TIP #1: THE 3 WAYS TO TEACH, PT. 1
To teach your dog to do something specific on cue, you get your dog to do that particular behavior, then reward it. The tricky part is getting your dog to do the behavior. There are 3 ways to do this:
Luring means showing the dog what you want and then rewarding that. The most common way to lure is to put a piece of food right on your dog’s nose (close enough that he can lick it) and move the food in the direction you want him to go. Where the nose goes, the rest of the dog follows.
If, for example, you put a treat right by your dog’s nose and slowly lift your hand up and toward his back end, your dog’s nose will go up and his bottom will go down. Release the treat to reward that body position and you are halfway to having trained your dog to sit on cue.
TIP #2: TO TUG OR NOT TO TUG, PT. 1
Dog owners have been admonished for decades by trainers, breeders and veterinarians to never play tug of war with their dogs because it risks increasing aggression and/or dominance in the dog. I think they've muddled predatory behavior, which tug actually is, with agnostic (conflict resolution) behavior, which tug is not. Played with rules, tug of war is a tremendous predatory energy burner and good exercise for both dog and owner. Like structured roughhousing, it serves as a good barometer of the kind of control you have over the dog, most importantly over his jaws. The game doesn't make the dog a predator; he already is one. The game is an outlet.
- excerpted from The Culture Clash
Jeff Dentler, CPDT-KA, FFCP, CTDI