Higher Education, Advanced training for your Dog

When you start training your dog, the two of you build up a special bond. You work hard together so of course you can’t help but feel pleased when she responds to your instructions. By the time your dog can obey the basic commands without a training collar and leash, you may not want not stop training – you’ll  be so excited by all that she is capable of and will look forward to doing more advanced work with her. And like a snowball picking up speed as it rolls downhill, the more you teach your dog, the faster she’ll learn.

Because you’ve used positive reinforcement throughout your training, your dog will also be eager to keep going – she enjoys the challenges and rewards. Just from her expression, you can see how self – assured she is when you give her a command she knows and can execute. Her ears are alert, her eyes are bright and she holds her head up proudly. Who wouldn’t want to keep the training ball rolling?

Canine Capers:
Is there life after “Sit” and “Stay?” Definitely. In fact, there’s another world of training skills that dogs can learn. Although there may be limitations, depending on her breed, your dog can be trained, depending on her breed, your dog can be trained to do all kinds of things – retrieve an object without damaging it, pose with small children for a photo in a crowded auditorium, jump over hurdles, her sheep, shoot through tunnels and chase small game. Once you get past the fundamentals there’s a whole range of skills your dog is capable of learning. And with plenty of dogs working alongside their owners and helping out in the community, there are lots of opportunities for well – trained dogs to perform beyond their backyards.

“Well – trained dogs can save lives on land or in water, or help the physically disabled by opening and closing doors, getting the mail and picking up dropped objects,” says Bob Jervis, an animal trainer and director of training at the national K-9 Dog training school in Columbus, Ohio. “Others act as the eyes or ears of their human companions. They alert their hard – of – hearing owners by parking loudly when the doorbell or the phone rings, and guide those with poor sight safely through busy traffic.”

Famous Dogs and Their Tricks:
Over the years, a number of highly trained dogs have graced our film and TV screens and wowed us with their presence. One of the most joyous canine actors in the 1950s was a rough – haired Collie who played the part of Lassie. Whenever Lassie’s young owner got himself into trouble, he would ask Lassie to “go for help.” Lassie would immediately know this was the cue to run and find someone who could help, and get the person’s attention by barking furiously. Lassie would persuade that person to follow her and return to the spot where the youngster was in trouble.

But dog actors are not confined to just one particular breed. A 150 – pound French Mastiff named Hooch played a detective in the movie turner and hooch, while a team of Saint Bernard’s shared the limelight in the movie Beethoven. One of the lead canine actors in Beethoven was trained to dig on command and pull over a picnic table.

A jack Russell terrier called Moose plays the character Eddie in the television sitcom, Frasier. Moose jumps up and down on command and stares intently at the lead actor. Behind the scenes, the Terrier is really jumping up and down on a trampoline. In the movie, Zeus and Roxanne, a Portuguese Podengo was taught to ride on the back of a dolphin, and in the television show empty nest, the saint Bernard/golden retriever mix was trained to raise and lower his eyebrows on command. In TV’s popular Mad about you, a smart and well – trained mixed breed dog command a high fee for playing dumb.

But the live – action remake of Walk Disney’s 101 Dalmatians take the cake for being the most ambitious movie made with dogs to date. More than 300 Dalmatian puppies and several adult dogs appeared in the film. Small groups of six – week – old puppies were taught to run on command, sit and stay together in a group and dive into a haystack. An adult Dalmatian was trained to jump up on a kitchen sink, start the coffee maker, turn off the alarm clock and wake up his owner. A Standard Schnauzer was trained to jump up on his hind legs, and toss a burlap bag over his own head while hopping across the room. Not only are these performances amazing but so, too, are the trainers for having the enormous amount of patience required to achieve all of this.