Dog Training Tips
"Any time you are with your dog, one of you is being trained. It is better to be the trainer than the trainee." - Steve White
- Treats: Make "˜em small (just enough to taste)! This is the easiest way to communicate to your dog that he did something right, (but we will use other methods too). The dog should believe that you could have a treat at any time and it just might be something REALLY AWESOME! I strongly suggest putting a treat container in the main rooms of the house so as not to miss any good opportunities for reinforcement and always carry treats on walks. Fresh treats such as meat or cheese are useful when working in more distracting environments.
- Don't give it away for free: get some training out of his feeding, his walks and playtime.
- ALL GOOD THINGS COME FROM YOU: By asking for good behavior before giving your dog the things he likes you can demonstrate your leadership without using force.
- REMEMBER: your attention is a REWARD (sometimes even if you are yelling!).
- MYTH: Dogs should behave out of a selfless "desire to please" and respect, and not for treats. This myth has hurt a lot of dogs, and trainers who don't use reward-based training are using punishment (choke chains) to motivate the dogs and not really "respect". We have to deliberately demonstrate to the dog WHY he should listen to us (we have the food, the toys and the fun!).
- Think about what you want your dog to do rather than what you don't want him to do. Then prevent him doing what you don't want and reward him doing what you do want. Get it? Teach him some words to help communicate what you want such as "leave it", and "drop it".
- USE PUNISHMENTS VERY CAREFULLY (they don't usually work). Never strike your dog.
- Train in 5 minute sessions, 3 times (or more, go nuts!) per day. Also be aware that you are always teaching your dog how to behave by your response to his behavior.
- Run your dog every day until her tongue is hanging out. Twice if she's still got too many "ants in the pants".
- HELP HIM LIVE LONGER. Feed your dog a premium human grade diet such as Innova or Wellness with fresh supplements. Avoid over vaccinating and excess flea and tick repellent chemicals. Clean teeth and ears once a week, bathe and trim nails once per month.
- All dogs HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO bite. That's why it's important to teach your dog to be comfortable in all situations and to be gentle with his mouth.
- MYTH: "Kids and dogs are great together". Actually kids are the most likely to be bitten (and this happens TOO often) because they accidentally do things that frighten dogs or they act like "prey". Never leave a dog and child unsupervised. Teach children not to approach a dog that is unknown to them, or when an adult is not present.
- your dog is always learning (and so you are always teaching/training). You will need to refresh the cues that you teach your dog throughout her lifetime.