Published at Wednesday, 22 May 2019. Dog Training. By Orville Pouliquen.
And, against the odds, a car is heading down the street on a collision course with Buster's path. The jerk on Sarah's hand jostles her back from mind-wandering to the scene unfolding. Fortunately she collects her thoughts quick enough to yell, ”BUSTER…HEEL! BUSTER COME!” ”Good Lord”, Sarah thinks out loud, ”whodda thought the hours Buster and I spent on obedience lessons would end up saving his life?” But that's just what happened. Sarah's voice control over her dog was the only impetus Buster needed to drop any thought of catching that squirrel, and simply do what he's done so many times before – obey his owner's simple commands. And that's just one of many possible scenarios where a simple obedience command could save your dog's life. He could slip out of his collar or bolt out an unattended open door. Enough said. Point made I hope.
The number one dog training tip is to understand that your dog is not beyond training. In fact, your attitude and approach will have great impact on whether your dog gets trained or not. After all, nearly every dog wants to please their master. You need to keep in control of the training and not allow the dog to control you by getting upset or losing your temper. If you respond to his bad behavior by first understanding why he behaves that way in the first place, you will go a long way in gaining the upper hand and seeing him come into submission.
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.
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