Make learning fun for both you and
your dog. Spend 10 minutes 2 or 3 times daily. 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.
Train the dog to come, sit, stay,
down, down-stay off leash, and to heel on leash in this order. Be
progressively more demanding. If the dog fails at any level, stop,
donít reward, and start again at a simpler command. You will
find that your dogs motivation to perform decreases as the
complexity of the task increases. Make learning fun.
Use one word commands. Do not combine
them with the dogs name, which should only be used to get the dogs
attention. Itís easy to talk too much to your dog. If you do,
the command you are trying teach gets lost in all the verbiage.
This is a common mistake made by beginner dog trainers.
Train the dog in a quiet environment
with few distractions. Once the response is learned there, move
the training location to progressively more complex and
stimulating environments. The dog will have to be trained in each
environment that you wish him to respond in. You may start in the
basement, kitchen, back yard and donít forget obedience classes,
where you will have the distractions of other dogs.
The dog will learn most rapidly if
every desired response is rewarded. Once this behavior is
established, reward it immediately. This will make the response
more permanent, and less likely to be forgotten.
Use valued rewards. Find out which
your dog likes most (food, touch, verbal praise) and use that
reward most frequently in the beginning. As the training
progresses mix up the types of reward given.
Once the dog knows the commands, you
can start giving him a quieter voice. Gradually decrease the
loudness of your commands, rewarding the dog for the appropriate
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, start training again
using these rules.
The longer an unwanted, learned
behavior has been performed, the longer it takes to recondition
Punishment does not work - THE
OPPOSITE OF A REWARD IS NO REWARD, NOT PUNISHMENT!!
Punishment may frighten or
excite your dog, which reduces his ability to learn. If the dog is
performing some unwanted behaviour , ignore it. Instead, call the dog
to you, tell him to sit, and reward him for doing so. Your dog wants
to please you, and if he can do something and be rewarded for it, he
will. If you totally ignore unwanted behaviour, the dog will not be
rewarded for performing it, and will eventually stop. If the dog has
learned that he will get attention when he performs the behaviour, the
activity will increase in frequency and intensity when you first start
ignoring it. PERSEVERE AND IT WILL STOP.