KeeGigg's 6 Rules for Training Dogs
TO MAKE LEARNING FUN FOR BOTH YOU AND YOUR DOG. Spend 3 or 5 minutes daily with your dog. The training sessions should be separated by 4 hours for maximum efficiency of learning. Normal dogs of any age can learn if you use patience, praise and rewards. If the dog fails at any time during the training sessions, don’t reward, but praise them in an upbeat voice & say “great try”! Give them an easier task in order for the dog to receive a reward and not shut down.
Use valued rewards. Find out which your dog likes most – food, toy, touch, voice or praise!
Use a maximum of only two words in your commands. Some examples are: Ziggy come; go jump, go tunnel etc. In some areas we do need to use their name to get their attention but once they are at the level of being able to run a course we try to just use verbal cues as to where they are to go next without the use of their name. Other times you may only need to use one word commands as in sit; stay; down etc.
Appropriate responses should be rewarded within a ½ a second of the command. If you tell your dog to come and he walks/saunters across the yard to you, tell your dog “good boy” (no treat)! However, you want a more immediate response and when you call him use a very upbeat voice which lets him know there is a reward for coming quickly. The minute he heads towards you – tell him “yeah or yes or whatever word he knows means a reward. The dog will learn most rapidly if every desired response is rewarded. Once the behaviour is established the response will be more permanent and less likely forgotten.
In today’s training we work without yelling the command to the dog but rather in a regular voice tone. Raising your voice can at times shut a dog down as they feel they have done something wrong. Again, rewarding the dog for the appropriate response is so important.
How quickly and enthusiastically the dog responds is a function of the intensity of the training. If your dog responds only when he feels like it, it tells you that it is time to go back and start re-training. It is important to be consistent with all of your hard work and effort put into the training. Try not to let any slip away! The longer an unwanted, learned behaviour has been performed, the longer it takes to recondition it.
PUNISHMENT DOES NOT WORK - THE OPPOSITE OF A REWARD IS NO REWARD, NOT PUNISHMENT! Punishment is defined as any stimulus that causes pain or excitement which reduces his ability to learn. Today, we train that when you have a negative behaviour you start talking to the dog in a positive voice tone saying, hey Ziggy, let’s go and have some fun! You remove the dog from the negative environment changing it into a positive one where you can ask the dog to sit or any other command he really likes and knows that there is a reward for his good behaviour in listening to you as the task you gave him has totally changed the environment.
Please remember that if the dog is performing some unwanted behaviour, you can ignore it, or better yet redirect that behaviour into a positive behaviour. We will show you how to redirect the behaviour in class.
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