Bringing out the best in a cat or dog is a hands-on task. Seeing it in a video is often better than reading it. My goal with these videos is to make behavior management easier to understand and implement.

Doing Down – How Much Better?

By drjeffnichol | May 16, 2022 | Comments Off on Doing Down – How Much Better?
Down step 2 thumbnail

Mick is getting clear on the concept of “Down” on command but he still needs a little hint so he can succeed every time. There’s no point in putting an early skill to a test too soon. After a canine student of any age has the idea, the food lure can be a partial movement. After a dog gets that right, you can repeat with just a tiny movement of the treat toward the ground. His enthusiasm shows that he has no anxiety about this. Mick will be ready for the command without the food next. One baby step at-a-time,…

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Wild & Exuberant – Punish? Yell? A New Skill?

By drjeffnichol | May 9, 2022 | Comments Off on Wild & Exuberant – Punish? Yell? A New Skill?
Target training

Out-of-control behavior in a dog of any age can drive you crazy. Reprimands and physical corrections teach nothing, except more intense agitation. Instead, you can “redirect” your kid to earn an immediate reinforcer (a click) and a food reward. She’d much work for you than annoy you anyway. Here is step 1 of target and clicker training.

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Get into a Dog Crate? Are you Kidding?

By drjeffnichol | May 2, 2022 | Comments Off on Get into a Dog Crate? Are you Kidding?
puppy crate training video

Mick is only a kid. He’s not ready to be trusted to behave if we left him loose in the house at night. A dog is a denning creature but a puppy needs to go there when his folks tell him to. So that he isn’t forced (he’d quickly learn to hate it) he gets to choose. I made it easy for Mick by rewarding each baby step with a tiny treat. As he walked into the crate I “captured” the behavior I wanted by saying, “Mick, Crate!” You’ll see later how he follows the command without argument.

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Your Dog Digs Where???

By drjeffnichol | April 25, 2022 | Comments Off on Your Dog Digs Where???
digging puppy

Digging dogs can damage a great yard. Don’t punish; it’s normal behavior. Instead, give that dirt dog its very own wonderful digging box. Make it attractive by loosening the dirt, misting with water, and burying tasty, challenging food-dispensing toys. Everybody wins.

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Teaching “Down” – Step 1

By drjeffnichol | April 18, 2022 | Comments Off on Teaching “Down” – Step 1
teaching down pt 1

Dogs love to work for food. You don’t need to push a puppy to ground. Give the “Down” command as you use a treat, as a lure, to show that kid what you want. When Mick “follows the money” he earns the payoff. You’ll know when your dog is catching on because she’ll start dropping when she hears the command. Then give her the food when she’s completed the job. Take baby steps with the babies.

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Tag Team at Aztec?

By drjeffnichol | April 11, 2022 | Comments Off on Tag Team at Aztec?
puppy kindergarten

Puppy kindergarten teaches healthy play during the sensitive period of socialization. Mick and his BFF (Welsh corgi) wrestle with wild abandon. A fun loving pug considers joining the fun and then says, “Ah, no. I’ll find a kinder, gentler smack down.” For all the juvenile canine fisticuffs and trash talking no one ever gets hurt. They’re all delighted to have another go next week. Aztec Animal Clinic gets it right.

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Coming when called – longer distance

By drjeffnichol | April 4, 2022 | Comments Off on Coming when called – longer distance

Young Mick (now 15 weeks old) has been practicing his recalls. We started with a little tug using a short leash. Now he comes reliably from longer distances but we still use a long line. It’s easy for people to hope for reliability too soon. That would frustrate everybody. Instead, you can prevent a failure by using a leash every time until your dog’s recalls are pretty darn good (they get better but are never really 100% reliable). No one is perfect, including Mick Nichol. He always gets a treat, praise, and most importantly a hug and a kiss for…

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Dog Brushing made Possible

By drjeffnichol | March 28, 2022 | Comments Off on Dog Brushing made Possible
puppy brushing

Some dogs hate to be groomed. But a hungry dog can earn tasty treats while lying still for gentle brushing. Sitting on the floor, rather than leaning over, will help reduce nervousness. Start out slow, keep sessions short, and maintain the food flow. With young Mick we wait until he’s sleepy. If he gets antsy the dog biscuits stop and the brush gets stowed. There’s no point in struggling.

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Dr. Nichol’s Video – New Baby Dog

By drjeffnichol | October 25, 2021 | Comments Off on Dr. Nichol’s Video – New Baby Dog
new puppy

The Nichol family is planning to add a puppy. I’ll share my preparations and training plan. Everybody can win.

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Dr. Nichol’s Video – Leash walking a Drag?

By drjeffnichol | October 18, 2021 | Comments Off on Dr. Nichol’s Video – Leash walking a Drag?
leash walking

Taking a stroll with your dog isn’t a walk in the park if they jump, lurch, and growl. Some are so wild they chew the leash.

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