Dog training is not a mysterious skill known only to a few; most dog owners, with a little help, can become successful dog trainers. Here are some skills that will make your training easier:
* Know what you want your dog to do. Set both short-term and long-term goals.
* Find a technique that is comfortable for both you and your dog, and then stick with it. Don’t change techniques each time something doesn’t work; you and your dog will both be confused.
* Give a command only once. If you repeat the command over and over, which one should he listen to? The first or the sixth?
* Show your dog exactly what you want him to do, help him do it, and reward him when he does it correctly.
* Timing is critical to success. Praise your dog as he does something right. If you use corrections, let him know as he makes a mistake.
* Remember that any behavior that is consistently rewarded will be repeated.
* Praise or corrections after the fact are not effective and can confuse your dog.
* Consistency is important – in your training and in enforcing the rules you have established.
* Always finish training sessions on a high note. Have the dog do something well and then reward him for it.
Training is a learning process for both you and your puppy. Don’t rush it; take your time and watch your dog. When he’s confused, worried, or fearful, take a break and think about what you’re doing. Why is your dog reacting the way he is? How can you communicate with him in a better way? When he does get it, don’t be stingy with the praise!
Courtesy “The Howell Book of Dogs; The Definitive Reference to 300 Breeds and Varieties”