Dog Training

5 Great Dog Obedience Tips

Whatever dog obedience training method you use, there are certain guidelines you should follow.

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1.    Keep in mind that your dog performs only because there is something in it for him. It may be a cuddle, it may be a treat, or it may be to avoid an electric shock or the jerk from a check chain.
   
2.    Be patient. Dogs learn at different rates, and some behaviours are trickier to master than others. If you get frustrated, your dog will pick up on this and it will stress him. That's not the best environment for learning.
   
3.    The secret to good dog training is timing. If you reward your dog at the exact time he is doing the behaviour you want, he will repeat that behaviour. Timing is even more important with punishment. If you get that wrong, your dog won't understand what you want. Here is the perfect example. Have you ever seen someone trying to call their dog to them, and the dog won't come? When the dog eventually makes his way to them, they get angry and scold the dog. They think they are scolding him for not coming back, but look at the timing of their reprimand. The dog is being scolded at the time he came back. This will only make him less likely to come back when he is called next time!
   
4.    Be consistent. Work out what you want your dog to do, and how you are going to teach it, then stick to that method. Don't change how you are teaching him if he doesn't get it the first time, or he may become confused. Having said that, not all dogs learn from the same technique, so if you have tried one method and it doesn't work, then look for an alternative. We can look at teaching a dog to sit as an example. Many people pull up on their dog's collar and push down on their rump to teach them to sit. Not all dogs understand what you want from this. If you have tried for some time, and your dog just isn't getting it, then try an alternative. Hold a treat at your dog's nose and move it up and backwards over his head. As he looks up to follow the treat, his bottom should automatically hit the ground.
   
5.    Make training sessions short, fun and always end on a positive note.

Worth a read: Is canine dominance and the alpha dog just a big myth?

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