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I recently got a dog; an American Bulldog / Boxer mix. She's a sweetheart. However, even though she was eleven months old when we got her, she was completely untrained. Poor us. Wait, poor her. You see, what a dog wants to do is have a goal. Dogs are hard wired to do things. They naturally spend all day hunting for their food, they are den animals, and they enjoy pleasing their owner. There is a lot of talk about being a pack leader, the alpha dog, and all of that mess, but what it really boils down to is finding something that the dog enjoys and using that as a reward. I taught my dog to drop simply by using kibble and her favorite toy. I got a really great game of fetch going on and every time she would bring the toy back she would want a good game of "Tug of War." What I did was grab some kibble, and say, "drop!" then offer some kibble. Slowly but surely she realized, "When I drop this toy, I get food!" After about 15 minutes of working with her she would drop the toy the second that I said, "Drop!" After that I slowly phased out the kibble and the reward quickly became being able to play fetch again. It's amazing how quickly it worked. That caused the dog's mentality to change from, "If I drop this toy I get food" to "If I drop this toy, I get to play with the toy again." The idea was to simply use what she loved (Food) in order to reward her for doing what I wanted (drop). It honestly took a matter of 15 to 20 minutes for her to understand what I wanted. You can apply this technique to just about any aspect of dog training. The main problem that comes up when training different dogs is the fact that some of them are not very food receptive. The goal in this situation is to simply find something that the dog loves. It can be a toy, an activity such as going for a walk or playing fetch, or a stuffed animal that it likes to carry around. You then use that as the reward for the command that you are trying to teach it. So instead of teaching a dog to drop by using kibble like I did with my dog, simply give your dog a toy of lower value and when it's playing with it say, "drop!" and give it a toy of higher value. After you exchange the toy, it's important to give the dog the original toy back. This way you will see when the dog drops it will also get the original toy back. This is imperative because it will show that it is not a bad thing to drop because it gets his toy back. You'll soon see the dog learn before your eyes. You can apply these principles to just about any aspect of dog training. What works for me will obviously not work for everybody, however. Most importantly, it is important to start with easy dog tricks. When it comes to dog training all it really takes is something the dog enjoys, a dedicated owner, and a little bit of time. If you have those three things, you will see your dog grow, and your relationship with the dog will also grow. Seeing your relationship with your dog grow quite a

pleasant experience-not only for you but for your dog. So get out there and get to work with that puppy! You will not regret it.

Eric Ellenbrook is a writer for The Dog Blog.

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==== ==== This is a really informative website on the topic od American Bulldog Puppy Training. ==== ====

American Bulldog Puppy Training  

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