Successful Training Begins with You
- Consistency is key in all learning. You and your dog should set aside time to practice every day, several times a day for 3-5 minutes at a time for these skills to develop. Think of playing with your dog as a commercial break! Take a break and play with your pup!
- Take advantage of the unprompted moments when you notice that your dog focuses on you or looks in your direction by rewarding them. This will go a long way to improving your dog’s focus.
- Reward behaviors you want to see more of. By rewarding the behaviors, you like, you narrow a dog’s behavioral choice by making one more attractive than the others. Look for reasons to reward your dog. Did your dog sit? Reward this! Did your dog choose to lie down? Reward this! The more often these good behaviors are reinforced the more likely that they will happen in the future.
- Develop a consistent communication system with your dog. Markers such as a clicker or a word (Yes!) should be used to let your dog he is correct when doing a cued behavior.
- Release words are very important to let your dog know that you have finished asking for a behavior or action. Examples: free, break, finish, all done, release, or done. Choose one that works best for you.
- Don’t rush the process. Successful training starts with teaching your dog in a low-distracting environment. Slowly working up to different locations and multiple distractions.
- Predict possible issues, prepare (with well-learned strategies, high-value food, and fun toys), and prevent what you can via management.
Successful Training is a Daily Conversation Between You and Your Dog