Published at Tuesday, 14 May 2019. Dog Training. By Lucile Mouton.
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.
Communicate confidence. When training your dog, especially a dog new to you or new to training, your movements and body language should give off an air of calm, relaxed confidence. As much as is realistic, remain upright without being rigid. (Remember your facial expression? Your body language should also ”invite learning”.) As a rule, an upright but relaxed posture helps communicate confident authority – an excellent teaching posture. If your body needs to bend, keeping your shoulders relatively back will help maintain a bearing of self-assurance. While this is more important with a dog beginning its training, and with naturally effusive or assertive personalities, any dog can become confused by too much bowing, bending, ducking, and bobbing. He may naturally assume that you are playing, acting submissive, anything but training! Any hand signals associated with commands should be clean, simple and definitive. They should be free from excessive, meaningless motion, and should never be used to threaten or pester the dog.
Bring yourself into a training session committed to focusing on your dog to the same extent that you are asking him to focus on you. Avoid training when you are distracted or pre-occupied. This is basic respect and consideration, no more than you would give any good friend! To be attentive to your dog, you don't need to stare at him, but you should be aware of him. An effective trainer is aware, present, and ”in the moment” while training, ready and able to note and reward any and all good responses, as they happen. And if your dog gives a response you weren't hoping for? Instead of drawing attention to it, verbally or otherwise, ignore it and move on! Drawing attention to poor responses often simply cements them in the dog's brain, and makes it more likely that he will offer it again. Focus your energy and attention on behaviors you want to see again. As you practice this approach to working with your dog, you will soon find that your dog will be working to gain your attention by doing those things you like. As your dog's behavior steadily improves, voluntary cooperation increases, your relationship with your dog gets stronger, and you both have more fun training. Kind of hard to find a down-side to that, don't you think?
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