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

Posts tagged ‘working dogs’

Effective Training: The Reinforcer

Remember when training a dog, whether adult or puppy, that the reinforcer must be something that the dog finds rewarding (and not necessarily what the trainer thinks that the dog should like).  Some dogs are not “foodies” but prefer a game as a reinforcer; others prefer to be petted, or hugged, while some dogs cringe at being hugged, and do not find pettings to be particularly reinforcing.

If the dog is a “foodie,” then find the treats that the dog really enjoys and use those only when training.  This ensures that the treats do not lose their value to the dog, but will be highly effective as a reinforcer.

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Keeping an active German Shepherd Entertained

Cody and Athena in advanced obedience classes.

German Shepherds are working dogs.  They are active, highly intelligent, fiercely loyal, and enjoy hanging out with their humans.  It is for that reason that they do not do well in kennels away from humans.  They were bred to work closely with humans as herding dogs

Because these dogs are active, they need to live in a household where their minds and bodies will be kept active.  They need exercise such as walking, swimming, jogging (check with your vet before jogging with your dog).  Training will do wonders for keeping your dog mentally active.  Now, you don’t need to train your dog to do Search and Rescue, or to do police work.  Teaching a few simple tricks will suffice.  It will give the dog something to do, allow you to bond with your dog during the training process, and entertain your guests.

An active German Shepherd dog is a happy one.

A Tribute to the Rottweiler

They are smart, easily trained, perhaps the most versatile of all working breeds, and they are fiercely loyal to their humans.  That is the Rottweiler for you.  Unfortunately this breed’s reputation has been ruined by poor breeding practices and irresponsible owners.

A rottweiler with a stable temperament is not a vicious dog.  As descendants of the Roman Drover dogs that protected the Roman army’s cattle as they traveled, these dogs remain protective even today. But many breeders have chosen to abuse the rottie’s protective traits, by breeding overly aggressive, temperamentally unstable specimens and selling them to people looking to bolster their image by having a “bad dog” in their yard.

A properly bred and trained rottweiler is a joy to behold, and they make great family pets.   I am truly blessed to own one such dog, Busta, who is pictured above.   Busta is the family clown, constant companion to everyone in the household, official guest greeter, and protector to his humans and home.

Here’s one of my favorite videos that just about captures the beauty, power, and intelligence of this wonderful breed.  I did not make this video.

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