Today he continued expounding on the list on dog training success that he leaves with those he has helped train their dogs and picked up from where he had left on the need to be fair. He indicated that some have the expectation that the dog they are bringing in will come pre-packaged. Contrary to this he indicated that dogs are like a child and do not know anything unless you teach them.
If you are going to make corrections, make them simple, fair and base them on the way a dog communicates with the other. Once he concluded on this, he moved on to the fourth point.
- Be firm – always make your dog follow through on the command you have given before you release them. Sometimes, you may tell your dog “sit,” “move” or any other command and they may remain on the same spot without responding to the command. He called this passive dominance and indicated that a dog does not need to do anything to win.In such a case, you do not have to be mean or do anything harsh but you need to stand your ground and be firm like a parent. If you have given a command like “sit” to your dog and they fail to respond the first, second or even third time, he indicates that one of the options would be to lead them gently into a sitting position physically and appreciate them for responding to this.In essence, this is supposed to suggest that when he says it, he means it, he will enforce it and the dog should do it. This is the pattern of an alpha dog and dogs want to follow one who has a sense of authority.
- Be consistent – do not vary your commands during the initial training. This happens a lot when a dog is a puppy. The commands we use should be in single words that are simple because using many different words at the same time, is undermining your training. Once you use one word, leave some silence and if the dog fails to respond even after repeating the same command, move to where they are, bring them to where you are calling them and reward them for this as well.
- Be patient – expect to be repetitive until the dog grasps what you are conveying. Dogs learn by repetition and demonstration and there is no immediate in dog training that is why we need to work with repetition.
- Be visual – demonstrate exactly what you are expecting and guide the dog in a way they can follow. Using visual cues helps them have something else to enforce what you are saying. Adding treats to this may be important but phase them out quickly so the dog can begin to do things because you said so not because you are bribing them with a treat.
- Be generous with praise – praise goes a long way and dogs also love to know that they have done a good job. The sooner the dog responds to your command the more praise they should receive. On this point, he indicated that he is a firm believer in gentle, calm, quiet praise since he is always trying to create a calm dog in his home.The reason is because high pitched praises get a dog excited and there is nothing wrong with this but it is basically not the case with gentle praise.
- Keep your expectations in check – raise the bar slowly, it takes some dogs longer than others to learn particular commands. Be patient. Sooner or later, if you follow the rules, your pet will catch on. You should never have the same expectations for all dogs and it is good to appreciate this.
- Always end every training session on a positive note with lots of praise and/rewards – rewards do not always have to be food treats. A short ride is like Christmas to many dogs. New favorite toys, a quick aim of fetch among others, are great reward options too.
Bottom line, keep training sessions short and fun and before you know it, you will be the proud owner of a good dog.