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Training Your Dog

Chris Redenbach CDBC is certified as a Dog Behavior Consultant by the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. She is also an AKC approved Canine Good Citizen and Star Puppy Evaluator and is a licensed presenter of the invaluable Dogs & Storks program for dog owners who are expecting parents and those with young children. She has written for the AJC, Dog Sports Magazine, The Entertainer, Oasis Animal Foundation, and many other publications. Chris was adjunct faculty for animal behavior at the Camden County College for Veterinary Technicians. She has also taught behavior courses for animal control officers and veterinary and kennel staff and designed and taught humane education courses for children K-8. Chris has given numerous seminars on how natural dog behavior affects training choices and outcomes. She competes with her Bouviers in performance events. Chris speaks Portuguese and some French and Spanish. She loves music, dance, cooking and nature.  Visit her web site:  The Balanced Dog


Body Work Print E-mail
Friday, 09 April 2010 07:37

Body Work is a great way to work out some of your dog’s anxieties and increase his trust in you at the same time. Many rescue dogs are very tense, worried and apprehensive about human touch. If the dog can tolerate touch, then you can accomplish a great deal with the various types of body work. A great choice is often T Touch or Tellington Touch. This is a very gentle form of stroking and finger tip massage of the skin developed by Linda Tellington Jones. There are specific applications for touching various areas of the body in order to positively affect calmness and confidence. The method also has body awareness exercises that can help reduce anxiety all over the body. I have seen dogs relax and become less fearful in minutes by applying T Touch. Many dogs who are afraid of thunder storms also do well with the Anxiety Wrap as described by T Touch. There are books, videos and certified T Touch practitioners who can help you learn how this technique can help your dog.

Think about how tense we humans become, often in the neck and shoulder area. Dogs get tense muscles too. In my years as a trainer, I have seen countless dogs who fail to respond to training for “sit” not because they are stubborn or stupid, but because their backs and thighs are so tense that they can’t even think of flexing them. Just like people get a stiff back, neck or shoulder from tension and have a hard time moving freely, so dogs can be so stiff that if you try to tuck the rear end under them, the front legs stick straight out in the air in front. Unfortunately, many people never think to massage their dog’s muscles gently and then more firmly to help loosen them up and relax them. There are some good books and videos on the art of canine massage. With a tense dog, it is often very worthwhile to massage before a training session.

Choosing a Dog Trainer Print E-mail
Monday, 19 October 2009 14:55

Not all trainers are created equal. Methods and teaching abilities vary widely. You’ll want to have a good gut level feeling about the trainer you choose. Don’t just look for the cheapest, or the most expensive. Don’t fall for lots of jargon and don’t expect a magic wand. Get plain talk about methods. Ask the person some sample questions about how they would plan to address some of the behaviors you need help with. Also ask about what they consider a basic training program. Does it include how to apply commands to practical everyday situations? What professional organizations does the trainer belong to and do they have any certifications? The field of certifications in dog training is relatively new, so many of the older trainers may not have a certification yet have years more experience than newly certified people. The big question is whether their methods are humane and whether they keep up with advances in the field as any good professional should. All that said, you need a trainer who likes and respects you and your dog. After all, if you’re going to engage in a learning curve, you should make it pleasant and rewarding for you as well as your dog.



Last Updated on Monday, 19 October 2009 14:59
Training for Rescue Dogs Print E-mail
Tuesday, 23 June 2009 19:54
Question: What is as important as love and good care for a rescue dog? What will bring out the best in rescue dog and make him/her feel secure, confident? What will do the most to help take away fears, negative baggage and bad habits from an often unknown past life?

Answer: A First Class Behavior Makeover.
Many different modalities fall under the category of behavioral makeover. The whole package that will be helpful for each dog will vary according to the type of baggage and the temperament and age of the dog. The idea that all these rescues need is TLC ignores the fact that healing from fear, trauma, neglect, confusion, and abandonment is a complex process needing a multi-faceted approach that works to recondition the dog’s emotional responses to life’s events. Love alone can’t do that.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 June 2009 21:42

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