Published at Thursday, May 16th 2019. by Maree Richard in Dog Training.
Communicate composure. Be still. Whether you are working on a stationary exercise (such as a sit-stay), or a moving exercise (such as heeling, or a recall), focus on keeping your body language ”quiet”. Don't bury your cue in a gush of confusing, meaningless gestures or activity. Allow your dog to focus on your words and any intended hand or body signals; don't put him in a position to have to sort the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. Once your dog is more advanced in his training, you may wish to teach him to respond to verbal cues despite unrelated body language. But for now – first things first. Walk before you run!
STAY is another command that every dog should know. Building on SIT, stand beside your dog with the leash taunt, held straight above his head. Incorporate hand signals and place your open palm in front of dog's nose. Say STAY and move in front of your dog to block his forward movement. If he moves, repeat hand signal and STAY command. If he stays, move back next to him, make him hold his STAY for a few seconds, praise and treat. As with each dog training technique, continue to slowly increase increments of distance and hold time with each training lesson. An additional element when training your dog to STAY is the three D's. Duration, Distraction, and Distance. As I just mentioned, it is important to slowly increase the increments of Duration and Distance but Distraction must be introduced to test your dogs understanding of this command. Be sure to add distraction while training your dog before the distance gets too long. Common distractions would be someone entering the training area with a toy, another dog walking by, etc.
Although some owners don't like reward training because they think dogs trained this way follow their commands simply because they want a treat and not out of a sense of obedience or respect, there's no question that reward training is effective. And, even if you accept the premise that dogs learn from reward training strictly because they're being ”bribed,” isn't that better than obeying out of a fear of punishment? Not only that, but treats aren't the only type of reward that can be used as positive reinforcement. Praising your dog with an excited, happy tone of voice, giving him toys, and giving him lots of physical affection can all be just as motivating as giving him treats or food.
These training mistakes occur primarily because people try to communicate and train their dogs as if the dogs were human, instead of canines. We also tend to spoil our pets. Just like children, dogs need guidance to learn their place in the family and how to behave appropriately. If you haven't learned how to properly go about training your dog, it is only natural that you will have a variety of dog training problems.
If you are having a hard time teaching your dog basic commands through your current dog training methods, the answer may lie in finding the right dog training aids. Many frustrated owners resort to dog obedience training classes, but there are a number of cost-effective training aids that you can use yourself to help take control of your dog. Before you begin any dog obedience training regimen, it is important to know a major mistake that many pet owners make while trying out various dog training methods. All too often, many pet owners feel that simply shouting ”Sit!” or ”Stop!” and waving their hands at their dog should automatically result in their pet ”picking up” on their animated cues. Although your pet may develop a semblance of understanding after a length of time, raising your voice and shouting is not an effective approach. The problem is not deafness with your dog, it's processing.
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.
This is the basic course, and you would expect to be taught how to train your dog to
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