Dog Training and How To Get Results

It’s praising or rewarding your dog when he does something you like and correcting him when he does something you don't like.  Dogs look at what is best for them in any given situation. Your dog will learn very quickly when it sees the situation is to its advantage. This is the, ‘What’s in it for me’ principle or reward training.

Set rules, boundaries and limitations.
This is the hardest thing for people to do. They even wait to introduce any rules or training until the puppy is at least six months old!

Without rules, boundaries and limitations, your dog will not respect you as the leader. The most important thing to remember is that you can't be a leader only some of the time. Leadership is forever; inconsistency triggers confusion and anxiety in a dog.

Lead your dog with a fair and confident attitude.

Build his confidence in you. This doesn't mean dominating your dog, it means encouraging him and rewarding him for good behaviour.

Be Firm, Fair and Consistent with Patience.

Be liberal with your dog while training. Never punish your dog, only encourage him to do better. By punishing your dog, you are killing his spirit to do something for you. His feelings get hurt when you punish him and it will work against you in the end.

Here are a few things to remember when you train your dog.

Home first
Dogs are very territorial creatures and they are very comfortable in the place that they know. Any outside environment might put them in a position of insecurity. Try training your dog in the house or your yard first.

No distractions
Dogs are very playful animals and get distracted easily. If you choose to train your pet in a park it may not be very effective because dogs can get distracted easily with kids, other dogs in the park and just about anything. It makes the training sessions longer and takes more effort on your part. You can take a trained dog to a park for further training but it is better to train it initially at home.

For dominant dogs
A simple obedience command such as “Sit” should be given before any pleasurable interaction with the dog. (i.e. play session, affection, feeding or a walk etc…)  children should give the dog a command at least once a day and reward with a treat when the command is followed. A simple “Sit” will do. No treat should be awarded if the dog does not follow the command. Show your dog he does not get anything for free.

The Submissive State.
Most dogs are born submissive because there can only be so many pack leaders. When dogs become unstable by lack of leadership, they exhibit fearful, nervous or other unwanted behaviours. Our goal is to provide the dog with the same calm, assertive leadership that they would experience in a pack.

Project calm.
Humans often project excited energy when they interact with their dogs. Dogs come into the world using their nose first, then eyes and then ears.  Smell is their strongest sense... Its energy and scent they pay attention to.

Waiting is another way that leaders assert their position. Puppies wait to eat; dogs wait until the leader wants them to travel. Waiting is a form of work for the dog, psychological work. Domestication means dogs don't need to hunt for food, but they can still work for food.

Dogs need psychological as well as physical challenges, and learning new behaviours especially those that make a dog feel useful or proud of himself.
All animals need some sort of job. A happy dog is one that feels he has a purpose.

Games.
Your dog actually sees rough play as a challenge for dominance. Once it reacts and you or another member of your family back down, it sees itself as being dominant over that person. Consequently, it moves further up the hierarchy of your family.

Doors and Gates.
Always go through doors/gates before your dog. When going for a walk, make him sit quietly at the door/gate, after you go through the opening, release him as long as he is sitting as requested.  On a walk only allow him 2 to 3 pit stops; any more will only be marking his territory.

Don't shower your dog with affection when you get home. Acknowledge him but wait 5-10 mins before you heap praise upon him. If it’s a big deal you coming home, then it’s a big deal when you leave.

Final Thoughts.It’s praising or rewarding your dog when he does something you like and correcting him when he does something you don't like.

Dogs look at what is best for them in any given situation. Your dog will learn very quickly when it sees the situation is to its advantage. This is the, ‘What’s in it for me’ principle or reward training.

Set rules, boundaries and limitations.
This is the hardest thing for people to do. They even wait to introduce any rules or training until the puppy is at least six months old!

Without rules, boundaries and limitations, your dog will not respect you as the leader. The most important thing to remember is that you can't be a leader only some of the time. Leadership is forever; inconsistency triggers confusion and anxiety in a dog.
Lead your dog with a fair and confident attitude.

Build his confidence in you. This doesn't mean dominating your dog, it means encouraging him and rewarding him for good behaviour.

Be Firm, Fair and Consistent with Patience.

Be liberal with your dog while training. Never punish your dog, only encourage him to do better. By punishing your dog, you are killing his spirit to do something for you. His feelings get hurt when you punish him and it will work against you in the end.

Here are a few things to remember when you train your dog.

Home first: Dogs are very territorial creatures and they are very comfortable in the place that they know. Any outside environment might put them in a position of insecurity. Try training your dog in the house or your yard first.

No distractions: Dogs are very playful animals and get distracted easily. If you choose to train your pet in a park it may not be very effective because dogs can get distracted easily with kids, other dogs in the park and just about anything. It makes the training sessions longer and takes more effort on your part. You can take a trained dog to a park for further training but it is better to train it initially at home.

For dominant dogs: A simple obedience command such as “Sit” should be given before any pleasurable interaction with the dog. (i.e. play session, affection, feeding or a walk etc…)  children should give the dog a command at least once a day and reward with a treat when the command is followed. A simple “Sit” will do. No treat should be awarded if the dog does not follow the command. Show your dog he does not get anything for free.


The Submissive State.
Most dogs are born submissive because there can only be so many pack leaders. When dogs become unstable by lack of leadership, they exhibit fearful, nervous or other unwanted behaviours. Our goal is to provide the dog with the same calm, assertive leadership that they would experience in a pack.

Project calm.
Humans often project excited energy when they interact with their dogs. Dogs come into the world using their nose first, then eyes and then ears.  Smell is their strongest sense... Its energy and scent they pay attention to.

Waiting is another way that leaders assert their position. Puppies wait to eat; dogs wait until the leader wants them to travel. Waiting is a form of work for the dog, psychological work. Domestication means dogs don't need to hunt for food, but they can still work for food.

Dogs need psychological as well as physical challenges, and learning new behaviours especially those that make a dog feel useful or proud of himself.
All animals need some sort of job. A happy dog is one that feels he has a purpose.

Games.
Your dog actually sees rough play as a challenge for dominance. Once it reacts and you or another member of your family back down, it sees itself as being dominant over that person. Consequently, it moves further up the hierarchy of your family.

Doors and Gates.
Always go through doors/gates before your dog. When going for a walk, make him sit quietly at the door/gate, after you go through the opening, release him as long as he is sitting as requested.  On a walk only allow him 2 to 3 pit stops; any more will only be marking his territory.

Don't shower your dog with affection when you get home. Acknowledge him but wait 5-10 mins before you heap praise upon him. If it’s a big deal you coming home, then it’s a big deal when you leave.

Final Thoughts.
Be consistent in your actions and commands, dogs have a subtle way of training ‘us’ when we just haven’t the time, or energy to do it how we know it should be done.

Always show approval at signs of submission. Praise your dog when it licks you under the chin and give him an enthusiastic tummy rub when he rolls over on his back.

Above are a few ideas’ to help get Rover under your control so that hopefully, when you both go for a walk, it will be a walk and not a tug of war. (Calm at the gate is a good start.)

When you pass/meet another dog on the walk, it will be you in control not him. When dogs make decisions it’s not always the right one.

Clive Galea
KODC Club Member

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