Tips for training and keeping your dog well trained
He never used to be naughty’
‘He does it perfectly when he’s at home’
‘We did puppy classes and he did really well but since then it has all gone wrong’
‘He never usually behaves like this’
Dog training is just like any other hobby/pastime. On average, a puppy training class will be six or maybe eight one hour lessons and very few people continue to more advanced classes. Nobody would expect to become proficient in speaking a foreign language or playing a new sport within six or eight hours and the same goes for dog training.
There is an added difficulty with dog training, especially if you are training your first dog.
Both you and your dog will be learning at the same time and this will take lots of practice to get right. Remember that practice doesn’t make perfect. PERFECT PRACTICE makes PERFECT.
To begin with you need to be training your dog in very low distraction situations, once you and your dog are getting the hang of things you can gradually build up the distractions and still insist on the desired behaviour from your dog.
Just like any other skill, the more you do, the better you will get.
On a final note, one of the biggest keys to dog training is that if the dog receives positive reinforcement at exactly the same time as a behaviour it is more likely to repeat that behaviour in the future.
For example; if you give your dog a treat once it is lay down quietly with the family in the living room he/she will be more likely to lay down quietly in that place again. If you continue to reward the dog for doing so you will build a strong behaviour pattern for the desirable behaviour.
Bear in mind that what we see as positive for the dog may not be positive in the dogs eyes.
In order to find your dogs motivation you should arrange a variety of toys and treats and see which your dog prefers. Just because you like hotdog sausage doesn’t mean that your dog will.
Finding his or her motivator is key to effective dog training; find it and a whole new dog training experience awaits you and your pet.