Published at Wednesday, 22 May 2019. Dog Training. By Laurette Fievet.
The last fundamental command that is a must while beginning to train your dog is the command COME. This command seems so easy, after all all dogs want to come to you, right? The problem with training your dog to COME is that owners do not use it often enough in daily interactions. Your dog will COME when you open the refrigerator door. The command needs to be reinforced by putting your dog in SIT and STAY, then by changing your location, command COME, and use your dog's name. Praise and reward with each and every desired result. One very important point to remember is NEVER correct or discipline your dog for responding to the COME command. The reality is that when you need your dog to respond to COME the most is when his safety is at risk. Your dog has run out and could be in danger of street traffic,. COME returns your dog to the safety of your home. Your fear response will instinctively make you want to correct your dog for running out. Remain consistent with your training, praise and reward your dog.
Your training may save someone else's life. Also not too far fetched, especially if your dog is one of the so-called ”at risk” breeds, known for their capability and proclivity to inflict injury or worse on people if provoked or if threatened. Or, more likely, if they perceive their owner is being threatened. Humor me and picture another scene. A man is relaxing at home with his Rottweiler Manfred, watching the weekend football game. He hears a knock on the front door, but before he can even get up, walk towards the door and open it, in walks his lumberjack uncle from Vancouver whom he hasn't seen in more than twenty five years. He's big and burly and one of those touchy-feely boisterous types. He opens his arms, strides towards the man with a bellowing voice to give him a big bear hug. Manfred, who followed his owner to the door, sees his master about to be mauled by this loud, huge, human stranger and he instinctively attacks the uncle. A powerful Rottweiler protecting his master versus a perceived human threat. My money is on the Rottweiler. Unless of course, the dog received proper obedience training by his master, who could then quickly diffuse the life-threatening attack with an authoritative ”MANFRED…HEEL!”. Again, I'm sure you can envision dozens of ways a similar scenario could play out that could result in serious injury or worse. Large, poorly behaved, disobedient dogs can be much more than an annoyance; they can be dangerous. Obedience training is imperative. Especially for owners of big dogs. That's all the stories, I promise.
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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