Sunday, July 19, 2009
The Loved Dog
My husband got me this book on CD and I really enjoyed it. I am a first time new pet owner and as such, I want to know how to be the best Mommy I can be for my dog Muppet. This book has really helped me to better understand how dogs think and Tamar Geller, with her loving training tips, shows you how to build trust with your dog in a way that is nonagressive. You can have a great relationship with your pet without having to use choke chains, shock collars, and any other tools that would break your dogs spirit.
I have applied many of Tamar Geller's methods to train Muppet and they have been very successful. My favorite tool has been the three levels of positive reinforcement hierarchy--bronze, silver and gold treats. The bronze reward can be a small treat that is used when your dog does something he has already learned and does well. Silver treats are used when the stakes of learning are a little bit higher. Gold treats are used so that your dog can perform when the stakes are high. I use pieces of turkey bacon or chicken as Gold treats to get Muppet to do whatever I want or to get him to learn something new that is difficult. Once he learns the behavior or cue, I reward him randomly so that he can stay interested--this is called the Las Vegas method. The dog should receive a lot of treats on random occasions only -- as if it had just won the jackpot. This method also works effectively on tourists, I would know, I live in Las Vegas!!
The gold treats have worked wonders on Muppet when we give him a bath. He gets so excited about the chicken he is going to receive that he doesn't even realize that he is in water. I have even been able to blow dry his fur without a fuss using the gold treats!!