4-H Dog Project

Updates to the Comal County 4-H Dog Project pertaining to Top Paw Training.

Reminder: Meeting Tomorrow at 2pm

posted Mar 7, 2011, 9:36 AM by Top Paw Training   [ updated Mar 7, 2011, 10:24 AM ]

Just a reminder to all that follow: The dog project meeting is tomorrow at 2pm.
Please bring your rugs, double treats, and hungry dogs. It may be chilly or windy- please bring coats just in case. ;)
We'll work on building more behaviors on the bed and the foundational skills of better leash manners and heeling.
Last session was AMAZING! Congrats to all the handlers!

New Meeting Times, Days

posted Feb 26, 2011, 10:58 AM by Top Paw Training

Due to the advanced behaviors, high gas prices, springtime busy-ness, etc... there will be a new schedule for our 4-H Dog Training Project.
We will now meet every other Tuesday at 2:00pm.
For the Tuedays that we do not meet please check your email box. I will be sending directions for exercises and games to play to continue the training process on the advance behaviors.
Again there will be an email confirmation before the meetings. Thank you.

Stay, Recall, Targeting

posted Feb 26, 2011, 10:50 AM by Top Paw Training   [ updated Feb 26, 2011, 11:04 AM ]

The weather and springtime sicknesses have been quite the interrupter for our training progress but we are back on track now. Thanks for all your hard work through the last few weeks!
Last session we brought hungry dogs, double treats, and rugs to use as bed areas.
We discussed the stay and reviewed the restrained recall game. I saw significant improvement in the handler ability, dog reactivity, and confidence in every animal  (human too) there. Way to go group!
The session focused on teaching the dog to target a rug to be used as an anchor position for more advanced behaviors that we are moving into. So far we have done alot of positions and foundation building where we want the dog right there in front of us. Now we want to teach the dog to think in a more expansive way. It's time to encourage the dogs to problem solve to get their reward- they now have to move away from us.
The idea is to teach them to go to their bed to get a reward. We could help them with words, body language or baiting but for this task we are going to help them as little as possible so they can recognize that offering behaviors is safe and rewarding.
All of the dogs did AMAZING! Don't forget- this is a complex exercise- Handlers, you did AWESOME too!
We rotated bed locations to help the dogs generalize the skill. We also implemented sit and down positions on the bed while building duration.
To conclude the session, we worked on "spin" to the right and left. This will help us to prepare our dogs for heeling and quick turns later.

Refining the Down, Socialization

posted Dec 28, 2010, 4:37 AM by Top Paw Training   [ updated Jan 14, 2011, 4:20 AM ]

    Session three was a review of all the behaviors we have learned so far.

4H Dog Project

We also welcomed Jordan and Emma, a border collie. She is a cutie and her handler is great at commanding her to obey, although Emma is learning to listen around those distracting squirrels.
We progressed the down behavior from a lure and gesture to fading the lure and geture and using only a verbal and gesture if needed. The idea is to eliminate the need to have treats in the equation and having to bend over to command the dog to obey. Looks like all the dogs are well on their way to laying down with the verbal command from the handler in the stand position.
This session also challenged our handling skills as a socialization and distraction course was setup. It included: exploring the park, bathrooms, monuments, ducks and waterways, walking near people and other dogs, benches and pinic tables, as well as an opening umbrella, a honking bike horn, a drop kicked paper bag and a big bag of training equipment. The normal reaction is to investigate carefully and then to sniff, approach and reward the dog for confident investigation.
We will continue to socialize our dogs in the coming sessions.

Leash Control, Settle, and the Working Walk

posted Dec 8, 2010, 10:14 AM by Top Paw Training

Tuesday the project was held at the Dance Slab. We discussed the previous meeting, where some confusion led to my absence- I deeply apologize! We are working to get a better schedule together so we can all be on the same page. During the previous meeting it seems that all went well with the dogs present. Sharon adn Donna instructed the 4-H'ers to walk their dogs near each other without making contact to help get them used to one another. They practiced sit, the name game and discussed the basics of using motivational training.
This Tuesday we furthered the use of sit and the name game to help our dogs behave and pay attention to the handler while facing distractions of a public place. The 4-H'ers learned how to properly hold the leash and walk their dogs in the control position for maximum safety, communication and control with their dog. Feeding schedules were discussed and a new exercise was taught to promote body handling and restraint. The document is attached to this post and is open to those that wish to view and download it for their reference.
-Alison Mayo

Beginning Training & Holiday News

posted Dec 8, 2010, 6:35 AM by Top Paw Training   [ updated Dec 8, 2010, 10:13 AM ]

Howdy 4-H Dog Trainers! This is posted on behalf of Donna:
We had a wonderful session with Ms. Mayo.  She will repeat the same lesson December 8 at 2 p.m. on the dance slab.  All future classes will be on Tuesdays at 2:30. Here is the schedule with the Christmas Holiday included.
Wednesday December 8 at 2 p.m.  – Session 1
Tuesday December 14 at 2:30 – Session 2
Tuesday December 21 – Christmas Break
Tuesday December 28 -  Christmas Break
Tuesday January 4 – New Year’s Break
Tuesday January 11 at 2:30 –Session 3 
Don’t forget to bring your dog and treats to these training sessions.
Please remember to send me names, ages, phone numbers of those wanting to participate in the dog project. IThis information will be used to create a contact list and records for the training classes specific to this project.

Introductory Meeting Overview

posted Nov 19, 2010, 5:30 PM by Top Paw Training   [ updated Nov 19, 2010, 6:01 PM ]

I was so honored to be a part of the last meeting held at Ms. Sharon Jones home in New Braunfels on Wednesday, November 17th, 2010. There were about 10 families present and I was so pleased to see such a motivated group! No dogs were at this first meeting. The families own a variety of dogs- from small, toy breeds to large breed working dogs. This makes for a very diverse and interesting experience for the group.
After introducing the families and dogs  and a brief Q & A, we discussed the methods of dog training and how dogs learn by the consequences they receive from their actions. Modern motivational methods have been scientifically developed from animal behavior studies. We explored 5 main steps in using motivational training and then applied them to several real-life issues that the families were experiencing with their dogs.
We ended on assigning the task of playing some game with our pets to teach them the training method of reward-based training. Using the name-game and teaching sit via "luring", we hope to prepare them for future skills that require attention, focus, and problem solving. The children then practiced with Bailey, a Havanese dog, by luring him and shaping a sit position.
We proposed a future meeting of once or twice biweekly at the extension office or, most likely, Landa Park Dance Slab.
Future meeting to be announced via the 4-H Dog Project Page. Please subscribe in order to be informed by email.
* The document that was distributed at this meeting is attached at the bottom of the post. Feel free to download and print for review and sharing with other members of the group. Copyrighted to Top Paw Training. The link to the Google Document format is here: https://docs.google.com/a/toppawtraining.com/document/d/10CEZ8F0NmvOO4cEBbkIwiOwYG0pBs_x-gTq0VXI6jNo/edit?hl=en

Online 4-H Dog Curriculum

posted Nov 19, 2010, 5:28 PM by Top Paw Training

Explore the National 4-H Dog Curriculum, and develop a stronger relationship with your dog and learn life skills along the way!

Welcome 4-H Members

posted Nov 19, 2010, 5:16 PM by Top Paw Training   [ updated Nov 19, 2010, 5:28 PM ]

In order to keep all participants fo the 4-H Dog Project in the loop, all the info pertaining to Top Paw Training can be found on this page. Not only will you find info on past, current and future events, but also educational documents and other references on Dog Training & Behavior. This page is open to all that want to add content and feedback.
 Please post your comments at the bottom of this post and feel free to call Alison, trainer of Top Paw Training, at 830-557-7026 or email info@toppawtraining for assistance with your Dog Project.
I look forward to helping all the members , families, and supporters of the 4-H Dog Project.
Alison Mayo, Trainer of Top Paw Training

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