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Pet Training & Behavior Topics

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insertWelcome to Diana Guerrero's Ark Animals Training & Therapy. This section is dedicated to pets, companion animals, and topics related to their care and training. Pet training, behavior modification, and animal therapy are important steps toward better behavior. This page contains the answers to our dog training quiz. You should get professional help for pet problems.

Dog Training Quiz Answers

We hope you did well on the dog training quiz and have correct answers to the canine training quiz below in red. If you did not do to well don't be discouraged. Our Understanding Animal Behavior or Dog Behavior Classes teach you what you need to know on this topic. About 98% of the people we work with did not know the answers when they came for us for help...that is why we are here!

1. Tail wagging dog means it is friendly towards you.

False.Dogs wag their tails for a variety of reasons. Wagging tails mean different things depending on the position of the tail, the type of wag, and the other body signals the dog is giving. There are stiff wags, circular wags, body wiggle wags, tail tucked wags, and more. Back to Quiz 2. You control a dog with a leash.

False. Psychological control is the control you want to have, especially if your dog is off leash and 50' away from you! Pulling on the leash just teaches your pet to pull more and resist you. Another problem that can occur is that the owner can subtly cue the dog with leash tension and the dog can respond by getting aggressive at others. Back to Quiz

3. Dog training cannot begin until a dog is over 6 months old.

False. This is a really bad myth that still circulates around even in professional circles! If you wait that long to start working your animal you have to untrain all those bad habits and suffer through damage, irate neighbors, and your own exasperation! The six month mark coincides with adolescence, being post surgical (neutering in times past was done around six months), and moving from puppy attention span into an attention span that last more than two seconds!. Training should start the minute your animal is born since everything that happens reinforces or extinguishes behavior. Ideally you start work when your new animal comes home. This type of training is fun and light. It is very different from older dog training since puppies have very little attention span! We like to start with puppy preschool at 6-8 weeks of age in the home. Back to Quiz

4. You can't train an old dog new tricks.

False.Oh yes you can! We have had senior dogs come in and be great students! The difference is that older dogs have slow reaction times. Another obstacle is that you have to untrain bad behavior and retrain good behavior so it is more work. Back to Quiz

5. Young dogs normally have housesoiling, chewing, & other problems & will grow out of it.

False. Some animals never grow out of inappropriate behavior. With guidance you can avoid the trauma and damage a young pup can do to your nerves and household. This is why finding a gentle trainer or behaviorist before you bring your pet home is important. Professional help can assist you in keeping your sanity, obtaining a successful integration, and maintaining your normal sleep patterns! The investment also saves you money in cleaning bills and replacing damaged furniture and other household items. Back to Quiz

6. Choose all the most common owner training errors. All of the answers are correct but we were looking for o. All of the above. Keep reading to learn more or go Back to Quiz

__a. Talking excessively & ineffectively to the animal. Unfortunately many people train their animals to ignore them. You can talk to your animal effectively but if you repeat commands too much you can do more harm than good. Most people have behavior problems with their pets due to miscommunication and the incorrect environmental influences. Back to Quiz

_b. Bending over or moving in front of the pet to get their attention. This is a common owner error. Proper rapport with your animal is to have them follow you or look at you without effort. In most cases you have to teach your pet to give you eye contact since it goes against their natural behavior and is poor dog etiquette. If your butt is in the air or your following your animal and trying to get your face in front of theirs you probably have this problem. If you learn stand straight up and approach your animal in the correct manner you can signal a more confident and dominant attitude that reaps attention and better behavior. Back to Quiz

__c. Putting tension on a cat/dog leash. This was mentioned earlier. Try handing a leash to a friend and pulling on it. What do they do? Usually they will resist you and pull back. Pulling on the leash just teaches your pet to pull more and resist you. Another problem that can occur is that the owner can subtly cue the dog with leash tension and the dog can respond by getting aggressive at others. Back to Quiz

__d. Repeating the pet's name or command. If you repeat commands or the pet's name too much you can do more harm than good. Most people have behavior problems with their pets due to miscommunication and the incorrect environmental influences. The animal just hears, "blah,blah,blah."Back to Quiz

__e. Not reprimanding properly. Reprimands require proper timing and proper application. Many tools, like the "shake can" or "spray gun" are used improperly and so lose effectiveness. In most cases, psychological techniques or reprimands that are not associated with the owner are the most effective tools to use. Back to Quiz

__f. Not following through. This refers to consistency and consequences. Not continuing until the particular step in teaching a behavior is done or not following through with consequences are troublesome activities for a pet owner attempting to gain control. Clear steps and consequences that are consistently implemented are critical to training success and to maintaining proper manners. A good example is the barking dog. If the dog barks for five minutes and you yell and scream and then take action, you raise the interval of the behavior to five minutes. Many owners become deaf to their dogs and then only take action steps after longer and longer duration of inappropriate behavior. Soon, the dog that only barked five minutes then barks ten, then twenty, and so on. Back to Quiz

__g. Following the animal. In many cases, the owner allows the animal to dictate activities. The cat will demand to be fed and so the owner obliges. The dog dashes through doors getting the owner to follow or demandingly nudges the owner to toss a ball or pet it. These behaviors undermine the household hierarchy of "people are the leaders" and puts the pet into that position, often leading to behavior problems as a consequence. Back to Quiz

__h. Waiting for the animal to acknowledge them before asking for a behavior. This goes hand in hand with the following of the animal and bending over to get the animals attention. Many owners will wait for their pet to look at them before giving a command or taking control over a situation. Teaching the animal to voluntarily give you attention helps you in controlling the animal and avoiding problem behaviors. Back to Quiz

__i. Not keeping a low center of gravity. My favorite story that illustrates this is a 100 pound woman who insisted that her 8 pound dachshund could drag her across a parking lot. No, the dog could not. What was happening was the owner did not know how to keep a low center of gravity and so could be pulled off balance and would follow the dog across the parking lot. If you keep a low center of gravity your dog is less likely to be able to drag or pull you around. See also j. Back to Quiz

__j. Forgetting to use leverage. In i you saw how a low center of gravity helps you control an animal. So does leverage. If you were going to hoist a heavy boat you could use pulleys and leverage to move the heavy object easily. By positioning your body, using your arms well, and positioning yourself in a position perpendicular to your animal leverage can be used successfully and without additional effort to control your animal. Back to Quiz

__k. Incorrect posture or positioning. Any time you are bent in relationship to your animal or are far away, you can lose control. One of the animal training secrets is to use distance and posture as influences to control any animal. Once you learn to master these secrets your control improves. Back to Quiz

__l. Not giving the animal enough time to respond. Too many people want to talk too much when they are training. An animal has to have time to think about what it is doing sometimes and if you prattle on this interferes with your success in training. Back to Quiz

__m. Not praising an animal for stopping an undesired behavior. It is important to praise your animal for doing the right behavior. Most people do not do this. Remember to reward or praise your animal for behaving properly. If your dog has jumped on you for long periods of time and then is taught to stop this is important. Many people will not be jumped on after this is trained. If they are approached by the dog they often forget to praise the pooch for staying off and then the jumping behavior may start all over again! Back to Quiz

__n. Touching an animal absent mindedly. The lesson here is be careful about what you reinforce . Most of the small dogs with aggression problems have been petted or given toys to "comfort" them when they are agitated or scared. This actually reinforces the animal and tells them that the behavior they are exhibiting is exactly what you want. Back to Quiz

If you are experiencing this behavior problem help is just a phone call away! Hire Animal Expert

About the columnist: Since 1978 Diana L. Guerrero has worked professionally with both wild and domestic animals. Guerrero has been affiliated with, and certified by, a variety of animal programs in the USA and Europe. Based in California, she writes, consults, and speaks. Information on her animal career programs, training courses, and her books {What Animals Can Teach Us about Spirituality (SkyLight Paths, 2003), Blessing of the Animals (Sterling, 2007), Help! My Pet is Driving Me Crazy (Guerrero Ink, 2007), Animal Disaster Preparedness for Pet Owners & Pet Professionals (Guerrero Ink, 2007)} can be found in this web site and in the shop. Questions for Guerrero should be submitted via the blog comments or membership forum.


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