Published at Wednesday, 22 May 2019. Dog Training. By Yvet Bouillon.
The Alpha Position: Every domesticated dog needs to be trained in this area. By no means should your dog be allowed to assume this role in your home or outdoors for that matter. Dogs do not speak, they bark, except for the Basenji breed of course, so do not assume dogs understand human language. Ultimately your dog needs to know that you are in charge and as such, your dog can relax, knowing that you will protect him. I know this sounds strange, as many of us assume the dog is there to protect us. Make no error, your dog will certainly ”come to the party” when his pack or any one of its members is under threat. This serves to re-enforce the concept of establishing the pack roles so that your dog knows exactly who is in and who is not.
Promote cooperation. When you give your dog a verbal cue, your voice, like your body language, should be relaxed and even. Speak in a normal tone. As you give your cue, picture your dog performing the exercise nicely — this confidence will come through in your voice. Avoid tones that are whiny, questioning, or pleading. Trying to train your dog in these ”lost puppy” tones will be an exercise in frustration. They will not gain you acknowledgment, much less respect! Remember, you are a teacher, a coach, a mentor – not a servant. At the other extreme, you don't need to assume a loud, tough-sounding ”command voice”. This is for two reasons. First, aggressive, intimidating tones tend to introduce resistance in more confident dogs, and unthinking subservience in less confident ones. Neither is conducive to learning, cooperation, or teamwork. Second, your dog is perfectly capable of listening and responding when you speak in a normal, pleasant, everyday tone of voice. Assuming you plan to utilize what you've taught your dog in your everyday life, you will be instructing your dogs here and there all day long. So, why in the world teach your dog that you have to play ”drill sergeant” in order to have him do as you ask? It introduces unnecessary stress into training, is not particularly productive, and certainly doesn't reflect a relationship of willing partnership. The fact is, your dog is much more likely to respond calmly, willingly, and thoughtfully if your voice and demeanor are relaxed and conversational. The bottom line: to promote cooperation, teach your dog his cues in a voice that is reasonable, comfortable, and normal for you.
The good news is you can solve these dog training problems as soon as you know how, and are willing to make the commitment it takes to retrain your dog. Of course if you are training a new puppy you have a great opportunity to avoid problems in the first place. Either way, it is imperative for your successful training that you do use a great training program. You will avoid dog training problems and have a dog that learns much more quickly and consistently to do as he is asked, and always behave himself. This is the kind of pet that will be a joy to have.
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