Published at Thursday, 23 May 2019. Dog Training. By Chaunte Verrier.
Sincere appreciation is key. All too often, we get so caught up and focused on teaching our dogs that, just when we need to relax and enjoy the moment of success, we end up giving praise that is hollow, rehearsed, and frankly, not very praise-like at all. Keep in mind that the words are not important; it's your demeanor that counts. Praise doesn't need to have a certain tonal quality or pitch nearly as much as it needs to convey that you are sincerely pleased and happy at that moment. In other words, your dog should feel truly appreciated for a job well done – regardless of whether the success was a long sought-after quantum leap, or one of the many baby steps to success along the way.
Stay Command – The ”Stay” command is a little more challenging than the Sit and Lie Down Commands. It is important to choose the appropriate time during the day to begin working with your dog on the ”Stay” command. Knowing your own dog and recognizing when he is displaying a relaxed or mellow temperament is important. You do not want to begin this training when your dog is excited or overly playful. As with the previous training commands, it is useful to use a treat when teaching the ”Stay” command. To start this training give your dog the sit or lie down command. Once he is sitting or lying down say ”Stay” and hold your hand up as if you were signaling someone to stop. If the dog does not move for 4 or 5 seconds, give him a treat and say ”Good Boy” and pet him. Only give him praise if he stays for the 4 or 5 seconds. If he does not obey your command, try again. Once he gets the idea, increase the amount of time he must ”Stay” before you give him praise. You may have to repeat the ”Stay” command a few times and put your hand in a stop position to encourage him to stay. As he begins to understand, give him the ”Stay” command and slowly back away a few feet, gradually increasing the distance until he masters the ”Stay” command. Remember, it is important to be patient with your dog when training. If training is not successful today, just try again on another day. Patience and persistence is always rewarded.
The Body Language of Effective Dog Training. Training your dog is the ultimate expression of leadership: you are taking the initiative to teach, guide, and direct your dog. Your body language, therefore, should reflect your role as teacher and leader, communicating a calm self-confidence and composure. Let's look at the components of non-verbal communication as they affect your dog: Invite learning with your facial expression and demeanor. Your body language begins at the top, with your face. Training should be a positive, pleasant experience for you and your dog. Before you begin, and periodically throughout, consciously relax your facial muscles. Smile gently. Soften your eyes. Take a deep, relaxing breath, and keep breathing! When you are relaxed and happy, you present a safe haven for your dog's attention. (And there is nothing to be tense about, right? This is dog training, not world peace!) A soft eye will invite your dog to seek out your face, whereas a hard stare may intimidate your dog into breaking off eye contact, reducing your ability to communicate clearly.
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