A blog about dog training and dog breeding…and other sundry matters

Posts tagged ‘rottweilers’

Rotties Galore: Highlights from the 2010 Rottweiler Show, Jamaica

Here are some highlights from the Rottweiler Show sponsored by the Rottweiler Association of Jamaica.  Josef Heidl was the judge. Click on the pictures for an enlarged view.

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The Best Treats to Use for Positive Dog Training

The choice of treats are definitely very important in the world of clicker training.  First and foremost, the treats must be something that the dog really likes.  Secondly, the treats should be small, pea-size or slightly bigger for a large-breed dog and smaller for a small/toy breed.

I have found when training rottweilers and german shepherds that if the treats are too small, the dogs invariably choke on them.  If they are too large, you simply run out of treats before you are really finished training.  I tend to treat generously and often, so that is a big issue for me.

When training toy breeds, like pomeranians, if the treats are too large, the dogs will fill up quickly and you will have to either find an alternative to food as a reward, or quit training for that session.  I have never had this issue with my large dogs, so I can’t swear that it won’t happen to larger breeds.

Treats should be smelly and soft.  If they are smelly, they will be palatable to the dog; if they are soft, the dog will be able to eat the treat quickly and not disrupt the training session.  I store my treats in a zip-lock bag to seal in moisture and stuff it in my treat bag (which is nothing more than an insulated lunch sack for humans which I clip to my belt when I train).  When I’m finished training, depending on the treats, I store the zip-lock bag with any remaining treats in the refrigerator.

Because my dogs tire of eating the same treats over a long period of time, I tend to add variety.  So for several days or even weeks I’ll train using bits of cheese, then I’ll switch to bits of sausage, then pieces of boiled liver.  I have found sausage (hotdog) to be very messy as the links invariably retain lots of moisture, especially if you thaw them then serve.

Unlike many trainers, I do not mix treats within a training session.  It’s just too much work and gets cumbersome to manage during sessions.  Timing is important in clicker training, so you don’t want to be fumbling with getting the treats out of the pouch, especially when training an inexperienced or young dog.

Of late I’ve been using commercial treats for variety, especially for Athena, who is not a food oriented dog.  One of the treats, Scoops made by Seargent, is supposedly made with real cream.  It is a soft treat and breaks into small pieces very easily and are not nearly as messy as sausage.  I just started using Beggin’ Strips, too.  I like these treats because they are the least messy of all.  I can push a few strips in my pockets and not worry about messes.  Although they break up quite easily.  I have found that the dog needs some time to chew the treat during training, and depending on the size of the dog, if the treat is too small, the dog has a hard time chewing it.

Bottom line is, choose food that your dog truly enjoys.  The reward must be of a high value to the dog.  If the food isn’t something that the dog particularly relishes, then the very act of offering a treat becomes an aversive.

Rottweiler Association of Jamaica

Officers 2010-2011

President:  Sheldon Gibson

Past President:  E.V. Martin

Vice President:  Ruth Carey

Secretary:  Damian Yap

Treasurer:  Donald Brown

Directors

Boris Dixon
Clayton Williams
Devon McDonald
Mark Atkinson
Maurice Anderson
Debbie Davidson
Paul Robert

Contact information:

email:  raj.jamaica[at]yahoo[dot]com
phone: 299-6051

I feel as though I moved house today…

Or, at least rearranged the furniture in my house.  I didn’t, of course, not literally, but I spent the day engaged in two activities:  redesigned this blog and moved my dogs around.  I think the former activity is self-explanatory; the latter activity, however, needs some explanation.

All three bitches are on heat, and emotions run high.  Busta, my male Rottweiler, would like annihilate my male Pomeranian, Snuggles.  Snuggles would like to mate with Cody, and the tart keeps teasing him.  Athena would like to do damage to Kissy, and Busta would like to put Tuvok, my four-month-old puppy in his place (as in, don’t touch any of my women!).

Fortunately I live in a large house with lots of crates and holding areas for the dogs.  Everyone was locked away in their own special place, but I spent the day letting out individual dogs–or groups of dogs that got on well–for potty breaks and time in the house with Mom.  Of course I had to remember who was in the yard at any one time, and who was running around the house, or hiding under the sofa. 

It’s the end of the day now, 11:38pm to be precise, and I’ve just finished training three dogs.  Gretchen learned a neat trick today:  turning her head to look left.  I wanted to do a bit of shaping with her, and couldn’t figure out what to do.  She started turning her head, and I started clicking and treating away.  Soon, I started clicking for only left turns.  The little bugger caught on.  I really have no idea to what end this new behavior will serve.

Careful what you train your dog to do

My rottweiler, Busta, learned how to gather up all the dog bowls at supper time and bring them to me.  Now, I did not train him to do that.  I trained him how to retrieve, and I trained him to bring his toys to me, but I DID NOT train him how to bring the supper dishes.

It’s cute, though, and very helpful, when he’ll bring the dishes, plastic and metal dishes, for me to fill up–all five of them.  What’s NOT cute is when we’re sitting at the dinning table enjoying a meal–just the humans– and he appears with a bowl in his mouth.  He’ll sit beside me with the bowl waiting for me to put something in it.

Invariably, I put a tiny morsel, and put away the bowl, only to have the stinker appear once more with another bowl in his mouth.

I tell you, that’s taking begging to a whole new height.

I Found a Crocodile in my office this morning!

Crocodile in my office

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