People who train dogs know that it is not an easy thing to do. Just making a dog learn how to sit on command is quite a feat. What more if you were to train them to be a service dog?
This is made even harder if you don’t know what in the world you are doing. Add to that a young puppy who has no concept of rules and commands, and you have a recipe for a bad time.
Fear not! We here at Texas Service Dogs have compiled a list of useful tips for you to use.
Without further ado, here are three tips to follow when training service dogs.
Ever heard that saying that dogs can smell the fear on you? Well, dogs have a very astute sense of smell. However, it isn’t their smell that allows them to do this.
Truthfully, dogs are just very intuitive animals. They can sense when you are calm and composed. When they sense that you are not relaxed, their behavior will shift accordingly. They’ll start fidgeting, be jumpy, be anxious, and they won’t follow what you say.
That is why for you and your dog in training, it is essential that you stay calm.
If the calm is slowly slipping from your body, just close your eyes, breathe in and out, and do this for 10 counts. This usually does the trick.
If not, there may be a need to take things a step further.
Relaxation is something that can also be developed much like any skill. If you are struggling to stay calm when things are going south, try meditating.
Some of the most successful people in the world often meditate on a daily basis. If it works for them, it can work for you. Meditation – specifically mindfulness meditation – will allow you to see your emotions before being affected by them.
This way, you can sense when a storm is coming inside of you and look at it from the outside. You can look at it and not be affected.
There are a ton of resources on YouTube for these.
Whenever you have a session between you and your dog in training, always have a goal in place. If you have sessions with your dog and have no clear goal in mind, it’ll be like a ship roaming the seas without a destination in sight. The ship could be going in circles, and it wouldn’t even matter to you.
All in all, having no goal would mean a waste of time.
Have specific goals and stick to them. Make sure that everything that you and your service dog do is directed towards that goal.
Training service dogs is a tough feat. As such, these tough tasks need to be celebrated by both the trainer and your canine companion as well!
Even little milestones are things that can be celebrated. Training a service dog won’t be so bad if it is fun for all parties involved.
Just make sure that there is something to celebrate. Celebrating when nothing is happening is a sure way to stunt the growth of your dog pal.
When you have something to celebrate, do so. This is a sure sign that there is progress happening.
These are only a few tips for training service dogs. If you’d like to volunteer to be a trainer, we’ll provide you with some more material that may help you on your training journey.
3 Best Dog Treats for Training Puppies – Bully Sticks & Training Treats
As previously stated, treats are important for training. It is possible to train without treats. However, utilizing treats can serve as an extra motivator that ensures that the taught behaviors will stick, and that the training cycle will go by faster.
The choice of article is important. Apart from how healthy the ingredients are, portions and calories should be taken into account in order to ensure that the dogs are getting what is right for them.
In this article, we’ll delve into certain specific treat brands that are ideal when training dogs. Here are the three best treats to feed your dog in training.
Wellness Puppy Bites
Wellness offers these Soft Puppy bites that are a great choice when training puppies. As the name suggests, they are soft treats that are easily chewed by puppies. This protects their teeth in the future.
It is grain free and includes ingredients such as lamb and salmon. Salmon is a good ingredient for your dog as it contains vitamin D and Omega 3 fatty acids. These two will enhance the skin of your dog making it shiny and help out with skin sensitivity if they need it.
Lamb also has amino acids that are vital to helping keep a dog’s energy up. It is also a good source of protein.
Finally, Wellness Soft Puppy Bites has DHA which improves the cognitive performance of your dog. With these treats, you can train the dogs in no time.
Wilderness Blue Buffalo Dog Treats is the top of the line treat for your dog in training. The main ingredient here is the highest quality of chicken, which serves as the base protein source.
It also includes DHA which enhances cognitive performance, as well as Omega-3 and 6 acids that are good for your dog’s energy levels and overall health. It also ensures that your puppy’s skin is shiny and healthy.
Apart from these facts, the treats are grain free. Grains are an ingredient that dogs usually have a problem. It is one of the ingredients that dogs are usually allergic to.
As opposed to the first treat, this treat is very crunchy. Feel out what your dog likes and choose between the two.
The previous two treats had mostly meats as their primary ingredients. For bully sticks, meat is the only ingredient!
These are made entirely made of beef. It serves as a wholesome and healthy ingredient. Then, it combines with one of the best and most liked ingredients for a dog. Dogs love beef, so this treat is a good bet for any type or breed of dog.
The best part about it is that this treat is low in calories and fat. Feeding these to your dog will not make them fat; it will even keep them healthy. It can also lessen your dog’s tendency to overeat.
These treats come in all kinds of variants like braids, springs, rings, all suited to your dog’s preference.
Service dogs offer their abilities to aid people who have a wide range of disabilities. Since service dogs are so useful and have such an impact on so many lives, there is a need to enhance their service through the use of several products.
These products help to make their jobs easier and more fun than usual. Here are three essential and fun products that will help make the lives of both service dog and human better.
People are aware of the normal dog toys. Balls are standard for dogs and by itself, it is already an important toy that can keep dogs occupied.
Some service dogs require harnesses for identification purposes only. However, others require the harness for what they are meant to be doing. These are dependent on the disabilities of their owners.
Harnesses are important as they could do a variety of important things. With the right harness, the service dog can carry the right medication, pull a wheelchair, be used for balance and support.
For the blind, a good harness can allow people to hold on to their service dog and be lead to safety. It can also lead other people to owners who have had seizures or attacks.
There are harnesses out there with a few cool and extra features. A harness that has reflective patches and safety bands will mean that at night time, you and your service dog can be easily seen. Adjustable straps are also always good as you ensure the harness fits right on your service dog.
Depending on what disabilities the owners have, you may have to experiment with a lot of different harnesses before you find the right one for you and your service dog.
This is a very important item that most service dog owners have. A hands-free leash means that you don’t need to be constantly holding on to your dog. You guys will be connected and united through leash alone.
Other hands-free leashes will allow you to convert it to regular leashes when you want to.
These are our recommended products for service dogs. If you have any more in mind, why not write us and tell us what you think should also be included in this article. For us at Texas Service Dogs, the important thing is that you and your service dog have a harmonious, helpful, and caring relationship.
3 Reasons Why Dog Treats Are Used in Training Dogs
In a traditional outlook on dog training, treats were seen as a cheat to dog training. Traditionalists believe that dogs should follow your commands out of fear, respect, and love of their owner.
In today’s world though, that way of thinking isn’t true anymore. In today’s day and age, majority of dog owners and trainers are utilizing dog treats as rewards.
Most experienced trainers nowadays do not require food to train dogs. With their years of experience, they can train dogs without it. Despite that fact, most trainers today still choose to use these treats when training dogs.
Here are three reasons that explain why dog treats are used when training dogs.
Out with the Old, In with the New
The transition to this new way of training dogs is coming along fast and furious. Trainers and organizations are switching sides en masse, leaving their old ways behind.
One reason why they made the switch is because they didn’t want to go back to their old methods. The old methods relied heavily on a dog’s fear when they messed up a certain action. Punishments are relied on to rectify
The new way of training as brought about a huge and noticeable change in the dogs. Instead of fear, these new methods use positive reinforcement and emotions to train dogs.
The general sense of the movement seems to be going away from negativity, and straying towards positivity in training.
In truth, there are so many other things that can be used as a reward. These all depend on the different breeds, personalities, and likes of the dog. A ball for example, can be used as a reward to retrievers.
Food though is a special treat. It is special because of its fast effect on the dog. Using food in training your dog will ensure that the whole process happens faster.
Feeding a dog a treat is way faster than waiting for a dog to fetch a ball.
With this speed, the reinforcement and repeating cycle can be done faster than usual. After a dog eats his treat, it only takes seconds before they are up and ready to do their task to get more treats again.
Ease of Use
Finally, a really good reason as to why treats should be used to train a dog is in how easy it is to do. This is particularly important to those who are not able to act physically for giving out rewards or correcting a dog’s action.
For instance, people who are bound to wheelchairs will find it way easier to train a dog with the food method. It aids them in training their dogs despite their disability.
There is a general feeling that feeding a dog human food is considered wrong or taboo. That simply isn’t true.
There are pieces of wisdom and benefits in just feedings dogs dog food. However, at Texas Service Dogs, we support feeding them what is available. For people who adopt a dog or offer their homes as foster homes, we don’t necessarily force you to buy and feed them expensive dogfood.
The thing is though, even if we support human food and treats, this must be done right. There are some human foods and treats that are better and healthier than others.
Here are three of the best and healthiest human foods that you can and should feed your dogs.
In much the same way that eggs are healthy for people, it is that way for dogs too. Eggs are great for dogs. You can either cook them for your dog or even give it to them raw.
No matter how you give it though, it doesn’t matter as they both have their own health benefits for our canine companions.
For raw eggs, it is best to feed it to them with some shell in it. In doing so, we add some protein, riboflavin, as well as others.
For cooked eggs though, there is a specific way to prepare it. Ensure that you do not add any seasoning on it such as salt or pepper.
Peanut butter is one of the absolute best treats you should give to your dog. It is great for you dog because it takes them so long to eat! They enjoy it just as long, we assure you.
Peanut butter has so much good stuff packed in it. It has protein, vitamin E and B, and even healthy fats.
Just remember that when you buy peanut butter, unsalted peanut butter is the best one you should get. Salt is just bad for dogs, just as it is bad for people.
Apart from that, check that your peanut butter doesn’t have any sugar substitutes. An example of this is Xylitol. This particular ingredient is really bad for dogs. It could lead to a dog’s death.
Whatsup doc? Doc says that carrots are rife with fiber and vitamin A. They are an ideal snack as they are healthy but will not make your dog food since their calories are so raw.
They are also a good treat that takes care of your dog’s teeth in the long run.
These are the top human treats. However, there are so much more human treats you can offer your dogs. Study up first and learn about the best and healthiest human foods you can offer your dog.
Any dog breed out there can become a service dog. With enough care and training, dogs can be directed to do most anything.
At Texas Service Dogs though, we target a specific set of breeds. We train poodles, Labradors, and Labrador retrievers specifically. We do this because these breeds just have certain traits and qualities that are better for being service dogs.
Throughout this article, we’ll talk about why these breeds we just mentioned are ideal for service dog training.
Here are three dog breeds that are ideal candidates for service dog training.
When people see poodles, they usually think of prim and proper owners. Rightfully so as poodles are a formal breed of dog.
Standard poodles are considered one of the most intelligent dog breeds. Their brains are just wired to be receptive to all sorts of service dog training and tasks.
They are also very alert and have the mobility that allows them to cater to their owners immediately when the situation arises.
If your service dog is a poodle though, then you must know that their coat requires a lot of care and grooming.
Commonly referred to as “labs”, it is rare to find someone who doesn’t like them. Who wouldn’t like them anyway? They are a happy, smiley, active, and hardworking breed.
Their size is a definite plus. They are a large breed that are very strong. This, combined with how hard they work, makes for a dog breed that has a solid work ethic.
They are also very easy to train because of how driven they are for food.
We are sure that in your lifetime, you’ve seen a lab service dog. They are usually used as bomb sniffers and rescue dogs too.
Their name suggests why this breed is a great candidate for service dog training. Close kin to the labs, these retrievers are great at picking up, carrying, and giving items to their owners.
Initially, the Retrievers were bred for hunting, as they would retrieve the birds their owners hunted.
Despite that though, their mouths are very gentle, with their temperament more so.
Their mobility and allows for them to be really good for service dog training in guide work.