WELCOME TO THE M.A.R.S. ONLINE CANINE TRAINING CENTER
*The information found at this site is solely for informational purposes, and is not meant to diagnose nor treat any behavioral issues. A professional trainer should be consulted prior to starting your pet on any training regiment.
Where Would You Like To Start?
Introduction to Pet Ownership
Pet Behavior & Training Techniques
Training Your Pet- What To Use, and What NOT To Use
Upon visiting your local pet supply store, you will see there are many varieties of collars, leashes, bowls, toys, and treats. We will highlight some training tools that we recoomend, along with a few key items to avoid.
Selecting a Collar
There are tons of different styles, colors, sizes and types of collars. We recommend starting with a nylon dog collar that is adjustable (fully adjustable as opposed to the 'belt buckle' style). The nylon collars come in a wide variety of colors, designes and widths (to top LEFT). A pet supply store sales associate should be able to assist you in properly fitting your pet with their new collar. Usually, the nylon collars will have matching leashes.
When fitting your pet with a collar, it is important that the collar fits properly, and is not too tight or too loose. When sized correctly, you will be able to fit two fingers snugly between your pet's neck and the collar.You may also try a leather collar (left), however, we recommend starting off with the nylon, which is a bit lighter on their neck.
|ITEM TO AVOID: HARNESSES. PERIOD. ANY KIND. ANY COLOR. ANY MATERIAL. DON'T BUY IT. Harnesses (to RIGHT) are best left for sled dogs and service animals that are trained specifically to work while wearing a harness. HARNESSES ENCOURAGE PULLING by redistributing resistance from the leash from the neck to the chest, and your dog will want to lean into it. A larger Beagle is capable of pulling an adult off their feet on slippery surfaces while chasing another dog or squirrel.|
There are many sizes, colors and types of leashes. We recommend a regular nylon leash (4' or 6' in different widths) in assorted colors (to LEFT). Nylon leashes are perfect for all breeds, sizes and energy level of dog and puppy.
ITEM TO AVOID: Retractable leashes (to RIGHT). Retractable leashes encourage your puppy to PULL, because when they do, the retractable leash will give them more slack. Also, if you are using this type of leash, and you drop the handle end while walking your dog, it will retract once you let go, moving quickly towards your dog, and can 'chase' them, creating fear of leashes. Some dogs, if they are stronger, can get all the way to the end of the retractable leashes' cable, and break it.
Puppy-Proofing Your Home
As innocent as they look, puppies are capable of inflicting extensive damage to your home and furnishings if you are not prepared!
Your puppy cannot tell the difference between an old sneaker that was given tot him and your nice new running shoes.
It is a common misconception that because dogs stereotypically enjoy chewing tennis shoes, it is ok to give your dog an old shoe as a chew toy. If you do not want him to chew all shoes, DO NOT use ANY as chew toys. This rule applies to any household items
A big part of preventing "problem behaviors" is stopping them before they start!
In other words, if you cannot watch your pup, put him in his crate.
|We strongly urge new owners to utilize a crate to minimize accidents during your pet's unsupervised time. It is very difficult for your puppy to destroy a couch from INSIDE a crate.
A crate is a safe environment for him, and will keep your belongings and furniture intact!
SAVE YOUR FURNITURE, YOUR PET, AND YOUR SANITY- USE A CRATE!
We hear the same story time and time again:
Pet Owner: "We have to get rid of our puppy."
Rescue Team Member: "Oh, no! Can I ask why?
Pet Owner: "He is destroying my house, my rugs, my couch. There is nothing that he will leave in one piece. We have to find him another place to go now, or he will eat me out of house and home...literally. This puppy needs an owner that can train him not to destroy things."
Rescue Team Member: "Are you using a crate to help with training?"
Pet Owner: "NO! I think it's cruel to put him in a crate."
Ok, guys, what's wrong with this situation?
By choosing not to use a crate, this puppy has gotten away with many problem behaviors.
Is it more cruel to use a crate and stop the behaviors, or get rid of your family pet that loves you so much?
As most "dog people" know, it is very important for the well being of your pet to have a safe place that they can be when you cannot watch them. No matter how big or small, old or young, crate training is a good idea!
Using a crate for your pet overnight AND when you cannot keep an eye on them helps them to learn the concept of housetraining more quickly, and keeps everyone happy. Dogs are less likely to have accidents if they are confined to the area where they sleep. This is part of the "den animal" mentality.
It is much more difficullt for a dog to destroy your brand new couch from INSIDE a crate...
It will help to prevent bad habits, such as making a snack out of your son's track shoes, or eating the macaroni off of your daughter's art project. It is very difficult for your pet to destroy your furniture from INSIDE a crate!
Your pet will view a crate as a safe, secure place that is their own. After they are crate trained, you will notice that they will enter their crates willingly, get comfortable and take a nap.
Being content in a crate is a nice skill for your pet to have!
It can make travel easier, or create less hassle when your neighbor agrees to babysit your pup while you go on vacation!
Traveling With Your Pet
It is always best for your pet to ride in a crate anytime he is in a vehicle. Not only will it keep him contained while you are driving, but it will also keep him safe in a car accident.
The PUPPY Stage
We highly recommend the wire training crates at all stages of your pet's life, but they are especially helpful during the housetraining stage. Most of the wire crates will come with a removable divider, that will allow you to appropriately size the wire crate for crate training, and allow you to make it bigger gradually as your pet grows. This will save you money in the long run, as the divider will allow you to buy the size crate that he will need when full grown, and make it smaller while he is a puppy.
*Do not put ANYTHING in the crate with your puppy, except for a Kong toy (see Recommended Toys page) while he is in the training and teething stage.
Training Tip: Play with your puppy with the Kong toy before you ask him to go in his crate, then toss the toy into the crate to get him to explore the crate. If he enters during play time, do NOT close him in right away. Instead, throw the toy a few more times into the crate until he enters it without hesitation.
The ADULT Stage
Once your dog is comfortable with his crate, is not teething any longer, and you have not witnessed ANY destructive behavior, you can add a pet bed to your dog's crate, and an appropriate Kong toy. We still recommend the wire crates, as they allow better air flow than the plastic ones.
Training Tip: Save a special treat only for the times when you ask your pet to enter the crate, like a certain type of training treat that Scruffy really likes.
How to Housetrain Your Puppy
Housetraining can be a daunting task, but with a few training aids and a large commitment on your part, you can succeed. Just like parenting, you will need to be patient, vigilant and most important, consistent!
Set A Pattern
Just like with a new baby, it's best to have a schedule and stick to it. Your puppy will quickly learn that there are times to eat, sleep, play, and eliminate. Housebreaking can be tricky, but in most cases, it is absolutely necessary for a healthy relationship with your pet! Each pet will learn at a different pace, so please be patient with your new pet while they are learning. Offering praise, or even a treat when they succeed will help to motivate your puppy.
Give Frequent Breaks
Begin by taking your puppy outside immediately after he wakes up and at least every two hours thereafter. He will probably need to go during and after playing, and you will want to take him outside after eating or drinking too.
Pick Your Spot
Determine where you want your outdoor "bathroom" spot to be and then guide your puppy to this spot using a leash. While your puppy is going potty, use a word or phrase like "go potty," that you can eventually use before he eliminates to remind him what to do.
Praise & Reward
After he is finished, reward him with praise, a treat, a long walk or some playtime. Remember to do this consistently and immediately after he's finished and when you are still outdoors. This step is very important because it's the only way he'll know what you expect. Make sure he is finished before you reward him. Praising him too soon may excite him enough to stop in the middle of his business and then complete the job when he's back in the house.
Make A Feeding Schedule
Establish a regular feeding schedule for your puppy. What goes into a puppy on a schedule comes out of a puppy on a schedule. Depending on their age and breed, puppies usually need to be fed twice to three times (tiny, toy breed puppies may need to be fed up to four times) a day. Feeding your puppy at the same times each day will make it more likely that he'll eliminate at consistent times as well.
Prepare A Bedtime
You can reduce the need for your puppy to have to relieve himself in the middle of the night by picking up his water bowl about two and a half hours before bedtime. Most puppies can sleep for approximately seven hours without having to eliminate.
Whenever your puppy is indoors, you will need to keep a watchful eye for signs that your puppy needs to eliminate. Some of these signs are barking or scratching at the door, squatting, restlessness, sniffing around, or circling. When you see these signs, immediately grab the leash and take him outside to his bathroom spot. If he eliminates outside, give him lots of praise and reward him with a treat.
During the housetraining process it's helpful to tether (Poly Braided Lead) your puppy to a piece of furniture while inside to more effectively keep an eye on him. Use a six foot length of rope so he has plenty of room to roam, but he is not able to get out of your sight.
When you're unable to watch your puppy at all times, he should be confined to an area small enough that he won't want to eliminate there. This space should be just big enough for him to comfortably stand, lie down, and turn around in. You can use gates to block off part of a utility room, bathroom or laundry room for this purpose.
Accidents will happen. It is a normal part of the housetraining process. If you catch your puppy in the act of soiling in the house, interrupt him. Say "OUTSIDE!" and immediately grab the leash and take him to his outdoor potty spot. Praise him and give him a treat only if he finishes his business outside.
Clean To Eliminate Odors
It won't do any good for you to punish your puppy for eliminating in the house. In fact, it will do more harm. Just clean up the soiled area. If you rub his nose in it and scold him, you will just make him afraid of you or eliminating in your presence. You will have to clean the area really well and use an odor eliminator (Nature's Miracle Odor and Stain Remover) to keep your puppy from soiling in that same area. It's so important to be consistent and vigilant. If you follow these steps, you will have fewer accidents. If you allow your puppy to have a lot of accidents, you will only confuse him about where he is supposed to go and therefore prolong house training.
If you must leave your puppy alone for long periods of time, confine him to an area with enough room to sleep and play, along with a separate place to eliminate. Use training pads (Pooch Pads™) with a floor protector in this area for your convenience.
Having trouble at night?
When to go to him:
When NOT to go to him:
How To Leash Train Your Pet
Leash training is an essential part of having a pet. Being able to walk on a leash is an important skill that your pet should have in order to make going to the park, or a trip to the vet, as hassle-free as possible.Walking on a leash is NOT a skill that comes naturally to most pets, and it may take some time for your four-legged friend to be comfortable performing this task. As with any type of training, it is important that you remember to clearly show your pet what is expected of them.
Where Do I Start?
The first step to getting your pet to walk on a leash is to get them a comfortable, appropriately sized collar. It is important for puppies to get used to wearing the collar so they can have proper identification on them at all times.
Expect Some Resistance
Puppies that are not used to wearing collars will scratch at their necks while the collar is in place. This is completely normal, and as long as your pet is current on flea and tick prevention, you can rest assured that the collar is the cause of the itch. You may notice that your pet will walk a few steps, stop and scratch, walk a bit more, and stop again. This will subside in time. Once your pet gets used to the sensation of having a properly fitted collar on, it will not cause them any discomfort. If you are not sure, ask a pet supply store associate to help you fit your pet with a collar to make sure that it is the right length and width for your furry friend.
Your pet will look to you for reassurance during training sessions. Offer your pet affection and a scratch behind the ear when they display the behavior that you want! While leash training, any time your pet is moving in the direction that you want, offer them verbal encouragement and praise!
If your pet has a favorite toy, use it to get them going in the right direction. As soon as they do what you are asking of them, offer them a 15 second play session with that favorite tennis ball or chew toy.Once My Pup Is Moving In The Right Direction, THEN WHAT? This is a key moment to further the training of your pet! Once he will willingly follow you using the collar and leash, it is time to move forward with obedience training (sit, down, heel). A lot of pet supply stores offer obedience classes where a professional trainer can supervise the progress that you and your pet are making. Professional trainers will work with you to meet your individual pup's needs, and to help ease any "communication barriers" that you may be experiencing!
Does this look familiar? -------------------------------->
This situation occurs way too frequently when owners do not know how to properly train their canine companions to walk nicely on a leash. Most owners need assistance with training, especially if it is their first dog. Training assistance can be attained by consulting with a private dog trainer, or canine behavior specialist (MARS has one on staff for any questions), training classes through a pet supply store, or calling your local park district.
Below, we have outlined some training tools, and offer recommendations, and items to avoid. If you have questions, feel free to ask- email DogsFromMars@aol.com.
When choosing the right training collar for your pet, you will need to determine what your focus is with your pet, and what areas your pet needs more training in. You should always consult a qualified trainer, or pet supply store manager when buying a training collar to make sure that you know how to use the collar properly.
The retractable collar will allow you to give your pet a correction with the leash, while adding a slight contsriction. This collar is helpful for mild leash pullers, or very young large dogs. This collar should fit your pet's neck snugly, and the chain should have hardly any slack. When walking your dog with a training collar, the leash should be loose, except when you are giving a correction.
A leash correction is done by giving a short, sharp tug on the leash, and then returning the leash to loose. This motion is also called a 'pop'. The technique is referred to as a 'pop and release'. You should not jerk your dog around, pull him across the floor, or apply more pressure than needed at any time. The leash correction should be given at the same time you say "No!" in a calm but firm voice- no shouting.
CAUTION- ITEM TO AVOID!
Choke chains are one of the most dangerous collars out there. They can constrict your pet's throat to the size of a quarter, and strangle your pets.
Do not use a chain collar under any circumstances.
This collar gives a 'correction' by closing off the windpipe, and you will hear your pet choke and cough
This is a pronged training collar, or pinch collar. It may look scary, or painful, but it is NOT. This collar should fit your dog so that the pronges rest on the skin high on the neck, and should not dig in to the skin, or be hanging loosely on your dog's neck. This collar simulates the correction of a mother, or alpha dog, given to puppies that are playing to rough, or misbehaving. This sensation is easily recognized by puppies and dogs, and makes the correction very clear. This is one of the BEST training tools available. You should make sure you know how to use the collar properly before trying any training method on your own. When used correctly, these training tools are humane, safe and effective.
When walking your dog with a training collar, the leash should be loose, except when you are giving a correction. A leash correction is done by giving a short, sharp tug on the leash, and then returning the leash to loose. This motion is also called a 'pop'. The technique is referred to as a 'pop and release'. You should not jerk your dog around, pull him across the floor, or apply more pressure than needed at any time. The leash correction should be given at the same time you say "No!" in a calm but firm voice- no shouting.