Why should you follow this blog? What makes it unique? Well that is an excellent set of questions. We try to post some fun stuff on the blog and lots of pictures of Lucy (the title character of the blog) and an occasional video or two. We write about things that matter to dog lovers and especially boxer dog lovers. So, here are the details of who Lucy the White Boxer Dog is...

Lucy the white boxer dog has been in our family for a little over six years now. She is not truly white but rather what is referred to as a "check boxer" due to her spots. She is not an albino! She has brown eyes and splashes of black on her in addition to her spots. She is a full blooded boxer. She is also extremely healthy with the exception of having a sensitive stomach.

Want to learn more about Lucy and the things we write about her, follow her blog. Better yet, check out some of the older posts. There is a lot of information on the care of boxers and dogs in general... We look forward to see your comments on some of the posts... Happy blogging to all!


Sunday, April 19, 2009

A thought on basic command training for your Boxer!


My friends over at "Dogs Deserve Freedom (their address is in the Links section of this blog)", brought up a training issues that I thought I would address on this site. "Yelling at your dog is not very good for many corrections."

In my day job I sometimes teach a Communication Course. One of the stats that we through out there is that words have the least amount of meaning in any conversation due to the filter involved in the Communication Loop! The stats break down something like this:

Words = 7% of meaning
Tone = 35% of meaning
Body Language = 58% of meaning

Guess what, your dog actually understands about 6-10 words total and I'm talking about a truly intelligent dog here! This is a big filter to get through. You may as well be speaking French to your dog! What they do understand is tone, body language, and association of meaning. They reach this association of meaning through training, repetition, and socialization.

So, yelling at your dog to get him to sit, hold, come to you, or whatever you are trying to achieve is the least effective method of training your dog! What follows are some tips for training that I've found to be very effective in dealing with our Boxer- Lucy.

When we were training Lucy we found that if we used the formula of:

Name it!
Praise it!
Click it!
Feed it!

You need to start off by buying yourself a clicker, some dog treats, a leash, and some time. Don't expect your dog to get it right the first couple of times you do this training. Association of meaning may take longer for some dogs. Pavlov didn't get his dogs to salivate on the first attempt either!

For the sit command, start off with a treat in your hand raise it above your dog's head. This will induce him to look up and bring his rear end down, sometimes in the position that you want him in. Once he achieves the sitting position, click your clicker and give him the treat. Every time you have a positive behavior that you are trying to teach, click the clicker and reinforce with something the dog likes such as a treat, a favorite toy, or praise. Lucy likes treats so we use treats. Yelling won't be necessary if association and reinforcement methods of training are used.