Every Dog Trainer’s dream is to be able to ‘program’ their human students to the necessity of following Dog training instructions. The problems we face are repeated with every new class of hopeful Dog owners. The mistakes owners make become classic to us—and we are sometimes frustrated when trying to find a way to articulate our instructions in a manner which will help them understand. We all strive to use a positive approach with our Dog owner students. We try Not to say “Don’t do this”or that—rather “Let’s Try this” or that.
Training Dogs has evolved steadily for the past twenty years. Even ten years ago we were learning new approaches concerning some issues.
Those of us who want to teach Dogs how to better to survive in a Human dominated world, endeavor to guide them toward learning to interpret their owner’s body language, and verbal commands. This, of course requires Consistency on the part of the owner / family. So—This is a tip at the top of my list:
How to Perfect Your Pup
1. Predicting the outcome of the interaction with it’s owner is paramount to the pet’s understanding. There needs to be some basic consistency on the part of the owner in giving well-defined commands. Everyone in the family should use the same Verbage–the same calm, kind tone of voice. A confused Dog will be stressful—and being stressed can create problems. A happy Dog is secure in the fact that He / She is responding in the proper way—when interacting with Humans. A Dog will virtually ‘give up’ if He or She 3. Is constantly miss-interpreting a vague or inconsistently given command by a negligent owner. The Dog’s incorrect response could lead to negative consequences for that Pet.
2.INTERACTION Interacting—is a big word to me. A friend of mine who is involved in research at the Morris Animal Foundation agreed with me that being ignored is a sad, empty existence for a Dog. If, because of being ignored that Pet gets into trouble for trying to get attention in some unacceptable way– it can be very detrimental to the Dog and Dog’s owner’s relationship. So—Just taking your Dog for a walk is a good thing—but not good enough to stimulate the mental and physical needs of this animal. What can you do? Well, what ever your age and Inclination there are numerous sports activities available. Or, teach your Dog some tricks! Patient instruction for the usual ‘sit—stay—come—shake—roll over—play dead—speak—crawl—pick up toys and put them away-hide and seek—ball on the nose—etc. etc. etc. WILL— keep your dog focused and happy! Get your dog certified for Therapy Dog work. There’s lots of socialization involved, and You and your Dog will be helping people who need a visit to brighten their day.
3. Correcting your Dog A classic mistake Dog owners make is not realizing that Dogs live in the moment! As trainers we see so many people making Corrections—INCORRECTLY! Unlike humans—dogs don’t understand Cause And Effect after a minute or two. So—If you caught your Dog doing something unacceptable and made a correction in the moment—He or she will understand. If, on the other hand you failed to notice that your Dog had destroyed a pair of tennis shoes yesterday—He won’t understand why you are shaming him or worse–punishing him—AND your action will frighten the heck out of him—and he’ll lose trust in you. This happens a lot.
4. Practice keeps your perfect Pet Perfect! Positive reinforcement is a method all good Trainers use. It requires patience and time—And PRACTICE. So many Dog owners choose a Trainer, attend classes—and then think that their Dog will respond well forever—from the day they Graduate. Very few Dog owners practice the lessons given them by their dedicated trainers. When you have a well mannered happy Dog It reflects on you. When your friends notice, and comment favorably about your Dog—it’s very gratifying. However If your Dog is not socialized or is ill-mannered it’s embarrassing right?
All Dogs are trainable. Some are more easily trained—but with patience—and a trainer you trust—Your Dog can be the PERFECT PET! The recipe for happiness with your Dog Is simple—Positive Training, Consistency, and Continual Interaction—–MAKES LIFE GOOD FOR YOU AND YOUR DOG!