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May 3rd, 2013
By Eric Letendre
I ran over my friend’s dog once.
She was a beautiful golden retriever named Roxe. I used to drive a big Dodge Ram truck and it was a gorgeous summer day. I was helping him bring some garbage to the dump and then we were going to spend the rest of the day jet skiing on the ocean.
My truck was parked in his driveway and I put it in drive and as I pulled forward, the back-end of my truck went up in the air. I thought I had run over a rock or a railroad tie that lined the driveway.
My friend jumped out of the truck and screamed:
“YOU JUST RAN OVER MY DOG!”
My stomach dropped and I felt like I was going to vomit. We picked up Roxe and made the land speed record to the closest vet. The entire ride I was trying to keep it together and as I looked at Roxe, she seemed fine but she had to have internal bleeding, a punctured lung, something.
We got to the vet and rushed her in. The vet gave her a complete examination and she was 100% fine. Nothing. My feelings of dread immediately went to sheer joy. I hadn’t killed my friend’s dog. By the looks of her, I didn’t even injure her.
I dropped off my friend and Roxe and decided to call it a day and go home, mostly because I was exhausted and wanted to lay down.
When I think back on that day I realize how important our dogs are to us and how much we provide for them – it really is a huge responsibility.
We have a responsibility to watch, manage, feed, exercise and train them.
It may be a big responsibility, but in my book it is well worth it.
Have a great weekend.
P.S. I have been asked by a few subscribers about the different websites that I have. Here is a quick explanation of them:
For people that need help teachng their dog to come when called: Always Come When Called
For anyone needing help with dog behavior problems: Good K9 Manners
For dog owners that need help with just housetraining: Housetraining Handbook
Obedience training course: Online Dog Obedience Course
My book: “The Amazing Dog Training Man”
Members only website: Dog Training Inner Circle
April 18th, 2013
By Eric Letendre
I want to tell you how I got my now wife,Rachael, to go out with me for the first time.
I hatched a plan because I do not handle rejection very well.
I figured if she said “No,” I would not get a second chance.
Here is the boiled down version:
A famous writer was coming to her old college to speak. Tickets were NOT cheap.
Anyway, I had the speaker’s books and struck up a conversation with Rach. I told her how much I liked this guy’s books and asked her if she would like to read them.
She said yes and took them home. A few days later I approached her and asked her if she liked the writer.
Luckily, she said she did and we talked about him for a few minutes.
Everyday I made it a point to talk about this writer with her.
After doing this for about a week I told her that the writer was coming to the University of Rhode Island to speak.
Now here is the dealio: I did NOT ask her to go with me.
I picked up the phone and called one of my friends. I asked him if he’d like to go with me. Before he could answer I said, “Ah, that’s too bad. Take care.” and hung up.
I repeated the process two more times right in front of her.
After the third call I turned to Rachael and said: “Wow, I can’t believe this. This great writer is going to be in our backyard, tickets are $150 apiece and no one wants to go.”
Rach said, “I’ll go with you.”
BINGO, BANGO, BONGO!!!
Anyway, that is THE secret to teaching your dog to come when called.
Set your dog up for success. The best way to do this is to practice the “Spring Loaded Recall Exercise.”
The good news is that I break this all down for you and show the EXACT steps you need to follow and much more. Here’s where to go NOW:
April 16th, 2013
By Eric Letendre
Never a dull moment around here.
I was doing some training with a guy and I really can’t figure out why he hired me.
You see, I was helping him teach his dog to come when called. He wanted to be able to let his dog off leash and run around but his dog did a very common behavior.
His dog did come when called.
IN fact, his dog’s recall was quite impressive.
His dog would come racing towards him BUT…
…would stop about three feet away from him. His dog would stay about three feet away and was impossible to catch.
Making it impossible to put the dog back on leash. When I tried to show the guy what to do he informed me that he knew what to do and refused to take any instruction.
I don’t know why this happens but every once in awhile I end up working with a “know it all” that refuses my help.
So I want to share with you a very important part of teaching your dog to come when called.
When you are teaching your dog to come when called always, Always, ALWAYS, make sure you have your dog’s collar in your hand BEFORE giving your dog the treat.
Call your dog to you with the treat in your hand. Once your dog comes to you, reach down and take hold of your dog’s collar and then give the treat.
This teaches your dog to come all the way to you and conditions your dog to accept a hand taking the collar.
This little training nugget will come in extremely handy in many situations – believe you me.
Most dogs LOVE playing keep away and you want to avoid that as much as possible.
And you know what?
I show you EXACTLY how to do this and much more in The Ultimate Online Recall Course with videos and instructions for teaching your dog to come when called.
Here’s where to go NEXT:
Always Come When Called
April 14th, 2013
By Eric Letendre
My wife and I saw a great movie over the weekend.
“The Life Of Pi.”
Pretty good flick. I won’t spoil it for you but it is about a young man that gets stuck on a small rescue boat with a tiger. It is a much deeper story but that is the basic gist of it.
Anyway, when you are on a boat with a tiger and food is scarce, you quickly become the main item on the menu.
The young man, Pi, has to build a raft and hang out next to the boat and at one point tries to train the tiger.
He has a whistle and attempts to make the tiger sick every time he blows the whistle.
That is classical conditioning. Associate a sound with a consequence.
Watching this scene, I wanted to tell Pi that he would have better results if instead of using a negative consequence he offered a positive consequence.
You see, in order to do clicker training, you have to understand classical and operant conditioning.
The sound of the clicker is first associated with a positive consequence. You don’t ask the dog to do anything. You simply click and then deliver the treat.
You repeat this over and over until the dog hears the click and KNOWS the treat is coming.
Once your dog is “classically conditioned” to the sound of the clicker, you then switch to operant conditioning.
Operant conditioning is when you start using the sound of the click to reward a specific behavior.
So if you dog does a sit command, the second your dog’s butt hits the deck you click and then treat.
The click communicates to your dog that she has done a behavior you wanted. Repeat it enough times and your dog learns the command “sit” or whatever command you want to teach.
Pretty cool stuff. And once you understand how classical and operant conditioning works, you can train any animal: cats, birds, horses, dolphins, killer whales, tigers and dogs.
Our friend Pi would have gotten better results using a positive instead of a negative consequence because negative consequences tend to make us grumpy and put us in a foul mood.
Not the best conditions for training.
But a very, very good movie.
Before taking off, one more thing:
I put together a video on The Ultimate Online Recall Course showing the exact steps to follow for clicker training and using clickers to teach your dog to come when called.
You can check it all out here:
Always Come When Called
April 4th, 2013
By Eric Letendre
I have a cousin that used to work second shift at a warehouse. Most of the people working there played the lottery. Every Friday night, my cousin would get on the loudspeaker and announce the winning numbers to the shift workers.
One Friday afternoon, my cousin saw that some of his coworker’s tickets were on the table. He glanced at them and wrote down the numbers.
Come 8:00PM my cousin fires up the loudspeaker and everyone and everything in the warehouse stops to hear the winning numbers.
My cousin, thinking he was about to pull off the world’s greatest practical joke, doesn’t read the correct winning numbers, he reads the numbers from his coworker’s ticket.
Complete silence for about ten seconds and then he hears a giant crash on the warehouse floor.
The coworker who thought he had just won the lottery drove his forklift into a wall, jumped off of it, ran up to his supervisor, extended both of his middle digits and screamed two words that I won’t share.
My cousin, hearing the crash and screaming immediately thought: “This is not good.”
Hey we all make mistakes.
Mistakes will also happen when you train your dog. I just got an email from a nice person that thinks she has completely ruined her dog’s recall (come when called) command.
After reading these fun filled, entertaining, informative emails she realized that she has been doing a lot wrong.
Here’s what I shared with her:
“Dogs are extremely forgiving. As long as you have not done a lot of negative training, your dog can and will learn to come back to you when you call.”
I’m not kidding, dogs are extremely forgiving and they can learn even if we have made a lot of mistakes. I still make an occasional mistake but I don’t worry because I don’t use negative training methods.
Whenever I make a mistake training a dog I remember my cousin’s little fiasco and realize that it’s all good and move on.
Anyway, if you’re worried about making mistakes with the recall command, you can breath easy because I have put together the ULTIMATE course on teaching your dog to come when called showing the EXACT methods and techniques you need to know.
Get all the details here:
Ultimate Online Recall Course