Train a terrier!? It can be done but…
All kinds of dogs have a number of hard-wired traits bred into them. Hounds love to follow their noses, Retrievers love to fetch and Herding dogs love to herd. With few exceptions, these are pretty harmless activities and don’t stand in the way of training. Terriers, however, were bred to hunt and kill vermin independently, digging underground and barking excitedly, almost impervious to pain. Let’s see…just a few challenges to overcome in training: strong prey drive, independence, feistiness, digging, barking, the list goes on. In Terrier-Centric Dog Training, author Dawn Antoniak-Mitchell takes up the challenge to help terrier owners train their dogs by making sure they understand the instincts bred into terriers and what the most effective training and management techniques are to use when working with a “natural born killer.” You can train your terrier, but just don’t let him loose off-leash in a park full of squirrels!
- Make yourself the most important thing in your terrier’s world to keep his attention and focus on you.
- Reward your terrier by allowing him to engage in behaviors he wants to do in exchange for doing what you want him to first.
- Help your touch-sensitive terrier become comfortable while being handled and groomed.
- Identify your terrier’s “bubble,” the space within which he is likely to become reactive toward people, other dogs and whatever else he views as distractions.
- Recognize what you can and cannot expect from a terrier in terms of trainability—being realistic is very important.
More about Dawn- Dawn recently left the practice of law to become a full time dog trainer. She is an
active competitor in a wide range of activities with her terriers engaging in earth dog tests, obedience, rally obedience, agility, and terrier trials. She is co-owner of BonaFide Dog Academy LLC in Omaha, NE.
Published 2012 Dogwise Publising
So many dog trainers just don’t “get” the terrier thing. To my absolute delight, Dawn “gets it.” No excuses for terrier behavior, just facts and the best kind of advice for living with terriers and shaping them to behave as good citizens while respecting and understanding their terrier-ness. I was thrilled to see the emphasis she gives to teaching dogs to live safely with people and to be calm and happy with human interactions. And this is so important because so many trainers and owners are quite intimidated by the strong emotions and opinions that terriers bring to the table. The book’s well explained and appropriate protocols show that you can indeed train a terrier—and if you do, you can call yourself a dog trainer!
Brenda Aloff, author Aggression in Dogs and Puppy Problems? No Problem
Anyone who wants to connect with a terrier will find the keys right here. The way to a terrier’s heart and mind is through his natural instincts. Ms. Antoniak-Mitchell has described the portal to reaching terriers and creating the perfect relationship that turns our favorite bad boys into well-behaved and beloved companions.
Jo Ann Frier-Murza, author Earthdog Ins & Outs
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