Tag Archives: Behavior modification

Tampa Dog Trainer: How Do You Cook Your Hot Dogs?

massageHow Do You Cook Your Hot Dogs?

By Brenna Fender

Hot dogs are one of the most popular training treats amongst dog trainers. They are inexpensive, easy to prepare, enjoyed by most dogs, long lasting, and not-too-bad if you wind up having to carry some of them in your mouth for a while. So, if you are new to hot dog wrangling or want to change things up a bit, here are some different ways you can prepare them for your dogs:

As-is. Hot dogs are cooked already, so serving them right out of the package to your pet is OK. Just cut them into small pieces and go train.

Boiled. Isn’t this how your cook them for yourself? Dogs like them this way too!

Dehydrated. A food-dehydrator is the ultimate in hot dog preparation, since dehydrated treats last a long time and seem to be tasty for our canine partner. Cut them into “coins” before dehydrating.

Frozen. Cut your dogs up into small treats, put in a freezer bag and store them in the freezer. Take them out and use as needed. Many dogs don’t seem to mind them cold, and in many cases they will defrost on your way to class or practice anyway.

Oven. If you have lots of dogs to cook this might be a good method for you. One way to bake your hot dogs is to slice them in fourths long ways, then into pie-shaped pieces about as thick as a nickel. Spread them out on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake them for 30-45 minutes at 250 degrees. Watch them for signs of burning. When done they should be light and dry, and they will last a long time.

Microwaved. This is probably the most common method of hot dog preparation. It is also quite varied.

Microwaves come in different strengths and can take very different amounts of time to cook hot dogs.

Plus, the more hot dogs you nuke, the longer they’ll take to cook. But here are a few pointers:

• Slice them first. Cut them into nickel-sized pieces (or thinner). You can slice them again into

halves or fourths, depending on your needs. A butter slicer, designed to cut an entire stick of

butter into pats, can cut your slicing time down quite a bit. Some people find that frozen hot

dogs are easier to slice into neat, even pieces. Your dog will not perform better just because

your treats are perfectly sliced, though.

• Nuke them on a paper-towel-lined plate with more paper towels covering the treats. Otherwise, they will be extra greasy and you might have some unnecessary clean up.

• Microwave hot dogs for a short time to get softer treats, and longer for dried pieces that will last a long time. Hot dogs that are dry enough can be stored in an air-tight container in your cupboard rather than in the refrigerator. There’s no harm in storing any hot dog, cooked dry, only rubbery, or uncooked, in your refrigerator or freezer. Better safe than sorry, in my opinion.

Microwaved hot dogs will cook at different rates, so you might need to take crispy pieces off your plate and then continuing nuking the rest. Fortunately, dogs seem to like burnt hot dogs as well as perfectly cooked ones.

Happy hot cooking and dog training!

This article first appeared on USDAA.com and is reposted with permission.

Brenna Fender is a Tampa Dog Trainer who writes for Courteous Canine, Inc. DogSmith of Tampa and attends dog sport classes at our main location! Courteous Canine, Inc. DogSmith of Tampa offers puppy kindergarten classes, basic manners, canine good citizen and pet therapy prep, agility, dog dock jumping, problem solving and behavior modification especially for aggressive dogs.  We also offer boutique boarding, board and train, pet sitting and dog day care!

Tampa Dog Trainer: What’s My Dog Motivation?

Border Collie Licking FaceWhat’s My Dog’s Motivation?

You can’t choose what motivates your dog. By Brenna Fender

When I first got my Beagle from Tampa Bay Beagle rescue, I had to carry him off of his comfy spot on the sofa to deliver him to his crate every time I left the house. My other dogs all ran to their crates when cued in order to enjoy a bite of cheese, but Wrigley didn’t move a muscle. He knew what to do because I had already taught the “go kennel” behavior. He also liked cheese. But he still didn’t get off the sofa to go get his treat.

Why not?

Because the comfort of the sofa was more powerful than the taste of cheese.

Wrigley, was not stupid or willfully disobeying me. He simply liked the sofa more than he liked the cheese. How could I (or you) handle a problem like this?

• Try a variety of treats and rank the rewards by how much the dog seems to enjoy them. Any food that’s safe for dogs to eat can be used as a treat. Different kinds of meat, from cold cuts to hot dogs to chicken, all kinds of cheese, leftover pasta, and more…. Be creative! See if you can find a high-value treat that will motivate your dog to get off the couch (or do whatever it is you want him to do).

• Make his crate extra comfortable so that there won’t be such a discrepancy between the value of the crate and the value of the couch.

• Play games with the crate that involve going in the crate for treats and then immediately being released so he gets lots of food rewards for an investment of very little crate time. Thinking that he might only have to spend a little time in his crate might make exiting the sofa worth it.

Many trainers who compete in dog sports have chosen dogs that like to work and that find these activities inherently rewarding. They like moving and love working with their trainers. These dogs would trade a sofa, no matter how comfortable, for anything that involves activity. But I’m willing to bet that at least some of you have dogs that might prefer the sofa to the A-frame, to competitive obedience training, or even to coming when called. You have to think outside the box to find out what motivates your particular dog. It might be steak, or lasagna, or a squirt of spray cheese; it might be a tennis ball that squeaks, or a stuffed animal, or a rope to tug on; it might be a squirt with a hose, a game of fetch, or a toss of a flying disc.

It’s been years since my Beagle chose the couch over his crate. By combining the methods mentioned here, he now runs right to his kennel with the rest of the dog family. It can be a lot of work discovering what motivates your dog, but it’ll be worth it.

Happy Crate Training!

Brenna Fender is a Tampa Dog Trainer who writes for Courteous Canine, Inc. DogSmith of Tampa and attends dog sport classes at our main location! Courteous Canine, Inc. DogSmith of Tampa offers puppy kindergarten classes, basic manners, canine good citizen and pet therapy prep, agility, dog dock jumping, problem solving and behavior modification especially for aggressive dogs.  We also offer boutique boarding, board and train, pet sitting and dog day care!

Dog Training Wisdom: Aggression creates aggression

Dog Training Wisdom: Aggression creates aggression

Patricia McConnell's Willie

Patricia McConnell’s Willie

The funny thing about aggression is that it creates aggression.  When a human chooses to be violent with a dog this violence causes violence. Science-based, peaceful training techniques are more effective and actually successful. Dr. Patricia McConnell has written a fantastic blog explaining this, check it out:

 

Tampa Dog Health and Safety: Cool Doggie Treats for a Hot Day

cooltreats
Tampa Dog Health and Safety:
Cool Doggie Treats for a Hot Day
 
Dixie cups
I would buy the small plastic, if you get paper, you need to tear if off before giving to dog.
 
32 oz lowfat vanilla yogurt (I used nonfat)
 
1 mashed banana  –  too ripe to eat would work.
 
Peanut Butter 1/2 cup 
 
  1. You can mash the banana in the peel if it’s ripe, it will explode out of the skin, scoop it into a bowl and mash until creamy.  Add the other items and blend until very creamy, no chunks. 
  2. Spoon into cups, set on baking sheet and freeze.  Takes 5 to 7 hours to freeze completely. Once frozen, remove and put in large bag.
 

Upcoming Event: Otto Fad on The Power of Positive Reinforcement

Upcoming Event: Otto Fad on The Power of Positive Reinforcement

Courteous Canine, Inc. DogSmith of Tampa Presents

Otto Fad on The Power of Positive Reinforcement

Sunday June 9th, 2013 1pm to 5pm $60

Using Positive Reinforcement to Train Elephants: Operant and Respondent Strategies

HappyElephantOtto Fad is the Manager of Elephants at Busch Gardens Tampa’s Pachyderm Palace. He is known worldwide for his evangelical advocacy for positive reinforcement training for all animals but especially elephants. Elephants at Busch Gardens are trained with an open economy, meaning they have food available at all times, and still choose to engage with their trainers, and frequently initiate interactions with them.  Trained behaviors range from unrestrained complex veterinary procedures to playful activities developed only to build strong relationships and to have fun together.

Otto will be presenting on:

  • Use of open economies – Elephants choose to work with trainers they have access to food at all times
  • Operant strategies to allow medical procedures
  • Respondent Strategies to shift emotional states
  • And more!
  • Presentation followed by question and answer.

Otto Fad is Elephant Manager at Busch Gardens Tampa, where he helped develop a progressive new program in 2004, distinguished by its focus on positive reinforcement, its unparalleled success in conditioning voluntary husbandry behaviors, and its extraordinary team of creative, positive, and passionate trainers. Previously, Otto was a Senior Trainer at SeaWorld. In his career, he has endeavored to raise the professionalism and pride of those around him, to increase research output, and to build ties with institutions of higher learning. He has written on subjects including anthropomorphism, assisted reproduction, behavioral enrichment, natural history, husbandry training, safety, and staff development.

Location Courteous Canine, Inc. DogSmith of Tampa, 3414 Melissa Country Way, Lutz, FL 33559

Please make checks payable for $60 to: Courteous Canine, Inc. and mail to addy above. No dogs will be attending as this is presentation only seminar. Continuing Education Units available for PPG, IAABC and APDT. For more info contact Info@CourteousCanine.com or call 813 949 1465