GOODOGZ training

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Dog Training - In -Home or Training venue 

  • Dog training for all
  • If things with your dog arent going quite the way you imagined
  • If you and your dog need some help

We offer:-
  • Sensible dog training advice for busy families and professionals
  • A dog training plan tailor-made for you
  • A variety of days and times available
  • In-Home or training venue options
  • Positive solutions for happy owners and dogs
  • We offer standard pet dog education and Problem behaviour solutions

See also more information about 


At venue or In-Home consultation (Waikuku/Kaiapoi/Rangiora) please enquire


Contact Karen on E: or Mobile 021-124-0174

Stages of training

Below is a wonderful pictorial reminder of all the stages we need to go through when training our dogs.


#1 Dog Training thing to do!

If you have a food bowl go put it in the back of the cupboard right now and leave it there for at least 2 months.

Feed your dog from your hand.

Teach him to look at you when you say his name.

Teach him to come and touch your hand when you hold it out.

Teach him to come to you and walk beside you on a loose lead.

It’s such a waste for both you and the dog to give 100s of biscuits for free (or maybe one sit ) Talk about over payment!!

Each biscuit could be used as a payment for things your dog does well/things you like! This is the way to change behaviour.

Ideas to help make your life with your dog much happier.

1) Play with your dog more

Forget the nonsense about not letting your dog do certain things because it makes them think they are the boss. It’s simply not true and they will not think they rule the roost. Enjoy your time with them as much as you like.

2) Teach them tricks

This will help build their confidence. How good does it feel when you accomplish something or you do well at something? The same applies for your dog. The more confident they become the more comfortable they will find new situations. Tricks will make you smile at your dog!

3) Be more fun outside of the house

Remember you’re competing with a lot of distractions once you leave the house. If you’re no fun what chance have you got at calling your dog when there are birds to chase, dogs to play with, and poop to smell!

4) Don’t force them into situations they are uncomfortable with

If you start ignoring your dog’s signals that tell you they are uncomfortable you might start seeing your dog reacting (they won’t have any other option!). They will also start to think you make awful decisions when it comes to their safety so their trust in you will decrease.

5) Use food toys to relieve boredom.

Boredom is what a lot of dogs experience when left alone for long periods as well as a lack of mental and physical stimulation. Give your dog things to do that will occupy their time positively. Ditch the food bowl and start using kongs and puzzle toys. Even a cannon bone is great fun and a yummy boredom buster.

6) Let them know when they do things you like

Dogs like it when they get told they did something well. Look at their face smiley and tail all wagging when you tell them they’re a good dog. They will also get into a habit of repeating the behaviours they have gotten rewarded for in the past. Win win both ways.

7) Take them out more

It can be pretty dull and depressing for us if we rarely get to leave the house and socialise with friends and family and maybe do some exercise. Just imagine how your dog will feel not being able to explore, socialise and sniff all the wonders of the world. It doesn’t have to be a strenuous 5 hour hike - Just sit over a park and let them sniff, explore and ultimately be a dog. Take them to different places.

101 things to do with a box

This is an execise in free-shaping. ie. you offer the dog a box, the dog offers behaviours by interacting with the box.
Karen Pryor explains.
A nice video showing a Sheltie do some basic box tricks.

Teach your dog to go to a mat

Being able to send your dog to a mat opens a bunch of possibilities. For example if he is used to going to a mat it will make travelling with him and staying with other people much easier as he understands and feels comfortable on his mat. 
If you can send to mat you can easily transfer it to other sends eg, in obedience or agility.
Its a great way to calm an excited dog down and give him somewhere to wait while you do something else!


Read about Clicker training here.

An interesting excerpt from the following article...

"Additionally, the dogs trained with the verbal marker learned the initial task faster than those trained with just the reinforcer. The data indicates an average of approximately 80 attempts (12 minutes) for the clicker trained dogs, 110 attempts (21 minutes) for those trained with a verbal marker, and 125 attempts (27 minutes) with food reinforcement only."

Should we stop using a clicker? Is it really needed? A recent study by Chiandetti et al. published in November of 2016 in

Is your dog afraid of the clicker?

The benefits of using a clicker are many, but you dont have to use a traditional clicker to get the same effect.
There is little point using a box clicker if the dog is scared of it.
What can you use instead?
  • Your tongue can create a click sound.
  • The top of a ballpoint pen can also make a soft click sound.
  • You may be able to download a clicker ap on to your phone and turn the volume down.

Reinforcement in dog training

This is a great video showing the effects of reinforcement on dog training.


Many people think that taking their dog for an off-lead run is the best thing they can do for them, but that isnt so.
This fact was brought home to me recently when a client said that her dog has been so much more relaxed tghis week when he didnt got on his regular pack walks but instead they stayed at home together (because she was sick) and she just did some training, tricks and food enrichment exercises.
Running around does exercise a lot of muscles, and tire your dog out at first - but it also makes your dog fitter so it needs more and more exercise to tire it out. Such exercise can also make your dog even more excited so when he gets home he is all hyped up - and will likely go outside and dog a big hole!!
The best/most tiring exeicise is BRAINWORK!!
So what should you do instead?
1. Teach your dog relaxation techniques - relax on its bed, relax in a crate etc
2. Provide food enrichment toys. Most pet shops have great enrichment toys and games for dogs to play.
3. When going on a walk do NOT just walk in a straight line. Incorporate a lot of check-ins, turns, backing up, and other fancy footwalk to keep them guessing.

Your dog's life should be a balance of 
mental enrichment,
and training,
with some exercise added.
Read the full article by clicking here!

More great tricks to teach your dog


Dog in sit stay. Offer food to your dog in a closed hand. Dogs will mug your hand with their mouth and then lift a paw to try to dislodge the food. CLICK and treat any foot movement. You can teach left and right paw. I say "shake" for right paw and "high five" for left paw!!  


The dog can be in a sit or down for this one. The idea is to get her to cover her eyes with one paw on command. It will take some practice to find out the best method for your dog as we find they all respond to different signals. I prefer to do it in a down (I use the bang command). Then with treat in hand, I tell my dog to "cover your eyes". I physically lift her paw over her muzzle and reward. I have also found that if I blow gently on her nose, she will swipe at her face. You can also put a small piece of selotape on their nose - they will try to wipe it off! When she does this I reward. You have to just repeat the command and movement until the dog realizes what is needed to get the treat.


COOKIE ON PAWS/ NOSE (Extension of Leave it Game)
Hold dogs muzzle and give "stay" or "leave it" command. Place a cookie on top of nose and continue to say "stay" or "leave it". Let go of muzzle. Dog must hold the cookie     until you give a release command - "take it". Then she must catch the cookie in her mouth. This is a fun way to give treats and looks cute.



The idea is to have the dog use her nose to find a hidden object.   First start with simple exercises. Show the dog a treat (strong smelling ones work best).  Then let the dog see you place it under the edge of a  towel or a plastic cup/cone about 6 feet away.  Let the dog smell the scent of the treat on your hand. Send dog and say "find it".  Reward with praise when she finds the treat.  The reward is the treat. Start to move farther back from the hiding place and move the location of the treat - put it further under the towel so it is harder to get out. Then leaving towel in same place, put the treat a few feet away from the towel and send the dog.  The dog will have to sniff out the location. Eventually, you will place the dog with her back to the location and have someone make sure she cant see where you put the treat.   Then when that level has been achieved, move the dog to another room, hide the treat, let dog sniff your hand and send to "find it".  Give lots of praise.   You can eventually move from food to solid obstacles such as keys, toys, etc.  This makes the exercise into a retrieval.


The object is to tell the dog to go in a certain direction and she will move wherever you point.  First use a bait (can be food or toy).  Place three baits - one directly in front of you about 10 feet away, one along the same line (10 feet away) to the right and one to the left.  Dog is in sit or stand beside you on long line (or flexi). On command "go that way", point to the treat you want the dog to go to.  If dog has trouble, toss a treat in that direction to get her started.  Reward when she moves correctly.  If the dog goes wrong way, stop her with the long line and direct again.  Continue to give the command until there is success.  Once dog picks up first treat point to the next one and say "g that way", and so on.  The dog must pay attention and move in the direction you are pointing to.  Eventually you will start to give commands when the dog is in a position.  For example, I will send my dog to the left (may have to toss a treat) When she gets there I tell her to "down" or "sit".  If she does it, I walk in and reward. Alternate commands until your dog will obey from longer distances.


This is usually a simple one to teach if your dog likes to bark at you. Trick is to get her to do it on command and from distances. First decide on a hand signal that is not similar to any other.  I use a motion of opening and closing my thumb and fingers (facing the dog).  I think this looks more like a mouth opening and closing.   Other handlers use a closed fist, twisting motion. Tell your dog to "speak" at the same time.  When she does, reward with treat immediately and say "good speak". If your dog doesn't bark readily, continue to give command until she gets really fed up with you and barks.  Then quickly reward.  She wont know why but if done enough, she'll get the message.  Tasha learned this in less than 10 minutes (she is not a barker).  Gradually give the command verbally only and then hand signal only.  Increase distance to the maximum comfort zone.

 This is an interesting trick to do once you have a group of dogs that meet certain qualifications:
1. Get along (ie non aggressive with each other)
2. Keep a still down stay
3. Good at jumping low obstacles

If you have this combination, this trick can look very impressive. First start with pairs.  Have one dog in a down stay with the handler holding the leash short and a treat in hand if required.  The other handler gives the "over" command and while on leash has the dog jump the one who is down.  Repeat in opposite direction to get dog used to jumping on both sides of handler.  Then switch dogs. When the pairs are reliable, put up to 6 dogs in down stays about 3 feet apart (depending on size of jumper).  One dog (on leash to begin) jumps all of the other dogs.  This is repeated several times for each dog and then they change places until all dogs have had a turn jumping.

With dog in sit or stand stay, point finger and pull hand up while saying bang.  This action is similar to the down hand signal.  Dog must lie down on side with head down.  You may have to do in stages - down and side.

With dog in stand stay in front of you, give "circle" command and entice dog with food treat or toy to turn in circle.  Don't encourage to "chase tail'.  Give reward when dog turns fully.  Gradually give command from greater distances.  For distance, it helps to put reward on end of pole and use to get dog to turn in circle.

With dog in stand stay, handler in front of dog, with reward (food treat) in hand.  Move both hands in towards dogs front paws (above paws) while saying "bow".  As dog extends head down for treat in a bow position, reward.  This trick is eventually down at a distance and can be down from the side with a single hand command.

Dog in down stay. Hold treat in right hand with left hand on dog's withers (farther back on large dogs).  Move hand with treat up and down (short movements) while saying crawl.  As dog moves forward, hold him/her down with hand on back.   Move treat hand away from dog so dog has to follow to get treat.  Reward initially after any movement and then require longer distances.  If dog has trouble crawling, this can be down under someone's legs or under a solid chair or low agility table.