Simple Canine Obedience Training

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When I got my Border Collie mix Sam from the local Humane Society, he had very few problems, which is a godsend for a rescued dog. In fact, when I inquired about Sam through a phone call, the people at the Humane Society said he was basically the perfect dog. They informed me that the only problem he had was jumping up on people. I thought, "that will be easy to solve".

When giving a command to your dog, use a jovial voice and tone to convey to the dog that you are in a great mood. A bad mood is not conducive to effective Dog Behavior Training training and your why does my dog bark at other dogs will be able to feel your tension and stress and react to that and not your commands. If you are in a bad mood, postpone any dog training for another day.

Initially you may think that the method is not working at all. However, as is the case with so many things, just be persistent and keep at it until you begin to see the result that makes your efforts worthwhile. Keep each training session brief, and be prepared for it to take several weeks to reach your goal. You should find that it becomes easier as time passes and your dog grows used to his regular training.

Control: Take control of the household and let your dog know that you are the alpha leader. As an owner, you will learn about how to assert your dominance and make him follow you. Once you will be able to do this, you will easily succeed at good dog obedience training.

Once I gave the treats, I ignored the dogs, or they would hound me for more treats, and eventually they would come to me, get their treat, and gradually wander back to their previous activities of grazing, searching for non-existent rabbits, etc. Then I stepped up the training. Calling the dogs to me in the middle of the back yard is one thing, but having them all race to me at the back door is entirely different. Calling from the back door means that they might have to come inside the house, and inside means no wrestling, barking, and acting like crazy dogs. Outside is far more fun on a sunny day!

Over time, you will progress to getting him to DO things, in order to drive you to give him treats. A dog can be trained without ever having to be touched! Simply wait for a behaviour to be offered, perhaps a play-bow or a Sit, or eventually a bump of your treat-filled hand with his nose. Then say "YES!" enthusiastically the instant it happens (or use a clicker to mark it) and toss a great treat...or a piece of his dinner. You can then pair a command to the action, and start to ask the dog to perform it in order to get the treat. I've had rescue reactive dogs I couldn't walk up and touch, who would Sit, Gimme Five, or otherwise interact with me in order to solicit a treat. This is *two way communication*, and it's important. Even coming up close to ask for food can be a triumph for a fearful dog.

This "domination ritual" will solidify you as your dog's pack leader and let your dog know that you're the boss. That way, instead of jumping up on you or other people, your dog will know "No" when it hears the word.

For example, if you are changing puppy over from dry food to wet food, swap one spoonful on day one, two spoonfuls on day two and so on till they are completely swapped over to their new diet. I know it is a painfully slow process - but it's so much better for puppy. Besides, puppy diarrhoea is no fun at all - you really do not want to go down that road!

Now that I have self-diagnosed my failure, where to begin? I'll digress and say that I do not give out many treats at my house day to day, we usually reserve those for training, and my dogs are not used to getting treats for basic, household behavior these days. Right or wrong, I just don't mess with treats much on a day to day basis, unless it's a small cookie when I leave the house. As youngsters, or being new to the house, treats are dispensed when learning the acceptable behaviors in our family. But with four adult dogs, the most recent being Gizzer arriving three years ago, daily treats for routine manners have gone by the wayside.

So how do you actively control behavior? There are numerous ways. What it boils down to is keeping the dog with you, in a crate or kennel, or in a position such that if he decides to do something wrong you can do something about it. Every time your dog does something wrong and you aren't able to address it, you are training your dog. You are passively training him to do something wrong. Do this over and over and now you've got a dog who jumps on people, pees in the house, chews your sofa, and performs other negative behaviors.