Your dog will become what you make of him with a little luck. The basis of good training involves two basic incentives:
- Reward: vocal praise, physical touch, and treat
- Correction: vocal and physical
Both incentives (reward and correction) are used in the training process to varying amounts depending on the dog. Each incentive has to be applied both vocally and physically for the dog to understand.
WARNING: Never use adult-dog training methods on a dog under 12 months of age.
RESULT: Your dog will give you affection, respect, and a willingness to work with you.
EQUIPMENT: Using a slip collar and medium-length leash (4-6′).
REWARDS: Vocal praise is given using the dog’s name in a calm manner such as “good girl Freda.” More excited vocal rewards are saved for the end of training sessions when you praise your dog for being such a cooperative participant, even if they didn’t cooperate so well. Always end each training session with great praise.
Physical rewards include soft strokes or pats along the side. Don’t pat your dog on the head. Physical touching is combined with vocal praise. As you successfully progress through the training sessions, you can reduce the amount of physical touching. Save the touching as an extra incentive to be used when trying new commands.
Treat rewards are especially good in the initial training sessions. Treats are best kept in a small pouch in a plastic bag. Prepare only enough treats for one 5 minute session. Treats should be soft so they can be gulped down without chewing. Chewing interrupts the training process. Training treats should only be used for training and not used at any other time. Size of the treat: smaller is better, no matter how large the dog. Training treats should be about the size of a Cheerio.
Treat Foods (suggested)
|Small Hot dog pieces||Cheerios & other cereals||Freeze-dried liver|
|Crumbled round beef||Pounce cat treats||Croutons|
|Left over steak pieces||Rabbit pellets||Wheat Thins|
|Pieces of bread crust||Bil-Jac frozen food||Soft is better than hard so they don’t have to chew.|
Treats should be used initially when learning a new command. They are given after the command is successfully completed along with verbal praise and touch. Don’t use any type of treatment that is sweet. Keep the treats small (lima bean size). As the dog becomes proficient in the exercise, cut back on the treats first, then cut back on the touching, and then cut out the praise.
Giving treats should follow the verbal and physical reward. For example: praise your dog for sitting, reach down and lightly pat them on the side, and then give them the treat. Don’t allow the dog to go off command when administering the treatment.
It is important for you not to become frustrated and start yelling at the dog for not doing what you expect them to do. In a calm voice, just say “no.” Don’t use the dog’s name in the vocal correction. Don’t continue saying “no” if the dog continues to disobey. This is when the physical correction is administered. Using the proper fitting slip collar, give a gentle snap and release to the leash, backward if the dog is facing forward. This will tighten the collar and then immediately release. This gentle snap immediately follows the “no” command. If regularly practiced, the “no” command will become sufficient without the gentle snap.
This is the extent of the punishment. No other correction should be administered ever. Remember, never use the dog’s name in administering corrections. NEVER hit the dog with your hand, newspaper, or anything else. Never choke the dog by pulling hard on the leash. Keep training sessions limited to no more than 5 minutes. If your frustration level increases at the 2-minute mark, stop. Try again a little later.
Rewards for you and your dog
Have you ever thought about why it’s important to train your dog to be obedient and to know what is acceptable behavior and what is not? Most people think the biggest benefit of having a well-trained dog is that you don’t have to worry about your dog ruining your possessions You see, bad behavior control is a benefit, but it’s hardly the biggest benefit of having a well-trained dog.
The biggest benefit of a well-trained dog is that both you and your dog experience growth well beyond what you could imagine. Practice and reward are two things that go hand-in-hand in your dog’s training. And, dog training is as much about training yourself to accept the discipline to do what is necessary as it is about training your dog what you want and need them to do.