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Important Tips About Training Your Dog

Play Me, I’m Yours, Day 6 – Jun 30, 2010 – 75
dog training>Tips” src=”http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4143/4767822020_a43d0a7a05.jpg” width=”300″/><br/><br />
<i>Image by <a href=Ed Yourdon
Where else could this be, but Coney Island?

Note: this photo was published in a Jul 23, 2010 blog titled "3 Simple Dog Obedience Training Tips." I’m not sure I see the connection, but I just take the pictures … other people figure out the context in which they make sense…


On the 6th day of the "Play Me, I’m Yours" project, I tackled the borough of Brooklyn — starting at the Brooklyn Bridge Park, down at the edge of the East River, looking across to the southern tip of Manhattan — and the Statue of Liberty in the background. I spent some time watching an aspiring young concert pianist named Andrew Mancilla playing some tunes, before the piano was taken over by a couple of young children

From there, I hiked back up the hill to Boro Hall and Cadman Plaza, where I found my second piano; and then a couple blocks east to Willoughby Plaza (just a couple blocks away from the old Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute, now renamed New York Polytechnic) for piano #3. Andrew Mancilla appeared again, and I listened to his music for a while…

Then, being woefully ignorant of the bus/subway system in Brooklyn, I took a gypsy cab to Ft. Greene Park, where I found one piano in the entrance to the park, and another one at the top of the hill where the Visitor’s Center sits.

From there, it was on to Grand Army Plaza, where I found a piano tucked away at the edge of the massive monument that mimics the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. I then walked several blocks down Flatbush Avenue, past the Brooklyn Zoo, to find the carousel, where another piano sat by its lonely self, ignored by everyone.

The next stop was the Herber Von King Park, somewhere in the middle of the borough, where I found a vandalized piano sitting at the base of of an outdoor theater for community affairs; one of the stage hands was busy painting some sets for a play, and shrugged when I asked her who had done the damage.

Next came McCarren Park, up in the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn, where I found a bright yellow piano being played energetically by a pierced and tattooed young woman who spoke little or no English when I asked her a few questions. Her place was then taken over by a couple of local fellows, one of whom brought along some bongo drums to accompany his pianist friend.

After a quick lunch in a bar at the corner of the park (which included the biggest, tastiest, and most filling BLT sandwich I have ever had), I took a taxi down to Coney Island and walked out on the boardwalk to find my final piano. A man by the name of John Rotante was playing a number of popular tunes; he told me that he sells Volvos by day, and plays the piano by night. If you want to hire him, his email address is pianostylist@aol.com and his website is www.pianostylist.com.

When it was all over, I trudged over to the subway stop at Stillwell Avenue, and took the long ride back into Manhattan on the F train. All in all, it was a day well spent…


A few years ago, a British artist by the name of Luke Jerram came up with the intriguing idea of spreading pianos around the city, with an open invitation for anyone nearby to wander up and begin playing something. Anything. First it was London, and now it’s here in New York City.

Starting on June 21st, sixty pianos have been donated, painted, and "installed" throughout the five boroughs of New York; you can see the locations here. I managed to visit seven of the pianos on the first day, and another seven on the second day. The program will only be running for two weeks, and I’ll be out of town for at least a few of those days … so it won’t be easy, but my goal is to track down, visit, and photograph all 60 pianos by the time it’s over. Even the one at the Staten Island Zoo, and the one located somewhere in the Joyce Kilmer Park up in the Bronx.

Aside from the logistics of getting to these remote corners of the five boroughs, it sounds like a straightforward task: ride a subway train to the appropriate stop, walk a block or two, take photograph or two, and then go back where you came from. But it’s turning out to be a little more difficult than I had thought, partly because the maps provided on the Web site are somewhat ambiguous and imprecise, and partly because the officials (e.g., guards, cops, grounds-keepers, etc.) whom you would expect to know about such things have been remarkably clueless.

I’ve also been hearing rumors that some of the pianos are being moved around between one day and the next. That might explain why I had to abandon today’s plan to photograph the piano in Bryant Park: after circling the park and the adjoining New York Public Library a couple of times, I concluded they had either hidden the piano, or moved into a subterranean cell.

As for the pianos I’ve found, the experiences have been quite varied. Some of the pianos sit mute and abandoned — including, oddly enough, the very fist piano in Times Square, which had been plunked down at Seventh Avenue and 44th Street, and basically ignored by everyone. The same was true of one of the pianos situated in a hard-to-find corner of Lincoln Center, as well as a piano ostensibly located at the Metropolitan Museum of Art — which turned out to be sitting next to the giant obelisk behind the museum, and on the far side of the inner park roadway.

As for the pianos that do attract some musicians: it’s quite a varied bunch. Some are casual amateurs, some of whom have no idea what the program is all about, and who had no advance warning that the pianos would even be there. Some have obviously been planning and practicing for months. Some of the musicians sing, some don’t; some bring along drummers, guitarists, and vocalists. I even heard that one musician brought some dancers to help liven up his performance, but I haven’t seen that myself…

Anyway, I’ll keep photographing the pianos, and uploading the best of the photographs, until I run out of pianos, run out of time, or run out of energy — whichever happens first.

If you are completely lost on where to begin training your dog, you need not worry for you have already taken the first and most important step, which is looking for information or you would not be reading this. This information you need in order to start training your dog is in this article!

Training your dog can be much easier if you use a crate. In order to maximize the effectiveness of your crate training, you must make sure to allow your dog out consistently. Soon you’ll find that your crate-trained dog will have learned to avoid inside accidents.

Some dogs have specific bad behavior triggers, so distract him during these times. In other words, if your dog does not like other dogs, you should keep him busy and entertained as you pass other dogs on your walks. This should help him establish a relationship between seeing that stimuli and good things happening.

Spay or neuter your dog at the age of six months. As soon as you have had your dog neutered start him in obedience classes. A dog that is fixed will be more willing to learn. Doing this will allow you to have more years with your pet, and it will give your dog a healthier, happier life.

When training a dog it should always be done in a positive, motivated environment. If your dog performs a task you ask him to, reward him. Using a negative form of training or punishment only alienates the dog, and makes him afraid of you.

Do not tie up several dogs in close proximity to each other. The chain from one dog could wrap around the second and the dogs could get hurt trying to get free. In the case that a large dog and small dog become entangled, the large dog’s rope or chain could cut off air circulation to the small dog, and it could be severely injured or die.

When you are feeling frustrated or impatient, calm yourself before starting training. If you are not patient with your dog, he may lose focus and forget everything that he has learned.

Your dog needs to be mentally stimulated just like a human does. Long walks through the woods or park should happen frequently as should playful interactions with a variety of toys. If you neglect your dog, your dog won’t neglect to chew up your valuable possessions.

There are some ways you can help your dog with separation anxiety through effective training. Symptoms include continuous barking and even destructive behavior. You can help stop the behavior by teaching the dog to engage in other types of activity when home alone. Making sure that your dog feels loved and secure will also help reduce his anxiety.

While training your puppy or dog to use a crate, introduce him to new concepts slowly and gradually, so he is able to adjust to the changes without feeling stressed. Eventually they will become comfortable with the crate and you can then try to shut the door to the crate. When they allow the door to shut you can give them a treat through the wiring. Start with short times numbering in mere seconds, and increase the intervals gradually. If they get upset, it’s too fast.

When you want to stop your dog from chewing the furniture or anything else forbidden, allow him to succeed. Also realize that if a dog has a tendency to chew on non-edible things, it can be a bad habit. You should keep your dog in a safe place, away from items that are dangerous to chew. Common household items like nylons and hairbrushes pose a grave threat to your dog and can cause him to choke.

Use this information to accelerate your own dog training efforts. It is very important to have the right information before you begin training your new dog.

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