2015 Holiday Issue
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In This Newsletter:

The 2015 Holiday Issue


Tip of the Month: A solid "Leave It" can be handy for the holidays!
Additional Articles: Teach your dog a new holiday trick! | “Out” is a useful cue with your dog when preparing your holiday meal | Set your dog up for success over the holidays! | Putting “leave it” to the test

Calendar and Group Class Schedules: Upcoming Classes in Southwest Littleton & Castle Rock/Sedalia | Upcoming events at The Light of Dog Farm.
Our most current offers, discount and coupons:  Please click here
We just love this recent photo of Romeo and Zuzu with their boarding buddies, Fraser, Jet and Dutch.  The whole gang is oh so obedient holding for this pic, which was shot at one of the benches on our property.  

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A solid "Leave It" can be handy for the holidays!

The holidays can mean a lot of different things to everyone. For some, it's a joyous time that allows us to get out of our normal routines. It permits us to spend extra time with family and friends. It also means some of you will be spending extra time at home with your dog(s). If you're at home, you might be doing extra cooking to prepare for visitors. You might be buying and wrapping gifts for holiday exchanges. You might be putting up holiday decorations. 

For our dogs, this means more time with you which is great! Some love the change in routine, others have a harder time with changes. This also might mean extra opportunities to get into things we don't want them getting into! This is the perfect time, then, to start or refresh your "Leave it" or alternative behaviors to keep your dog out of the things s/he should not be getting into. 

Following is an excerpt from Juvenile Delinquent Dogs on the Leave It cue. Speaking of my book, it makes a great holiday gift for the dog-lovers in your family and friends circle - or for yourself, if you don't have it yet!

Leave It:
Start by holding or covering up a treat at your dog’s nose level
or below. Make sure your dog cannot get to and eat the treat. Wait.
As soon as he turns away or pulls back from the treat, click, hand him a
different treat and say, “Take it.” The alternative treat you offer should
be as good as or better than the one you asked him to leave.

Be careful not to have the other treat too close by. If you have it in
your other hand within easy reach, your dog will quickly learn to turn
away from one hand to get the treat in the other hand. That’s not the
lesson you are trying to teach. You want your dog to learn that if he
leaves something when you tell him, it’s likely he will get something else
as good or better. But he should anticipate something good happening
without knowing exactly what that might be. You don’t want him to
see what his alternative is first; otherwise, you could end up teaching
your dog only to leave something when he already knows what he will
get for leaving it.

Try this same exercise with other objects, but make sure you can prevent
your dog from grabbing it and starting a game of tug-of-war or
chase, as these are the behaviors you are trying to prevent. If you use
an object your dog is not allowed to have, ensure your trade object is
more valuable than the object you want him to leave.

As your dog gets better at this exercise, begin to expect your dog to not
only turn away or back off from the treat, but to look at you. Leave it
now begins to mean, “turn away from the object and watch me instead.”

Introduce the leave it cue once your dog easily backs off from the items.
If your dog seems a bit confused by this exercise, you may introduce
the leave it cue right away. For example, if your leave it exercise looks
too much like your down exercise (by the positioning of your body and
your hand) then try to adjust your positioning so it does not look as
if you are asking your dog to lie down or do something else. You may
also introduce your leave it cue right away so that your dog understands
you are looking for something different to previous exercises.

Once your dog is doing well with the object in your hand, try opening
your hand up so your dog can see what you have. Make sure you can close
your hand before your dog gets to it. Try placing the object on the floor,
but make sure you can step over it or block your dog from getting to it.

For additional information on Leave It, refer to pages 150-153 in Juvenile Delinquent Dogs. 
 
 

Additional Related Articles

 
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The Perfect Training Treat to Keep Your Dog Sharp Over the Holidays

Soft and easy to break apart into small pieces so it's long lasting...the percfect holiday gift for your dog.  
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Calendar

Upcoming Classes in Southwest Littleton Area
  • Puppy Preschool:  open enrollment on Sundays and Wednesdays
  • Puppy Recess:  most Sundays noon to 1 pm
  • Basic Training:  new classes will start in January
  • Juvenile Delinquents:  new class starts Sunday 11/1 
  • Rally for Fun:  new class starts Sunday 11/1
  • Polite Pooches in Public: new classes will start in the spring
  • Fun & Games Class: new classes will start in January
  • The Nose Knows: none at this time
  • Canine Good Citizen Class & Test: none at this time
  • Agility for Fun: none at this time
Upcoming Classes in Castle Rock/Sedalia
  • Basic Training: new classes will resume in the spring
  • Juvenile Delinquents: new class will start when enough people are signed up
  • Advanced Classes:  if you are interested in Agility for Fun, Rally for Fun, Fun & Games or other classes at this location, please let us know.
Upcoming Events at The Light of Dog Farm
  • Nature Walks  No more scheduled for this year. Nature walks will resume in 2016. 
  • Is feeding raw dog food right for me? No more scheduled for this year. More will be scheduled in 2016. Click here for registration information.

Click here for our complete group class & events schedule with available spaces

 
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To see our most current offers, discounts and coupons:

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The “Kids”

Zuzu (Greyhound) and Romeo (Vizsla): Social directors, personal trainers, and chief protectors from potential intruders. 

Wife & Husband

Sue Brown, behavior consultant, dog trainer and writer extraordinaire and Ed Soehnel, product and farm manager grunt.
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