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Advice , Frequently Asked Questions and Documents.
Start off on the right foot with your new friend by reading this article and printing the checklist.
This section contains some of our common advice on training, links to our newsletter, and some more answers to frequently asked questions.
This section is dedicated to articles to help you navigate the dog world. Over the years we have seen unscrupulous people pull just about everything.
Here you will find RHK Pre Choice, Transfer of Ownership and Training Agreements. All documents are subject to change and updates.
How we run things.
The first few days of bringing a new pup or dog home are critical. It is imperative to be prepared in order to set the correct tone for success in your relationship.
Download the checklist and follow the rule of 3:
3 days of quiet.
Again, do not take your new buddy and shove his attention away from you to other people. To be successful in proper socialization he needs to be bonded to you first. So training is critical. This is the period where you set your normal routine with him. Private training at your home, how you two go on your normal walk or hike. Introduction to house and immediate family. Train him in what you expect his manners should be in the house. Once you have a good start on his obedience in the house and immediate family then you can take then next step
3 weeks of training your routine.
Again, do not take your new buddy and shove his attention away from you to other people. To be successful in proper socialization he needs to be bonded to you first. And most importantly lean engagement with you. So training is critical. This is the period where you set your normal routine with him. Private training at your home or your trainers facility, how you two go on your normal walk or hike. Introduction to house and immediate family. Train him in what you expect his manners should be in the house. Once you have a good start on his obedience in the house and immediate family then you can take then next step.
3 months of obedience and proper socialization.
This is where you continue your pup's basic obedience outside of the house and immediate family. You wills properly socialize him which we call environmental neutralization. That means he must be focused on you no matter the environment. Proper focus is the only way to successful obedience. He does not need to be cuddled by every stranger. You don't let every stranger cuddle your baby do you? He just needs to be polite and focused you.
Separation anxiety disorder (SAD), is an anxiety disorder in which an individual experiences excessive anxiety regarding separation from home or from people to whom the individual has a strong emotional attachment (e.g., a parent, caregiver, significant other or siblings). It is most common in infants and small children, typically between the ages of 6–7 months to 3 years, although it may pathologically manifest itself in older children, adolescents and adults. Separation anxiety is a natural part of the developmental process. Unlike SAD (indicated by excessive anxiety), normal separation anxiety indicates healthy advancements in a child's cognitive maturation and should not be considered a developing behavioral problem.
This is a human term applied to the dog and it is incorrect. People see dogs going into different drives and they do not understand those drives. Dogs are pack animals and follow the leader. They must be taught to be left behind by their leaders whether four leg or two. In essence, this is like a stay command. We start with the crate. The crate becomes the stay command. Minor digging and attempts to get out can be ignored. If the dog becomes to persistent, he can be corrected. Now those minor attempts to follow can become quite destructive if left out in a room with no context. This drive, the dog digging, chewing and vocalizing, people misread as anxiety and fear. That is not what fear looks like in a dog. Dogs are small, predatory animals that can be predated on by larger game. If they are afraid of something, they either run, fight or freeze and are relatively QUIET. Noise brings bigger predators. Even when they choose to fight. I had a hound fight for his life in the water when a racoon dropped on him. There was no barking, just light snarling from both animals. When pig hunting catch dogs are on the hog they are not barking. The only barking going on is by the signal hounds calling the hunters to get come assist the catch dogs.
Dogs who are attempting to follow their owner are in prey drive. They are not in true fear even if they are screaming their fool heads off. They are extremely frustrated if they are prevented from following. They can panic when this happens, but it is NOT from being left. It is from attempting to escape and some part of themselves gets hurt and or trapped. For example, a paw caught in a poorly designed crate.
We teach our kids how to stay by teaching them how to stay in their bed overnight. We teach our pups how to stay by teaching them to stay in their crates overnight. Then it progresses from there.
Let’s talk about titles you may hear dog trainers give themselves. Yes, I said give themselves. Even if they say they graduated from such and such canine college, in essence it is still a title they gave themselves. They may have paid a private organization to go to school for Dog Training, but these schools are not accredited like colleges. They are other dog trainers teaching newcomers how to be dog trainers and giving them a certificate.
The most common dog trainer title you will hear is Master Dog Trainer.
Some of these private organizations are better than others, but these schools are at most only a year long. Most are just a few months. Some are only a few weeks. Dog training is a skill, a technology, an art and a science. There is NO major or minor in dog training from traditional schools. The closest is animal behavior. And just because someone has earned that degree does not mean they are a good trainer.
So how to tell a good trainer from a bad trainer?
Look at how many dogs they have trained to advanced performance titles, and how many real-life certified dogs—police, service dogs, Search and Rescue dogs—they have trained. Note how their students’ dogs have succeeded in either competition or actual work. That is the trainer’s resume. Training a dog from pup up and taking it to a trial or working it in the above-mentioned venues—that shows the mettle of a trainer. That means their training has held up under extremely stressful conditions for the team. Successful, happy pet dog clients are good, but necessarily not the end all or be all. You were hear a lot of these Pet Dog only trainer clients say their proof is in their happy clients. A lot of that is great marketing and post-training salesmanship, not training. I have met plenty of supposedly pet trained dogs from happy clients who were not remotely trained in my book. They paid the pet trainer to train their dog to sit. They are happy with their previous trainer and attempt to show their dog’s skills off to me by having them sit. Their dog goes bounding off in some random direction pulling the owner down.
Some people like the sound of Master Trainer. I do not. At most I just refer to myself as head trainer or lead trainer.
So before listening to marketing and salesmanship, just ask to see the trainer working their dog, or at least another client’s dog or teach your dog something new in front of you. I hope this will save you some money in the long run.