Published at Thursday, May 23rd 2019. by Donatien Husson in Dog Training.
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.
Sincere appreciation is key. All too often, we get so caught up and focused on teaching our dogs that, just when we need to relax and enjoy the moment of success, we end up giving praise that is hollow, rehearsed, and frankly, not very praise-like at all. Keep in mind that the words are not important; it's your demeanor that counts. Praise doesn't need to have a certain tonal quality or pitch nearly as much as it needs to convey that you are sincerely pleased and happy at that moment. In other words, your dog should feel truly appreciated for a job well done – regardless of whether the success was a long sought-after quantum leap, or one of the many baby steps to success along the way.
The Lie Down Command – Once your dog has mastered the sit command, you can progress to the ”Lie Down” command. A treat is also used to accomplish this. First ask your dog to ”Sit”. Do not give him a treat for sitting. While he is in the sitting position you should have a treat in your hand and hold it in front of him, very close to the floor and say ”Lie Down”. If necessary place your other hand on your dogs shoulders and gently press down until your dog lies down or give him a gentle tug downward on his leash. Once your dog lies down, reward him immediately with a treat and say ”Good Boy” in a happy voice and pet him vigorously showing him you are pleased with his response to your ”Lie Down” command. The tone of your voice is important to let your pet know you are pleased with his response to your command.
Dogs are amazing creatures. They adapt to countless situations. They are phenomenal at associations: including learning the meaning or implication of many sounds, such as human language. A dog's ”vocabulary” can reach upward of 150 distinct words! However, regardless of how smart, how skilled, and how adaptable they are, dogs will never be verbal animals. Their first language, so to speak, is not words, but body language. Because of this, it's only natural that your dog will interpret your words though a ”filter” – of body language, facial expression, tone of voice, even your attention. And if one or more of these ”disagree” with the words you are using, most dogs will ”obey” your body language!
These training mistakes occur primarily because people try to communicate and train their dogs as if the dogs were human, instead of canines. We also tend to spoil our pets. Just like children, dogs need guidance to learn their place in the family and how to behave appropriately. If you haven't learned how to properly go about training your dog, it is only natural that you will have a variety of dog training problems.
The intermediate training generally lasts up to 10 weeks, and is intended for dogs that are 5 months or older. Some professionals feel it is essential for participating dogs to have completed the basic training course to get the most out of this training, should your dog not be used to the basic training or commands not only will it hold his training back, but it could put him off further training. So it is important that your dog has become accustomed to the basic commands and understands what is expected of him.
The first command you should teach is SIT. With a few slight differences, most advice about dog training agree. The easiest way to teach this command is to cause the desired outcome to occur without much effort. For very young puppies, hold their food bowl above and behind their head. Your puppy looks up, loses his balance, and sits. You reinforce by saying the command, SIT, then praise puppy and reward with a treat. Repeat this process during each meal time and with treats until he will SIT on command without a food stimulus. Older dogs have better balance so an extra step may need to be used. Some dog training techniques suggest using a leash with no slack to keep your dog still, then just using a treat held above and behind his head, command SIT. If your dog resists, use your forefinger and thumb to apply pressure just in front of his hip bone or slide your hand over rump and apply pressure as you tuck legs and tail under to cause him to SIT. As always, praise and treat for desired result Every other fundamental command will build on the success of the SIT Command.
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