Published at Thursday, May 23rd 2019. by Wyatt Morel in Dog Training.
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.
There's another reason why reward training produces better results than aversive training. Consistency is essential when you're training a dog. If you're using corrections and punishment to discourage unwanted behavior, you'll need to consistently punish your dog each and every time he performs that behavior. Well, we're not robots, and it's impossible to be ready to do this every minute of the day. You'd need to never leave home and never take your eyes off your dog before you'd even have a chance of punishing him every time he makes a behavioral mistake. Make one slip-up and fail to punish your dog for a mistake, and he'll learn that sometimes he can get away with the misbehavior. That's probably not the lesson you want him to learn.
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.
An essential part of being a responsible dog owner is that you train your dog as early as possible, preferably when you have first brought home your new pet. With an excellent course, training your dog should be simple, particularly if it has a step-by-step format that's easy to follow. Training your dog requires lots of time and devotion to your dog and this sometimes puts people off and may mean that they don't train their dogs at all. By training your dog when it's still early you can save you and the rest of the family a bunch of hassles and frustrations later on when your dog is all grown up.
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.
Personally providing your dog with proper obedience training has some very obvious benefits — establishing strong bonds with your dog, you'll correct bad behaviors, it stimulates your dog's intellect and desire to learn, it encourages inclusion between your dog and the rest of your household, and, in the long run, it saves you time that otherwise would be dedicated to cleaning up your dog's messes, smoothing over offended parties, and repairing damaged property. Here, I'd like to bring to light some of the less obvious, but no less important, benefits of obedience training. Hopefully you'll be further encouraged to make obedience training an activity you and your dog will embark on immediately, if not sooner.
Puppy Preschool – As the name suggests this first type of lessons can be known as puppy preschool. Typically this course is meant for puppies aged from 6 weeks to 5 months old. These puppy preschool classes will in general last for 6 to 8 weeks, although they can last longer depending on the average age of the puppies in the class and the class size. In these training lessons, you and your puppy are taught the basics of socializing with other people and other puppies. Further to this you will be taught the basic skills which will enable you to teach your puppy to begin to learn how to sit down, stay and how to come on command.
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