Posted by: Linda Trunell | April 27, 2013

My Favorite Training Tips #5 & #6

Continuing “My Top Ten Favorite Training Tips” …

#5. Consistent, patient repetition is key. 

You must be consistent. Your dog needs to know what is acceptable and what is not.  Something cannot be okay one day and unacceptable the next.  If you are teaching your dog to sit for your attention one day and the next day you respond to his jumping on you by talking and petting, you have just taken a major step back in your training.  Intermittently rewarding undesirable behavior actually strengthens that behavior even more.  If you are consistent about what is unacceptable behavior it will become extinct.  If you are not consistent your dog will not understand what the rules are and so he will always be testing them.

Be patient and realize that dogs learn by repeating the behavior and being rewarded for it.  Sometimes we expect too much too soon.  Just as children need to practice reciting the alphabet, dogs need to practice their behaviors.

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#6. Short training sessions throughout the day get the best results.

You do not need to set aside an hour a day to train.  That is too long and your dog will lose interest.  Only training in one location doesn’t help the dog to generalize the behaviors. Training should be part of your daily interaction with your dog.  Ask for a sit and wait before you put the food bowl down.  Practice calling your dog to come and sit to have the leash put on to go for a walk.  While on the walk have your dog sit before you cross the street.  All these little exercises will help your dog to generalize the behavior.

Remember training should never hurt.  It should be fun for you and your dog!

Here’s to being our dog’s best friend,

Linda


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