TIP #1: TRAINING CONSISTENT INTERACTIONS
This means using everyday situations to train and continually strengthen good manners - without spending a lot of time on dedicated dog training sessions. It boils down to this: Whatever the dog wants, don't give it away for free. Don't open the door just because the dog paws at it; don't throw the ball just because he barks at you. For those and countless other privileges, ask the dog to say "please" first by doing something like sitting quietly.
The benefits of this approach are many. For one thing, good manners become part of everyday routines rather than something the dog is asked to do only in special training situations. Your dog also learns a degree of impulse control. He realizes that not immediately acting on impulse, but rather stopping to consider alternative options, can be rewarding.
The goal isn't to seek the perfect obedient response to "sit" or "stay"; it simply teaches your dog to say "please." If the dog puts his bottom to the floor, the item or attention will be provided. Soon it becomes second nature, and your dog might default into a "sit" behavior instead of jumping or pawing at you. You can then decide whether to ask for an additional behavior, such as a "down" or "look." This is also a safety precaution: if your dog defaults into a sit position every time you get ready to open the car door, he will not bolt out and possibly get hurt. IF he sits to have his leash put on, he will not run around and you will not have to chase him. This makes taking the dog out a pleasure instead of a struggle.
- Whole Dog Journal
TIP #2: YOUR DOG IS TALKING TO YOU. ARE YOU LISTENING?
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.
- Excerpted from Decoding Your Dog
Jeff Dentler, CPDT-KA, FFCP, CTDI