Happy 2012 & Train Your Dog Month!

By Lisa-Anne Manolius | January 05, 2012 ~ 1 Comment

Happy 2012 & Train Your Dog Month!

January is National Train Your Dog month – a grand kick-off to another year with your best furry friend. If you haven’t heard, positive reinforcement training is one of the best ways to enhance your relationship with Rover.

Relationship: the way in which two or more concepts, objects or people are connected, or the state of being connected.

Some may think true relationships exist only between humans, but we do indeed have relationships with our dogs. Continue Reading

January is Train Your Dog Month

By Lisa-Anne Manolius | January 03, 2011 ~ 2 Comments

January is Train Your Dog Month

It’s that time again when the new year stretches out shiny, new and full of promise. January also happens to be the APDT’s second annual National Train Your Dog Month (TYDM), which is a wonderful coincidence because training your dog the positive way promises to yield happy results for you and your pooch.

Whether you have a newly adopted dog, a bouncing –off-the-walls adolescent dog, or a senior dog, ongoing positive training is essential for polite doggy behavior. Teach your new dog good manners from the get go, polish up Rover’s rusty recalls and other important behaviors, take a class, or train your dog to do a snazzy trick.

Reward-based training is easy and fun for you and your dog.  And that’s not all. It builds doggy confidence, ensures that your dog will engage more often in behaviors you like, gives her mental exercise and helps prevent boredom.

Love your dog? Then train him!

Love your dog? Then train him!

Who cares if your dog is bored? Well, it’s a good bet that your dog does. Being perpetually bored is no way for a critter to live. (I don’t know about you, but boredom drives me positively bonkers.) Aside from the fact that boredom is a serious drag, a bored doggy is very likely to get into mischief like chewing up your stuff, digging in your houseplants, or barking all the time.  

Problem behavior that could have been prevented or resolved through positive training is one of the leading causes of dogs losing their homes and ending up in shelters. If you love your dog – and I know you do – and you want a long happy life together, a lifetime of positive training is one of the best gifts you can give her and yourself.

Check out the TYDM website for free training tips or to enter this year’s Photo/Video contest. And check out my blog for upcoming posts on useful and cool stuff you can teach your dog.

Happy New Year! Happy Training!

APDT Conference – Here I Come!

By Lisa-Anne Manolius | October 19, 2009 ~ 3 Comments

It’s a wet dreary Monday in San Francisco, I didn’t get much sleep last night and I’ve got loads of work staring me down. But I’m in a terrific mood. This week I’ll be attending my very first APDT conference in Oakland!

APDT stands for Association of Pet Dog Trainers, the largest professional association of dog trainers in the world. APDT was founded in 1993 by Dr. Ian Dunbar, a veterinary behaviorist, expert dog trainer, and a giant in the field of positive dog training. APDT’s mission is to promote caring relationships between dogs and people by educating trainers in canine behavior and emphasizing professionalism and reward-based training. The annual conference is attended by thousands — trainers, behaviorists, shelter workers and other dog service professionals — from all over the country and the globe.

Confession time: I’m a doggy geek and I’m proud! I love to learn. High up on my list of favorite subjects is dog behavior, animal learning theory and the science of applied behavioral analysis. That’s one of the reasons I’m so jazzed about attending the APDT conference. It’s an educational mecca for doggy geeks like me. For five packed days, expert trainers and behaviorists will present the best most state-of-the-art information on dog behavior and training. We’ll learn about the latest research on canine cognition, the present and future of positive dog training, strategies for modifying aggressive behavior, and an entire day will be devoted to exploring the complex arenas of canine fear and anxiety.

Besides the seminars there’s a trade show showcasing the latest dog gear, products, toys, food, and training equipment. And last but certainly not least, the conference will be a great place to meet fabulous dog trainers.

I’ve come a long way since I first picked up a clicker years ago and trained my cat Ted to sit, head butt me, and wave. Since then, I’ve racked up countless hours as a shelter volunteer, worked in puppy day care, graduated from the SF SPCA’s Academy for Dog Trainers, worked as a shelter dog trainer, taught many dog training classes, and worked with private training clients. I’ve learned plenty, but there’s always more to learn. Much like my dog when he sees the clicker, I’m practically salivating at the thought of attending the conference. I can’t wait to learn all that I can there, and to share it here with readers, with my lovely canine clients and their human guardians.

As I count down to Wednesday, I’ll try hard not to drool.