If your neighborhood is anything like mine, it's littered with dangerously delicious "treats": chicken bones, garbage bags awaiting pickup, food wrappers, and more. Teaching your dog a reliable Leave It is essential for his safety.
I teach several levels of Leave It, which allows the dog to develop impulse control first in simple situations, then in moderately difficult ones, and finally in very challenging food-on-the-sidewalk scenarios. To execute it correctly, use both the video below and the detailed steps in the BKLN Manners™ book to guide you.
The video follows a training session with Gritz, a Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue pup and friend of Doggie Academy. He had learned Leave It but needed a refresher at each level. Though our session all took place the same day, a dog learning this behavior for the first time may need weeks to get a reliable Leave It.
The best part of summer is bringing your dog to the dog-friendly cafe. If your dog's cafe manners need some work, join me May 31 for this special event at NYC's only totally-dog-friendly-even-indoors cafe, Boris & Horton! This 90-minute event starts at 6:30pm, and seating is very limited, so book your spot early!
The workshop will focus on:
My newest video focuses on one of the most important training behaviors: recall! BKLN Manners uses a hand target for recall, as many dogs seem to find "touch" a lot more fun than "come." (To see the steps of a basic hand target, watch my video here.) And if your dog thinks it's fun, he'll respond much more easily.
This video features the perfect pittie duo Penelope and LooseSeal (Check them out here on Instagram!) Recently LooseSeal slipped out the front door and gave her family a scare as she played the "can't catch me" game. The recall techniques we used in this training session are meant to prevent a future incident.
As with all training, the key is to increase the difficulty methodically, raising only one criterion at a time. As you'll see in the video, we are increasing either distance between dog and handler or distraction level, such as toys in the vicinity. Both Penny and Loosey nailed their recalls during our session, meaning they can soon start to practice on long lines in areas that offer slightly greater distance and more distractions, like a quiet corner of a park.
As if the release of the BKLN Manners™ book wasn't enough excitement for one week, we just got word that a segment Sarah Westcott and I did for a Japanese TV series has aired. (It's almost entirely in English.) Watch it here!
The segment, which begins at the four-minute mark, gives you a glimpse of how to teach polite leash walking, not jumping on people, recall, a trick, and agility. In addition to Sarah's dogs Hank and Fever and my dog Batman, our wonderful client Margaret and her dog Grace volunteered to take part in the filming. Grace picked up hand targeting and jumping through a hoop with lightning speed.
On a personal note, Japan is a country close to my heart, where I have both family and friends. But dog training there isn't as robust as it is in the States, at least not yet. (However, excellent trainers like Miki Saito are changing that!) Therefore, I couldn't be happier to share what we do at Brooklyn Dog Training Center to a Japanese audience!
Does your dog know how to sit, stay, and come in the house? What about in the park? If that second question makes you cringe, you’re not alone.
A dog’s inability to respond to cues outdoors is a common problem, but there’s hope! Some patience and methodical training can help you teach your dog that “sit” means “sit,” no matter where you are.
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Kate Naito, CPDT-KA, MS, is an accomplished author and dog trainer with Doggie Academy in Brooklyn, NY. Her books, articles, and videos cover everything from house-training to leash aggression.