You Know When You Are Training Your Dog. Wrong! Trying to determine fact from fiction, when it comes to training your dog to be obedient, is not as simple as it seems. There is so much well-intentioned advice out there that it is no wonder the whole concept of dog training becomes complicated to many people.
The majority of people just want a well-behaved dog, without having to resort to training day in and day out, which is perfectly understandable. You bought your dog because you want to enjoy your time with it, not become a professional dog trainer! So, let’s have a proper look at Myth One when it comes to training your dog to be obedient.
You Know Exactly When You Are Training Your Dog
Your dog is learning from you whenever it is with you, and is picking up on both verbal and non-verbal cues constantly. For example, if you leap out of your chair and run to the door when someone knocks, you are training your dog to leap up and run about when there is a knock at the door. Remember that your dog will pick up on your signals, even when they are not directed at it. It cannot determine when it is being trained, and when it isn’t – this is called “involuntary training” and it just happens from day to day. You do need to try and recognize these moment so that you can actually make this involuntary training work for you and your dog.
Structured training consists of a number of key concepts and these include:
Consistency: You, and your family should use the same commands when training your dog, i.e. the same commands to praise, train and reprimand your dog.
Building Relationships: Building up a close relationship with your dog, by doing such things as playing with him, walking him and talking to him will make him much more responsive when you then need to train him.
Repetition is Key: You can’t expect your dog to learn from one lesson.
Dogs learn by repetition and it will take a number of repeated training sessions to get your dog to respond in the way you wish.
Timing: Your dog need to associate your response to its actions immediately. You should praise (or reprimand) your dog as soon as its actions have taken place – no longer than two to three seconds after the action. If you call your dog to reprimand for an inappropriate action, by the time it gets to you it will think you are reprimanding it because it has come to you.
Your Attitude: It will take a certain amount of time to get your dog to understand what you want it to do so do try to be reasonable in your expectations of what it can achieve.
Praise Your Dog: Whenever your dog has completed what you asked it to, praise it. Do this immediately (remember the timing above) and when you are praising your dog, make sure you have eye contact with it, so that it can make the connection between your voice or touch and its actions.
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