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Questions about dog behavior and training? Send them to: email@example.com.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
How to Save Your Dog from Choking
Dana Dwinell sent us this link to some good information on how to clear your dog's air passage if he chokes on a treat, and how to proceed with CPR if necessary once the airway has been cleared.
You can print out the three-fold PDF version offered at this link and share it with your family and friends.
DOGTALK is Jan Manning's collection of information, observations, advice, and experiences as a dog behaviorist and trainer of dog owners. Welcome!!
How to locate an article
All posts are categorized in sections below. If you have questions about housebreaking, for example, check the list of "Training and Behavior" posts. When you find a post you want to read, just click on the title. To return to the main list, use your "back" button. You can also note the date of the post you want to read, find the same DATE in the "Archives" box, and click on that.
"Dog-training" is really about teaching dog owners how to behave around their dogs.
Dogs naturally prefer to be followers, but will lead if no one else takes the job.
Your dog wants you to take control.
Consistency = doing things the same way 100% of the time, with the eventual goal of achieving the same results 100% of the time. Be consistent with what you allow your dog to do. Consistency = same thing 100% of the time. 99% is not good enough. Before you give your dog a command, have a plan to enforce it without repeating it. If you can't enforce it without repeating, don't give the command. Your dog can read your body language better than you can speak. Before you can teach your dog anything, you must earn his respect. The best trainer your dog will have ever had is its own mother. A dog's destructive behaviors are caused by improper human management. "Dog training" is actually about teaching people how to act around dogs. The quality of a dog's "Sit" can tell you a lot about his state of mind. Out of respect to your dog, learn his language. Eye contact with your dog is like an invisible leash. Leashes and collars are communication devices, not restraint devices. If it would be impolite for a child to do it, it's impolite for your dog to do it. Get your dog off unemployment and help him have some self respect. Dogs don't love "loveable" leaders; they love strong leaders. Your dog's behavior in your presence is a reflection of his relationship with you. Your dog's respect for you must be earned; it can't be bought. Never ask your dog to do frivolous or demeaning things that could cause him or her to question your judgment and fairness as a leader. Words are a human invention; sounds are natural occurrences. Dogs respond to sounds, not words. Make sure your commands "sound" the same each time you give them. When it comes to training, make the wrong behavior difficult and the right behavior easy(thank you, Ray Hunt!) People who physically resemble their dogs are usually pretty well matched for each other. Dog training is a never-ending journey. Forget the destination and enjoy the trip. Teach your dog to think, not just react. Training doesn't change your dog's personality; it merely brings out the best of it. The pack leader LEADS on walks. All dogs and kids need boundaries, rules & limitations. Survival tips: Pay attention to your leaders, show respect to them, and learn to exercise self control. Learning to be your dog's leader is 10 times harder than training your dog. Any dog can be housebroken with the right training and guidance from a human. Never use your official recall command (i.e., "Come" or "Here") to call the dog to something he doesn't like.
When you're about to issue a command, always ask the dog for the command that's easiest for him to do correctly and easiest for you to enforce. (Don't ask for a "sit" if a "down" will do. Don't ask for a "stay" if a "curb" will do.) Your dog is more "human" than many people. Listen to what your dog is saying to you. Who rescued whom?
Without respect, there can be no obedience. Don't excuse; understand.
Good or bad, you are the reason for your dog's behavior. Dogs thrive on routine.
To effectively lead, be a better specimen of your dog's breed than he is. Respect can't be bribed or bought with treats; it must be earned. All dog owners should have goals for their dogs to achieve. Your dog's behavior is your product. Never use your dog's name in vain.
About Jan Manning
Life takes unexpected turns and leads us into work we were each meant to do. Jan never set out to make a meaningful career out of dogs. But 8,000 dogs later, Jan has established herself as one of the best dog behaviorists in the Pacific Northwest. Her understanding of dogs, and her ability to improve the dog/owner relationship, rivals that of any specialist in the world. Her approach most closely resembles that of Cesar Millan, "The Dog Whisperer," although she'd never heard of Cesar until a couple years ago. Jan has been "whispering" since 1993, refining her techniques over the many years and thousands of dogs.
Most of those dogs were in Yakima, Washington, where Jan established a popular training studio that hosted up to 12 classes a week. The mainstay was "Leadership Class," a phenomenal course to train owners how to better communicate with their dogs and become the pack leaders their dogs wanted them to be. "Leadership Class" was, with few exceptions, a non-food class that turned bad relationships into healthy ones within minutes. It also presented a big dose of rudimentary obedience training.
After the intensive Leadership Class, motivated students might choose to take Jan's competition classes: AKC competitive obedience, rally obedience, and agility. Over the years, hundreds of her staffs' students earned titles in all three endeavors. Manning Dog Training became (and still is) the leading producer of top-notch competition dogs in Central Washington.
Jan enjoyed competition herself, and put several dozen titles on six of her own dogs. Her highest achievement was earning a UD (Utility Dog) obedience title for her Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, Atlas (Snowy Mountain Bandit). Atlas completed his "triple crown," earning "Excellent" titles in AKC agility and an "Excellent" title in AKC Rally. He was only the third Swissy in history to earn a UD, and the first Swissy to earn the "triple crown."
Jan also put numerous advanced titles on two other Swiss Mountain Dogs: Grasel (Snowy Mountain Baldy and Atlas' littermate), and Paige (Yodel's Bestseller). Her titled Rottweilers included Scout (her first competition dog, 1989) and Teddy, who went on to become a therapy dog.
Jan and her husband now have two dogs. One is a rescued pit bull named Lizzie who has a limited AKC registration as an American Staffordshire Terrior ("AmStaff") and competes in obedience and agility trials. The other is Angus, a young black Labrador.
Jan began her career as a writer and marketing specialist, after graduating from the University of Minnesota Duluth in 1974. She worked in advertising, communications, and the media for a number of years, joined the National Guard in the same capacity (public affairs officer) and spent 17 years in the service (Guard and Reserve). Concurrently, she did a lot of freelance magazine writing, and has been published in about 200 periodicals, including several articles in Cosmopolitan back in the '80s.
Dog training began around 1993 and evolved into her true "life's work."Jan and husband Don are now retired and living in an idyllic setting in northwestern Montana.
Grasel & Atlas Manning
Don Manning & Lizzie
Atlas Manning and friend
Lizzie, My Oh My!
Lizzie's Whine Barrel
Atlas Manning and Geeves
Retiring, but not rusting
On Nov. 3, 2007, my husband Don closed the gunshop he'd owned in Yakima, Washington, for 30 years. Several months earlier, I'd sold my 15-year dog-training business. Don and I were setting our sails for RETIREMENT!
To commemorate the closing of Shooters Supply, which had been a Yakima icon for three decades, our good friend Phil Lamb presented my husband and me with a bottle of Glennfiditch Special Reserve and a few words of advice scribbled on a note card. He wrote, "Retire, but don't rust."
Wise words. Good advice. "Don't rust" is more than just a catchy phrase. I consider "not rusting" a moral obligation. None of us should ever really "retire" from using the skills, talents and gifts we've accumulated. We have a duty, a responsibility, a mission to use those skills to help others live better lives. That's a responsibility from which there is no retirement. Ever.
It took me a good 10 years to realize that I'd been led down the "dog-trainer career path" for that very reason. It's not so much about helping dogs as it is helping people to fully enjoy their dogs, which were put here on earth by God to bring us joy and pleasure. Dogs are one of God's purely fun, pleasurable gifts to us. They enrich our lives. They teach us patience and grace, self discipline and self control. They relieve our stress. They teach us to love and to accept love. They teach us humility and compassion. They make us better human beings, which is the ultimate challenge for all of us.
After many years in central Washington, Don and I are now living in a quiet, secluded Montana river valley. This blog will help me stay in touch with many of you I've met through the years, and hopefully many more I have yet to meet. Updates will happen at least every other week. Look for articles and insights on a variety of training and behavior challenges, plus some good information on nutrition and health. I'll also be reviewing new dog products, from toys to grooming devices.
In between blogging and playing outside in our Montana paradise, I plan to conduct some small group obedience classes in the local community on a strictly volunteer basis. I'll be available for professional consults (for a fee) on a VERY LIMITED basis. I would rather just "give back" to the dog community, while enjoying a bit more down-time than either my husband or I has had in the past 20-odd years.
Stay in touch. Feel free to forward this site, or refer others to it. I invite you to send me your questions on anything dog-related. If I can't answer it, I'll refer you to someone who can.