TIP #1: LESS COMMANDING, MORE REWARDING
Dogs who are persistently manipulated with verbal commands, equipment, and physical prompting to perform behaviors (such as pushing them into a sit) become reliant on their pet parents to do everything for them. This is equal to doing a child's homework for him or her.
Dogs, like children, must learn to problem-solve when life comes at them, and providing your dog a motivation to perform behaviors through rewards will help him learn those skills.
TIP #2: DON'T OVERDUE IT
As you train with your dog, it is important that you don't overdo the amount of training. Science has shown that animals retain better when taught in short (five to fifteen minutes) spurts, rather than long, drawn out sessions. Dogs not only fill up on treats, they also get bored during long training sessions. If you over train, your dog will not be as excited about doing an exercise the next time. If you stop before he gets full or bored, leaving him wanting more, you will have a cooperative dog the next time you train him.
Excerpted from Chill Out Fido! by Nan Kené Arthur
TIP #1: DON'T PUNISH A GROWL
It's very common for dog owners to punish their dogs for growling. Unfortunately, this often suppresses the growl – eliminating his ability to warn us that he's about to snap, literally and figuratively. On other occasions, punishing a growling, uncomfortable dog can induce him to escalate into full-on aggression.
Growling is a valuable means of communication for a dog - something that dog owners should appreciate and respect rather than punish.
- excerpted from The Whole Dog Journal
TIP #2: REWARD vs. REINFORCEMENT
Reinforcing a behavior is different than rewarding it. Rewards don’t always work - anyone who’s ever been an employee anywhere can think of an example to support that. But reinforcers always work - because by definition, a reinforcer is anything that, as a consequence of a behavior, increases the future of probability of that behavior. If a reward doesn’t have that effect, it’s not a reinforcer for that learner.
"Here's the fundamental truth: If a dog doesn't perform as expected, it's simply because you've asked him to do something for which you have not adequately prepared him......yet."
- Steve White
Romeo, the deaf Akita, finished his training today. He has settled in nicely to his new home, and he looks so happy and relaxed. Both Romeo and I learned a lot during our sessions.
"Hi, I'm Bella. I need to brush up on my manners before my new, 2-footed brother or sister comes in a few months."
Meet Bailey and Blue, a bonded pair of mixed breeds. They were recently adopted and need help learning the basics.
TIP #1: DON'T IGNORE HIM
You can recognize what your dog is saying to you - even what he's thinking - just by learning his body language. Have you ever noticed how a puppy yawns when picked up? He's trying to calm himself down.
Have you noticed that your dog barks at seemingly random times - even if he's not a "barker"? This is a reaction to something you've not noticed. Stay alert, and you'll begin to pick up what your dog is telling you - things like…
- What stresses him out when he goes outside
- "I'm really bored!"
- The best time to eat
- "Leave me alone!"
Don't let a language barrier hold you back from building a better relationship with your dog. Learn to read dog body language.
- excerpted from The Whole Dog Journal
TIP #2: HAVE REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS
Changing behavior takes time. You need to have realistic expectations about changing your dog’s behavior as well as how long it will take to change behaviors that you don’t like. Like changing our bad habits, changing a dog's bad habits takes patience and consistency.
"Lots of people talk to animals...
Not very many listen, though...
That's the problem."
- Benjamin Hoff
Jeff Dentler, CPDT-KA, CTDI