Even though Taylor DOES wear a traditional harness that supposedly encourages pulling, we hope the training tips in Tab's video will redirect her from this behavior.

Training/Behavior: (VIDEO) Training Taylor NOT to Pull During Her Walks

Like most dogs, whenever Taylor goes out on her daily walks, she gets so overtly excited that she starts to pull on her leash.  Jeremy and I often joke that Taylor likes to take US on walks, but we also understand that this is a behavior that should be corrected.

This past weekend, Jeremy and I purchased the Easy Walk Harness for Taylor (shown below), which is a harness that allows the leash to be attached to the front of the dog instead of on his back.  This harness supposedly serves as an aid to help redirect a dog’s urge to pull on his leash.  Though this might be a great solution for other dogs, we found this harness pretty cumbersome.  And because the leash is attached to the front, Taylor’s little legs became entangled in the leash a few times during our trial run with this new product.  She even came close to stumbling onto the sidewalk pavement a couple of times.  Sure, she WAS walking by our side most of the time, but both Jeremy and I decided that, given what we observed, it was best to return the harness and go back to square one.

This harness might be better suited for larger breeds.

And square one is good, ol’ fashioned training!

I, again, sought out the expertise of Tab, a very talented dog trainer from The Science and Art of Training Dogs in Chicago, Illinios.  Below is Part 1 of a two-part series called “How to Teach Your Dog to STOP Pulling”.  It appears to be a pretty effective method of training Taylor to NOT walk Mommy ;), and I am happy that positive reinforcement is emphasized.  I am very eager to start on this program ASAP.  I will let you in on Taylor’s progress in a future post.

You can find my two previous posts that include videos from Tab here and here.

Taylor-eye contact

Training/Behavior: (VIDEO) How to Build Eye Contact with Your Dog

On my last Training/Behavior post, I talked about Taylor’s need to be fully trained to follow the come command.  Well, as I embarked on this training journey (with the help of tab289‘s wonderful video tutorial), I realized that Taylor needed a refresher course on eye contact with her mommy.

During the hours when it is just Taylor and me in the apartment or within an environment with little to no distractions, Taylor is very receptive towards her name being called.

Other times, she could care less if whether or not mommy calls her name.

“My dear, sweet (stubborn) Taylor…how can I train you to come when you won’t even acknowledge me?”  :(

I refered back to tab289‘s video tutorials, and he thankfully has a video on how to build eye contact.  Please check out the video below:

Much like his first video that I shared, tab289’s training method for eye contact is simple and can be easily implemented in a variety of settings, which is the key in order to have your dog achieve this necessary benchmark.

I have tried this method for almost two weeks (three times a day, and with a vocal marker instead of a clicker), and the results have been great!  The hand movements seen in the video have now been phased out, and Taylor gives me eye contact 90%-100% of the time when I am training her face-to-face within a variety of environments (kitchen, by the front door, bedroom, etc).  I recently noticed, however, that if I am NOT at her eye level (such as sitting on our living room sofa or on her futon), the responses are not as consistent.  So, for the next few days, I will go back to square one with this training method as I initiate the eye contact-building at a slightly higher eye level than Taylor’s.  I have a very positive feeling that she will respond well to this slight variation.

At least my not-so-sprightly knees will get a break!  ;)

*Tab289, from The Science and Art of Training Dogs, has a large library of video tutorials on YouTube that are FABULOUS!  I am eager to learn more from this talented guy as Taylor moves up the ranks in her training!  Please check out his YouTube page as well his Facebook page!*


Training/Behavior: (VIDEO) How to Train Your Dog to Come

smiling Taylor 2

I have mentioned a few times in previous posts that one of the commands that Taylor has not fully mastered is “come”.  It is a skill that absolutely needs to be fully mastered, especially in the event of an emergency.

I came across a video made by The Science and Art of Training Dogs (based in Chicago, Illinois) that might help Jeremy and me achieve this goal.  It contains a series of pretty simple and effective steps that I feel confident in trying with Taylor.  As you will see, the trainer uses a clicker, but he explains that a verbal marker will be just as effective.  I wanted to share this video because the trainer is very knowledgeable, yet explains each step in a non-intimidating way.  You also see the steps in action, which is great for visual learners like me.

I am very eager to try these training tips with Taylor!  I will let you know how the training goes in a future post!  :)