Puppies and Dogs For Sale in UK

Archive for August, 2013

What is Clicker Training?

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

There are many popular ways to train dogs; an increasingly popular training method is referred to as “clicker training.” Clicker training involves the use of a sound, usually a clicker, to tell an animal that they have done something in the right way. Clicker training is actually used by both pet owners and professionals to train not only dogs, but other animals—including wild animals used for films or entertainment shows—as well. The primary difference between clicker training and non-clicker training is, of course, the use of the clicker itself. Most clickers are small, handheld plastic boxes with a small metal tongue that, when pushed, makes a clicking noise. New, electronic clickers are also being popular, although due to their potential for short battery life or damage, most pet owners opt for manual, handheld devices instead.

What_is_Clicker_TrainingThe way that clicker training works is this: A pet is given the command to perform a certain behavior, such as “sit.” The moment that the dog sits down, the pet owner uses the clicker, which creates the clicking noise. Then they immediately give the dog a treat.

The reason that the clicker is utilized here is to let the dog know when they have performed a good behavior—in this example, when they sit down in response to the “sit” command. The dog will learn that the “language” of the clicker means he has done something good, which is followed by a reward. Some pet owners choose to help their dogs associate the clicker with a reward by using the clicker in the home outside of a training context, followed by treats. For example: The pet owner might sit with their dog in the living room and use the clicker, then give their dog a treat. The dog will then learn that the noise of the clicker means they are going to get a reward. And when the clicker is used when they perform something specific, like coming to their owner or going to their cage or sitting down, it further ties the sound with something positive.

Eventually, pet owners can dial back on the amount of rewards given for performed behaviors; for example, instead of giving the dog a treat every time they raise their paw in response to the “shake hands” command, they may only give the dog a reward when it reaches up higher than any of its other attempts.

One of the reasons that clicker training is so popular with pet owners and professional dog trainers alike is that most dogs can quickly learn that the clicking noise means they have done something good or something that will be rewarded. When pet owners do not use a clicker, they have to rely on their own fast praise to ensure that the dog associates their behavior—such as lying down—with a reward, such as a treat or affection. With the clicker, on the other hand, the immediate noise followed by a treat tells them exactly when they have done something that will earn them a reward.

Why Dog Commands Are Important

Monday, August 5th, 2013

Dog commands can sometimes seem like nothing more than a silly parlor trick. “Sit up,” “sit down,” “fetch”—do they really have any significant importance, or are they something that pet owners do so that they can show off a few tricks to their friends? The truth is: dog commands and overall dog training are important both to pet owners and dogs. Training a dog to respond to commands allows for the dog to learn household and social etiquette; in other words, commands help a dog learn and respond to what is expected of them. For example: If they are expected not to sit in furniture, the “off” command will teach them that they are expected to get off the furniture—whether or not they’ll listen when their owner isn’t looking is another story, of course.

Why_Dog_Commands_Are_ImportantAlthough some dog commands can be related to tricks—such as “spin around” and “shake”—most commands have a much more important purpose than entertainment. The purpose of dog commands can be boiled down into two main categories: keeping dogs safe and keeping people safe. Just about every type of command can actually accomplish both of these categories. For example: The command “off” can be used when a large dog is attempting to jump on a houseguest that it wants attention from—this keeps the house guest from getting unintentionally injured by the large dog. The command “off” can also be used when a dog jumps up on one end of the kitchen table where a hot candle flame is burning on the other end—this keeps the dog from burning itself by immediately telling the dog to get down from the table.

Dog commands may also be useful in the case of dog to dog or dog to other animal interaction. Although many dogs can get along wonderfully with each other and other animals, like cats, sometimes negative interactions do occur. Sometimes, these negative interactions can be prevented, avoided or even curtailed by a well-given command to a dog that has been properly trained to respond to them. For example: A dog is jumping around a cat, attempting to play with it; the pet owner can see that the cat is irritated by the dog’s behavior through its body language, which the dog does not understand or is perhaps even ignoring. If the cat is provoked for too long, it may respond by attacking the dog. This can be avoided by giving the dog a command that removes it from that situation, such as “come,” to make the dog come to the pet owner, or “sit,” to make the dog stop jumping around the cat. In both of these cases, a potential negative interaction that could have resulted in injuries for both the dog and the cat were avoided because of dog commands.

The importance of dog commands ultimately comes down to keeping animals safe when they are interacting with people, other animals, and the world around them.

The Toy Terrier – Yorkshire Terrier

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

The Yorkshire Terrier, classified in the toy group, is a breed well known for its luxurious coat, brave personality, and popularity around the world.

A brief history of the Yorkshire Terrier

yorkshire_terrierThe Yorkshire Terrier originated, not surprisingly, in Yorkshire. It is believed that the Yorkshire Terrier was initially bred from a variety of different small terriers, which were bred by workers who came to Yorkshire from Scotland. These breeds included the Maltese, the Paisley Terrier, and possibly various Scotch terriers. In the late 19th century, the Yorkshire Terriers were first classified in a dog show category called the “Rough and Broken-coated, Broken-hair Scotch and Yorkshire Terriers.” This confusing classification was criticized by dog breeders and eventually the breed was classified in the simpler toy group instead.

Earlier Yorkshire Terriers differed from the modern Yorkshire Terrier in some significant ways. The early breed consisted of various body types, sizes, and personalities–to quote an early standard of the breed, “almost anything in the shape of a Terrier having a long coat with blue on the body and fawn or silver colored head and legs, with tailed docked and ears trimmed, was received and admired as a Yorkshire Terrier.” This loose definition was altered in the late 19th century and early 20th century, when the modern and now standard Yorkshire Terrier was developed.

Characteristics

The Yorkshire Terrier is a small toy dog. Males generally reach no more than 8 or 9 inches at the shoulder, and will typically weigh no more than 4 to 9 lbs. They are well known for their luxurious coats which are traditionally grown long and parted down the middle of the dog’s back, although some owners choose to clip their Yorkshire Terrier’s coats shorter to make the process of grooming simpler for both the dog owner and the dog itself. Yorkshire Terriers are traditionally tan with blue saddle marketing. Other colors, such as tan with black markings or black with tan markings, may also be found.

The breed is well known for its upright, proud personality. They are often described as having an “important air about them,” meaning that they seem proud in their bearing. They are an active breed who requires exercise and stimulation, although due to their small size care should be taken not to over-exercise the dog. They are curious, friendly when socialized well, and are protective of their families and their homes. They are considered to make excellent watchdogs because of their protective personality.

Did you know? Trivia

  • The breed is lovingly referred to as the “Yorkie.”
  • Yorkshire Terriers were popular house pets during Victorian times, especially for aristocratic families.
  • Like other small dog breeds, Yorkshire Terriers are prone to dental disease and owners should be prepared to take special care of their pet’s teeth.
  • During WW2, American soldiers found a small Yorkshire terrier in a foxhole in the New Guniea jungle. The dog accompanied Corporal William A. Wynne during the war for the next two years, often traveling in his backpack, often living under harsh conditions with no access to vet care or food made for dogs. Amazingly, Smoky never became ill during this time.