee

HT / HGT = Hang tag

ISO = In Search Of

LMK = Let Me Know

LOL = Laughing Out Loud and / or Lots of Luck

LPG = Lower Price Guarantee

LSASE = Long self addressed stamped envelope

MIB = Mint in Box

MIL = Mother-in-Law

MMV = Mileage May Vary

MS = Mystery Shopper

NAZ = Name Address Zip code

NED = No expiration date

NIB = New in box

NOCC = No Credit Card

NWOT = New WithOut Tags

NWT = New With Tags

OBO = Or Best Offer

PLMK = Please let me know

POB = Post Office Box

POP = Proof of Purchase

PP = Purchase Price

PPHF = PayPal Handling fee

PREM (Premium) = An item received from a refund offer.

PSTG = Postage

Qualifier (Q) = Proof of Purchase.

RAOK = Random Act of Kindness

RP = Rewards Programs

SAHM = Stay At Home Mom

SASE = Self Addressed Stamped Envelope

SMP = Particularly Marked Packages

TMF = Try Me Free

TOS = Terms of Service

TTFN = Ta ta for now

TY / ty = Thank you

UNL = Unlimited

UPC = Universal Product Code

W / L or WL = Wish list

WAHM = Work at home mom

Winetags = coupons found around the neck of a wine bottle

YMMV = Your Merchandise (or Mileage) May Vary

* (Add an S for step _ so DSD is Dear / Darling / Darn Step-Daughter)