SIRIUS® Dog Training Academy - Day 3 of 4
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SIRIUS® Dog Training Academy - Day 3 of 4

Day 3: Adult Dog Training and Home Training
0.0 (0 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
24 students enrolled
Created by Ian Dunbar
Last updated 7/2013
English [Auto]
Price: $29.99
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
This course includes
  • 6 hours on-demand video
  • 4 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
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What you'll learn
  • Learn how to start, structure and run classes for training adult dogs safely and profitably
  • Learn how to ensure the safety of all dogs and owners in an adult dog training class
  • Learn appropriate exercises for adult dog training
  • Learn to address common behavior problems with training techniques suitable for older dogs
  • Learn how to employ use classical conditioning and all-or-none behavior modification techniques to improve good behavior, attention, sit-stays, walking on leash, off & take it
  • Learn to use lure-reward training for position changes and stays
  • Learn how to structure an adult dog training class with lesson plans and evaluation exercises
  • There are no requirements to take this course

For a limited time use the Promo Code "I Love Dogs" to save $10 on your registration

Day 3: Adult Dog Classes and Home Training

Dr. Dunbar taught the world's very first off-leash puppy socialization and training classes and he has been perfecting the SIRIUS Dog Training business model for the past 30 years. If you are a dog training professional, or you're thinking of becoming one, this is the course you simply must take.

The SIRIUS Academy is a structured and comprehensive course on how to run a successful dog training business. This course cuts to the chase and focuses on the essential information that you absolutely need to know in order to effectively teach people to train dogs as quickly, easily and enjoyably as possible.

Day 3 of the Academy consists of 6+ hours of video lecture and two free eBooks. It does not include all the notes that come with the full 4 day Academy. It has been approved for 6 CEUs by the CCPDT & IAABC.

The full Academy consists of 4 days of video lecture, 6+ hours each, as well as substantial notes, including notes for the lectures, a Behavior Problem Solving Matrix, and the complete SIRIUS Syllabi for Puppy 1, Puppy 2, and Adult 1 classes, with week-by-week-schedules and minute-by-minute class notes.

“Whether you're new to dog training and wondering how to get started in the business, or you've been doing it for ages (like me) and you're looking for some fresh ideas to super-charge your business, this is the very best place to get what you need. I found myself taking detailed notes for some long-term changes, and then also jotting down little nuggets of gold to go home and immediately implement into my classes or business practices…

This four-day event, and yes, you MUST attend all four days, offers the attendee who already has some hands-on experience with dogs everything they need to start up their own classes. Those of us who've already been running our own classes come away with many new ideas for classroom games and exercises for both puppies and adult dogs, PLUS a comprehensive, tested plan to measure and increase our success, and to market ourselves (which we could all use help with).

I am so excited to make some changes! Thanks so much for everything!"

- Michelle Douglas, CPDT-KA, CDBC – Past President of the APDT

Who this course is for:
  • Professional dog trainers and anyone thinking about becoming a dog trainer
  • Dog Shelter and Rescue Organization personnel
Course content
Expand all 10 lectures 10:41:16
+ Notes
4 lectures 00:00
Day 3 SIRIUS Academy
17 pages
SIRIUS Academy Slides
9 pages
Everything about dog training is easier if you start it earlier in the puppy's development, especially socialization and housetraining.  The vast majority of behavior problems in adult dogs could have been easily prevented during puppyhood.  These behavior problems are often the reason dogs end up abandoned at shelters.

That's why we make BEFORE & AFTER You Get Your Puppy available as a free download.  This PDF file can actually be customized with your business contact information and then distributed freely as a valuable promotional tool.  You'll be promoting good puppy-raising practices and thereby helping to keep dogs out of shelters, all while promoting your own business.

BEFORE You Get Your Puppy
by Dr. Ian Dunbar

When you choose a new puppy, you need to meet six developmental deadlines before your puppy is just five months old. If your puppy fails to meet any of these deadlines, he will never achieve his full potential and will be playing ‘behavioral catch-up’ for the rest of his life. BEFORE You Get Your Puppy covers the first three developmental deadlines covering the period from puppy selection to your puppy’s first week at home. The last three developmental deadlines that your puppy needs to meet before he is six months old are described in a second book — AFTER You Get Your Puppy

1st Developmental Deadline — Your Education About Puppy Education
You need to complete your education about puppy education before you search for a puppy. You need to know how to select a good puppy and how puppies work. Selecting a puppy is similar to buying a car: Do lots of research beforehand and "test drive" a wide variety, especially including the one you intend to buy. But first, you need to learn how to drive. Specifically you need to know how to teach your puppy: where to eliminate, what to chew, when to bark, where to dig, to sit when greeting people, to walk calmly on-leash, to settle down and shush when requested, to inhibit biting behavior, to enjoy spending time at home alone, and to thoroughly enjoy the company of other dogs and people — especially strangers and children

2nd Developmental Deadline — Evaluating Your Prospective Puppy’s Progress
Before you choose your puppy, you need to know how to assess your prospective puppy’s current socialization and educational status. Regardless of breed or breeding, if socialization, errorless housetraining, and basic manners are not well underway by eight weeks of age, the puppy is already developmentally retarded.

3rd Developmental Deadline — Errorless Housetraining & Chewtoy-Training
Make certain that an errorless housetraining and chewtoy-training program is instituted from the very first day your puppy comes home.
BEFORE You Get Your Puppy
104 pages
Everything about dog training is easier if you start it earlier in the puppy's development, especially socialization and housetraining.  The vast majority of behavior problems in adult dogs could have been easily prevented during puppyhood.  These behavior problems are often the reason dogs end up abandoned at shelters.

That's why we make BEFORE & AFTER You Get Your Puppy available as a free download.  This PDF file can actually be customized with your business contact information and then distributed freely as a valuable promotional tool.  You'll be promoting good puppy-raising practices and thereby helping to keep dogs out of shelters, all while promoting your own business.

AFTER You Get Your Puppy covers the last three developmental deadlines that your puppy needs to meet before he is six months old.

4th Developmental Deadline — Socializing Your Puppy to People

Your Most Urgent Priority is to socialize your puppy to a wide variety of people, especially children, men, and strangers, before he is twelve weeks old. Well-socialized puppies grow up to be wonderful companions, whereas antisocial dogs are difficult, time-consuming, and potentially dangerous. As a rule of thumb, your puppy needs to meet at least one hundred people before he is three months old. Since your puppy is still too young to venture out to dog parks and sidewalks, you’ll need to start inviting people to your home right away.

5th Developmental Deadline — Teaching Bite Inhibition

Your Most Important Priority is that your puppy learns to inhibit the force of his bites and develop a "soft mouth" before he is eighteen weeks old. Whenever a dog bites a person, or fights with another dog, the single most important prognostic factor is the degree of bite inhibition and hence, the likelihood and seriousness of injury. Accidents happen. Someone may tread on the dog’s paw, or a child may trip over the dog while he’s gnawing a bone. A dog may snap and lunge at a person when hurt or frightened, but if the dog has well-established bite inhibition, it is unlikely the dog’s teeth will puncture, or even touch the skin.

6th Developmental Deadline — Continuing Socialization in The World at Large
The Most Enjoyable Priority of dog ownership is to introduce your well-socialized puppy to the world at large. Your dog will only remain sociable and confident if he continues to meet and greet at least three unfamiliar people and three unfamiliar dogs every day. Meeting the same people and dogs over and over is not sufficient. Your dog needs to practice meeting, greeting, and getting along with strangers, not simply getting along with old friends. Regular walks with your dog are as essential as they are enjoyable.
AFTER You Get Your Puppy
156 pages
+ Video Lectures
6 lectures 05:55:16

Unlike Puppy classes, Adult classes do not need to be comprehensive, and they can be offered in specialty topics like stay proofing, walking on leash or growl classes. Puppy classes need to be comprehensive so you can catch behavior problems before they start. With adult dogs the owner already knows what their problems are and they have most likely been living with them for some time now.

Dog-reactive dogs often become ostracized in class settings because they are too much of a distraction to the other dogs and the other dogs are too much of a distraction for them, so no one gets the training they deserve. That’s why it’s important that these dogs get their own class.

The Open paw program was developed for shelter dogs. This is a very fluid environment to attempt a training program and it was not easy. The first thing that Open Paw initiated was the removal of the food bowl. Classical conditioning and All or None rReward Training are both very important methods in helping to make shelter dogs more adoptable. The beautiful thing about these two types of training is it takes away all expectations. The dog no longer has to listen to your commands. If you don’t ask them to do anything then there are no hard feelings when they don’t perform. Frustrations come from high expectations.  On the other hand, if you simply watch them and wait, it won’t be long before they do something worth rewarding, whether that’s looking at you, sitting, lying down or just looking cute and not barking.

In adult classes you would treat the nervous, scared and shy dogs the same as you would in a shelter. Classically condition them to accept treats from every person in the room. Treating a dog is a good temperament test as well. A lot of information can be gathered from whether or not the dog takes a treat from you. Taking a treat symbolizes trust. If a dog won’t take a treat from you it could mean that the dog is not comfortable with you or the environment they’re in.

Preview 56:04

In any class setting you want to move everyone and their dogs around a lot so no one develops safe zones. Change the environment as often as possible. A good idea for an initial exercise is Jazz Up and Settle Down. This is good for any class, but is particularly beneficial for a class with a bunch of out-of-control dogs. Put the craziness on cue. Now any time the environment changes and creates chaos you can have the owners practice settling their dogs down.

In real life situations you won’t be able to control the level of your dog’s excitement, so this is how you prepare.  The more you practice, the easier it will be to settle your dog down when there is a truly exciting stimulus, like a barking dog or someone at the door.  Whenever possible, you should practice settling your dog down when these exciting stimuli present themselves, so you have more control on those occasions when your hands are full or you’re otherwise occupied.

Putting undesired behaviors on cue is a good way to control them. Train your dog to pull on leash, train them to slow down and speed up while you're out on their walk. If your dog enjoys pulling, you can now use the pull behavior as a reward for when they’ve been walking nicely with you on leash.

Day 3 Video 2/6

Now that you have an adult class with all your adult dogs on leash you can begin with All or None Reward Training for Good Behavior.  It coulodn’t be simpler, the owners just stand there with their dogs ignoring any bad behavior and rewarding good behaviors.

Some dogs may bark and lunge and act foolish, but you just ignore them and eventually they settle down, which is something you can reward them for.  By removing any expectations for a specific behavior, you end up with a very relaxed class, because there’s no way the owners or dogs can get it wrong.

You can also promote specific behaviors with All or None Reward Training. For example, if you want to get a dog to pay attention to you, simply wait for the dog to look at you and then reward them.  When they’re not looking at you just ignore them.  As they get the idea and begin to look at you more you can slowly increase the criteria for a reward by asking for longer duration looks. You can make it even more challenging by turning yourself around and forcing the dog to find your front and look at you to get a reward.

Day 3 Video 3/6

Lure Reward Training in an Adult class can be done after you’ve already done Classically Conditioning and All or None Reward Training. The art of Lure Reward Training is in the lure.  What can we use as a lure? Be creative. Know what motivates your dog. Keep in mind that the lure is only necessary for the first few times you ask for the behavior.  Once your dog has repeated the behavior a few times you can start to phase out the lure and replace it with a hand signal. Eventually you’ll also want to phase out the use of food as a reward, and instead start rewarding your dog with life rewards, the activities and privileges that they enjoy as part of their every day doggy life.

Any time you take a dogs leash off you have to worry about its safety. One of the best things you can do is train an Emergency Sit command. With just one command we reduce the complexity of off-leash behaviors to one reliable command and then we can integrate it into every activity your dog is doing. A recall is not the best emergency command because there are situations where you would not want your dog to run back to you (let’s say they’ve already run across a busy street).

It’s important to practice your Emergency Sit command using the tone of voice that you might use in an emergency situation.  Otherwise they’re not going to be very reliable when you find yourself in a real emergency. Another important element for achieving a reliable Emergency Sit command is building distance control. Ask for compliance at increasingly long distances, with increasingly high levels of distractions. 

Test your reliability with distance stays. The only way to stop a dog from releasing from a distance stay is to have a distance command. Redirection is a great tool to accomplish this, if you’re dog is practicing a down stay and they look like they’re about to break you can remind them to “Down”. Initial instruction should be tone neutral and the redirection can use a more urgent tone to tell them that they need to focus. When you start working on distance control just remember that every time you take a step away from your dog it becomes a new behavior and your reliability is probably going to decrease. But with a few repetitions you can get the reliability back, and then take another step away and repeat.

Day 3 Video 4/6

Most pet owners would be perfectly happy if all they had was a lightning fast sit, a rock solid stay and a dog that walked on a loose leash. The only way to get the reliability is to proof these behaviors for distance, distractions, and duration. Misbehavior is a learning experience, so it is ok if dog’s fails a little.  If you redirect them to the appropriate behavior they will learn from their mistakes.

In a Stay Proofing class your job as a trainer is to distract the dogs and entice them into breaking their stays.  It’s a lot of fun and you can get really creative here. Use treats, balls, toys and loud noises but do so in small increments and slowly increase intensity. You can also use the other dogs in the class as distractions, perhaps letting one dog roam freely while the others are maintaining a Stay.  If you have them in your class, the best distraction is likely to be children, so try and incorporate them in your Stay Proofing.

In a Heeling class you can use All or None Reward Training or Lure Reward Training to get a heel behavior. First you must teach the dog the rules of heeling. Teach walking off-leash first and then heeling on-leash second. It is important for the dog to learn the heel position before you even begin to move. Position is very important because it changes context and comprehension levels and response reliability drops if the dog is out of position. If your dog leaves the heeling position the first thing you need to do is get them back into the correct position.

Most dogs are terrible on-leash because when the leash is tight they no longer have to pay attention to you. If you keep walking with a tight leash your dog will never pay attention to you. Walking is a reward, so why would you want to reward the bad behavior of pulling on leash?  If you stop walking, how long will it take for your dog to look at you? Time it. Then stop often and wait for your dog to acknowledge you. During a walk stop frequently and use that opportunity to get your dogs attention and reward them by continuing the walk. 

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Growl classes for dog-reactive dogs are a wonderful specialty class to offer for adult dogs. Dog reactivity decreases the quality of life tremendously, so these problems really need to be addressed, but these dogs should not be in a normal adult class. They need to have their own class.

You first must make sure it is a safe environment with safe dogs. What is causing the problem? Assessing the severity of each dog’s aggression problem is very important. Get a full history in detail. If there is danger because the dog doesn’t have bite inhibition then he should not be in class. Dogs in growl class are dogs that have been in numerous fights but have not sent another dog to the vet. Objectively assess the situation and look at their fight/bite ratio.

Classical Conditioning and All or None Reward Training are the only techniques you should use.  A loose leash and muzzle is a must. Time is your friend and patience is key. Don't rush a growl class. Move people around in class so the dogs find themselves in different settings around different dogs. Classically condition first to get dogs comfortable with the situation, then start All or None Reward Training to shape good behavior.  A Growl class can be a bit of a roller coaster, starting with a lot of excitement and energy, but eventually the dogs will settle down and gain a very positive experience.

Once the dogs have gotten used to the space and each other, and you've explained to the owners how to d so safely, you can now let the dogs off-leash to work things out on their own. Stop fights when they happen because they will happen.  If it happens more than once, take one of the dogs out for a couple of minutes then let it back in and take the other dog out for a couple of minutes, allowing each to get a chance to socialize with the other dogs. If one dog changes behavior then all the dogs change behavior. Praise good behavior and good interactions A LOT. Don't take good behavior for granted. 

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