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By Peter Hargreaves 10 Apr, 2017

Clicker training is one of the most useful tools for teaching your dog new behaviours and improving their known behaviours. Clickers serve as a great communication tool in rectifying aggressive or reactive dog behaviours.

Think of a clicker as an event marker – it let’s your dog understand what you want it to do when you produce the clicking sound. When you click at the exact instant your dog performs a desirable action, you are telling it that you approve this behaviour. For example, if you click and your dog sits down, this means that it knows what command you are giving. Clicker training is also a great way of teaching through positive reinforcement.

One question I have been asked quite frequently by dog owners is, “Why use a clicker when I can do the same with my voice?” You may definitely use your voice to give commands, and in some situations, it proves to be more helpful when dog owners don’t have their clicker at hand. However, my experience as a dog trainer and behaviourist as well as research has show that the rate a dog learns new behaviours significantly increases when a clicker is used. Not only that, it also reduces the number of reinforcements needed to refine certain behaviours.

There are several benefits of clicker training. Your dog learns quickly with a clicker because it allows your dog to understand in a clear and concise way what you expect it to do and the behaviour it is being rewarded for. You can also speed the training by doing repetitions of the same behaviour without worrying about affecting your dog’s motivation or losing its interest. Clicker training builds a strong relationship between the trainer and the dog, as it establishes a line of commands for better communication.

If you want to learn more about clicker training and how it can help you in training your dog, get in touch with our dog trainers in Southport at Dog Harmony Training. We will work with you to assist you in establishing a relationship with your canine friend and teaching it new behaviours. We also provide residential dog training in Southport for the convenience of our clients.

By Peter Hargreaves 10 Apr, 2017

Everyone wants their puppy to grow up into a happy, well-behaved, and sociable dog. But for that, you need to work hard with your puppy from an early age. I always tell my clients that just like small children, puppies learn things very quickly, so it’s important to start training when they are young to develop a strong bond and understanding.  

People always ask me: what is the right age to train a puppy? Some dog trainers may say that it is too young and recommend not starting training until it is 6 months old. But my answer always is to do it as soon as you get your puppy home, i.e., at 8 weeks of age. Most new puppy owners tend to make the mistake of concerning themselves with finding the right bed, treats, vet, and accessories for their little friend. Yes, indeed it is good to think about the comfort and health of your puppy, but another important necessity is to train it to become a well-behaved and disciplined dog.

The best and easiest way a puppy learns is by association. If it does something good, reward it right away. Make sure it understands that the reward is linked to the action, which you can do by rewarding it within a second or two. Give it a treat or praise it through words or petting as a reward. Moreover, it is best to keep your training sessions short, like two to five minutes, but have four to six sessions throughout the day.  

Another good way to train your puppy is to teach in different environments, i.e., inside your home, outside in your backyard or garden, or maybe during walks. However, you need to make sure there are no distractions so that your puppy can easily grasp your actions and commands.

As important as it is to reward your puppy for its good behaviour, you should train it what is not acceptable. For example, I am usually asked about dealing with behaviours like chewing on things. I tell my clients either to ignore or use verbal commands like “No” to get its attention and establish that it is wrong. However, keep in mind not to shout at it or else it may become scared of you.  

 

For more tips on training your puppy, you may contact or come to Dog Harmony Training, where our residential dog trainer in Southport can help you train your puppy.

 


By Peter Hargreaves 07 Apr, 2017

The best way to train your dog is a misnomer. There is not singular best way that encompasses all breeds and all sizes. In that respect, dogs are quite like their human counterparts; individualised. But one thing does seem to work for both species quite well, positive reinforcement.

 

Whether your dog is a purebred puppy freshly weaned from its mother to an aged curbstone setter, there are ways to train your beloved dog in a manner that befits both the dog and the owner.

 

Some common methods revolve around just voice commands, others have voice and clicker commands. There are also methods revolving around choker chains or prong collars. There are problems with the latter two as they can be used ineffectively or even worse cause undue pain to the dog which is being trained.

 

So how do you tell when it’s the right time to start training your dog? Which method really is better suited for training? How do you train your dog to obey? Can an old dog really learn new tricks? These common questions will be answered.

By Peter Hargreaves 23 Mar, 2017


Dog training is the best thing you can do for your canine friend. Having a well-trained dog is an absolute source of joy. When you train your dog, it creates a human-animal bond, and enables it to recognise you as the pack leader. Every dog, whether it is a mere companion or a working dog, deserves training so that it is able to achieve the balance it needs to be an integral part of your life.

Being a dog trainer, I think the foremost benefit of a well-trained dog is its personal safety and that of the people around it. I have seen many dogs that have been abandoned because of their aggressive behaviour. While it is most certainly essential to ensure the safety of your loved ones, you should consider training your dog to teach how to retrain itself around people. Dog training also protects your pet from getting hurt, especially from issues of running off when off the lead on busy intersections, altercations with other dogs, and becoming lost.

Dogs are naturally sociable, but without proper training to teach the right behaviour, things can get quite difficult for both you and your pet. For example, if your dog doesn’t know how to be friendly with other dogs, you will always have to watch over them when walk them. In the worst case, your dog might even bite someone if they are agitated by their actions. Moreover, the time you spend training your dog creates a strong emotional bond, allowing you to develop a special language and friendship that enables you to understand each other seamlessly.

Needless to say, a dog should be a joy to own – not the other way around. I understand that training your dog may be at times straight out nerve-wracking, especially if you have a rescue dog or a difficult breed. However, with the right support from a dog trainer in Southport, you will be able to train your dog to act appropriately in all kinds of public settings.

At Dog Harmony Training, our residential dog trainer in Southport can help you train your dog. Get in touch with us for more information on our dog training methods and classes.

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By Peter Hargreaves 22 Mar, 2017



The question of how to find a good dog trainer is best answered by asking another question: Do you really need a dog trainer, or does the problem require a dog behaviourist?


Both trainers and behaviourists can provide you and your dog with invaluable services, but there is a distinct difference between the two. ‘Finding a good dog trainer’ hinges on finding the right person to help you correct the problem you and your dog are having.


There’s a really simple formula that will ensure you always find the right help for your faithful friend. If your dog has problems with obedience, and you struggle to get her to do as she’s told, you need a dog trainer. If your dog has behavioural issues that go beyond a lack of obedience, and are rooted in emotional or psychological problems (such as separation anxiety), she needs a dog behaviourist.

By Peter Hargreaves 14 Mar, 2017

For many people ‘trainer’ and ‘behaviourist’ are synonymous. As a dog trainer and dog behaviourist , with many years of experience, I am well aware of the differences between the two jobs. When you experience difficulties with your dog, the natural response is to seek a dog trainer. The difficulty is that, depending on the nature of the issue, a trainer may not be the right person to help you and your faithful hound...

By Peter Hargreaves 11 Mar, 2017

Dog training is not about teaching your dog tricks and how to follow commands – it is about making a connection and communicating effectively so that both of you can understand each other in a better way.

No matter the breed or age, dog training in Southport is beneficial for every dog. Here are some great reasons why you should train your dog:

Eliminates Behavioural Issues

Untrained dogs have several behaviour problems, such as digging, barking, jumping on visitors, chewing, house soiling, and more. With the help of dog training in Southport, you can construct a language to communicate with your dog. Having such a language will bridge the communication gap between you and your pet. It also enables you to recognise the underlying cause of their disobedience and bad behaviour, and helps you effectively remedy those problems.

Promotes Loyalty and Companionship

You don’t need to resort to intimidation or rough, punitive discipline to train your dog and win their loyalty and companionship. Such tactics are not only detrimental to your relationship, they increase the risk of turning your furry friend into an aggressive and rebellious animal. You should teach discipline through constructive guidance and positive reinforcement. Discipline in the form of vocal interrupters, time outs, or simply ignoring the behaviour you don’t like, is more effective than suppressing negative behaviour by force. If you want your dog to be loyal and live like a companion instead of an animal, guide it into understanding what’s right and wrong in the most friendly and harmonious way possible.

Makes your Dog More Sociable

Training allows your dog to learn the proper way to behave in social situations and respect boundaries. As a result, other dogs and people around it are more comfortable and at ease. Regular social encounters build confidence in your dog, making them more manageable and relaxed with each interaction.

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By Peter Hargreaves 07 Mar, 2017

Puppy farms are commercial dog-breeding enterprises, which focus on breeding the largest number of dogs possible, for the sake of earning the maximum amount of profit.

The puppy farm is the canine equivalent of a battery farm for hens.

By Peter Hargreaves 06 Mar, 2017

Dog Harmony- Looking for a Dog Behaviourist in St Helens?

Do your neighbours often complain about your dog barking constantly? Or do you often return to the house to find they’ve chewed up a cushion, or emptied the bin? Or worse, done their business in the house?

In that case, your dog could benefit from a dog behaviourist .

Having a poorly behaved dog isn’t just stressful for your household, but for everyone around you- and for the dog themselves, who always exhibits this type of behaviour for a reason. It can also become extremely dangerous, especially if young children are around.

If you live in St Helens, Merseyside, Dog Harmony can keen to help. I have over 20 years training dogs with behavioural problems.

Problems we deal with include aggression, excessive barking or digging, chewing, urinating or defecating indoors, biting or nipping, and resource guarding.

Our dog behaviourist delivers one-to-one sessions which work on altering your dog’s behaviour using the latest positive reinforcement techniques. Obviously, the length of time needed depends on the extent of the problem, and on the individual dog.

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By Peter Hargreaves 10 Apr, 2017

Clicker training is one of the most useful tools for teaching your dog new behaviours and improving their known behaviours. Clickers serve as a great communication tool in rectifying aggressive or reactive dog behaviours.

Think of a clicker as an event marker – it let’s your dog understand what you want it to do when you produce the clicking sound. When you click at the exact instant your dog performs a desirable action, you are telling it that you approve this behaviour. For example, if you click and your dog sits down, this means that it knows what command you are giving. Clicker training is also a great way of teaching through positive reinforcement.

One question I have been asked quite frequently by dog owners is, “Why use a clicker when I can do the same with my voice?” You may definitely use your voice to give commands, and in some situations, it proves to be more helpful when dog owners don’t have their clicker at hand. However, my experience as a dog trainer and behaviourist as well as research has show that the rate a dog learns new behaviours significantly increases when a clicker is used. Not only that, it also reduces the number of reinforcements needed to refine certain behaviours.

There are several benefits of clicker training. Your dog learns quickly with a clicker because it allows your dog to understand in a clear and concise way what you expect it to do and the behaviour it is being rewarded for. You can also speed the training by doing repetitions of the same behaviour without worrying about affecting your dog’s motivation or losing its interest. Clicker training builds a strong relationship between the trainer and the dog, as it establishes a line of commands for better communication.

If you want to learn more about clicker training and how it can help you in training your dog, get in touch with our dog trainers in Southport at Dog Harmony Training. We will work with you to assist you in establishing a relationship with your canine friend and teaching it new behaviours. We also provide residential dog training in Southport for the convenience of our clients.

By Peter Hargreaves 10 Apr, 2017

Everyone wants their puppy to grow up into a happy, well-behaved, and sociable dog. But for that, you need to work hard with your puppy from an early age. I always tell my clients that just like small children, puppies learn things very quickly, so it’s important to start training when they are young to develop a strong bond and understanding.  

People always ask me: what is the right age to train a puppy? Some dog trainers may say that it is too young and recommend not starting training until it is 6 months old. But my answer always is to do it as soon as you get your puppy home, i.e., at 8 weeks of age. Most new puppy owners tend to make the mistake of concerning themselves with finding the right bed, treats, vet, and accessories for their little friend. Yes, indeed it is good to think about the comfort and health of your puppy, but another important necessity is to train it to become a well-behaved and disciplined dog.

The best and easiest way a puppy learns is by association. If it does something good, reward it right away. Make sure it understands that the reward is linked to the action, which you can do by rewarding it within a second or two. Give it a treat or praise it through words or petting as a reward. Moreover, it is best to keep your training sessions short, like two to five minutes, but have four to six sessions throughout the day.  

Another good way to train your puppy is to teach in different environments, i.e., inside your home, outside in your backyard or garden, or maybe during walks. However, you need to make sure there are no distractions so that your puppy can easily grasp your actions and commands.

As important as it is to reward your puppy for its good behaviour, you should train it what is not acceptable. For example, I am usually asked about dealing with behaviours like chewing on things. I tell my clients either to ignore or use verbal commands like “No” to get its attention and establish that it is wrong. However, keep in mind not to shout at it or else it may become scared of you.  

 

For more tips on training your puppy, you may contact or come to Dog Harmony Training, where our residential dog trainer in Southport can help you train your puppy.

 


By Peter Hargreaves 07 Apr, 2017

The best way to train your dog is a misnomer. There is not singular best way that encompasses all breeds and all sizes. In that respect, dogs are quite like their human counterparts; individualised. But one thing does seem to work for both species quite well, positive reinforcement.

 

Whether your dog is a purebred puppy freshly weaned from its mother to an aged curbstone setter, there are ways to train your beloved dog in a manner that befits both the dog and the owner.

 

Some common methods revolve around just voice commands, others have voice and clicker commands. There are also methods revolving around choker chains or prong collars. There are problems with the latter two as they can be used ineffectively or even worse cause undue pain to the dog which is being trained.

 

So how do you tell when it’s the right time to start training your dog? Which method really is better suited for training? How do you train your dog to obey? Can an old dog really learn new tricks? These common questions will be answered.

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