HEY YOU! Get your dog's focus and attention! Have you ever seen people telling their dogs to sit five, six, seven or more times- "sit…sit…Fido sit…sit Fido! Hey…sit…Fido sit!" At best, the dogs will eventually sit. However, this is with him learning that he should sit on the 6th or 7th time he's asked to sit. At worse, the dog learns that he really doesn't have to sit when he hears the word "sit". So, by simply getting your dog's attention on you and having him focus on what you are asking of him, you will have him gladly comply with your request. Ready for some dog training tips??
Here are some easy ways to get your dog's attention:
TIMING IS (ALMOST) EVERYTHING! Dog training is made easy when your timing is right. Once you get your dog's attention, you have about one second to let him know what you wanted his attention for. Don't freeze in amazement that he looked at you by just snapping your fingers. If you snap your fingers at your chest level and your dog looks up at you, quickly let him know what your want from him. If you want him to sit, snap your fingers at your chest level, and as soon as he looks up at you, sharply say "SIT". Then, praise him immediately after he sits. Remember, timing is everything. Well…almost!
NO NAME CALLING! No, I don't mean when you are frustrated with him. Here is a tricky one...there should be no use of his name for a command. When you are looking for your dog around your house, or in your yard, what do you typically say? "Fido!" "Fido, where are you?"…"Here Fido."…"Fido, come!" Dogs are usually conditioned, early in puppy hood, to hear their names and quickly go to their caretakers. It is this linear conditioning thought process that dogs use while we are trying to communicate with them. So, since we know that dogs associate their names with "come", don't use their name with any commands other than "come." Dogs, like children, learn through association. If you typically correct your dog by calling his name and saying "NO!", for example "Fido NO!" or "Fido! Who did this?", you are associating his name with negativity. The correction and your negative tone and body gestures during such corrections should never be associated with your dog's name. When training your dog, NEVER say his name with any corrections. Say his name when praising him. For example, say "Fido, Good job!" "Good Fido"!
PRAISE THE DOG! We can all use a pat on the back, especially if we are learning something new. Do you remember a time when you first started a new job? How about a first time in school? Remember the first time you learned your ABC's or multiplication tables? Close your eyes and think back…. How good did it feel when a parent, caretaker, teacher or boss told you "Good Job!" or "Excellent!" or "You got it!" as you were learning to do something that was new to you? Well, that same state of happiness and accomplishment is what your dog feels when you say "Good Boy or Good Girl, Good Fido"! whenever your dog does something good and (THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT) when your dog hold back from doing something wrong. Now, there's some classic dog training for you. For example, if you had previously corrected your dog for getting on the couch and noticed the next day she walks by the couch, looks at it and walks away or just lies down on the floor, you should quickly pet her and tell her "Good Girl!" for NOT doing something wrong. While your dog may not know why you praised her the first time, if you're consistent with praising her every time when the same event happens, she will associate and condition herself to lie down away from your couch. With any dog training you do, ALWAYS end in praise!
SSHHHHH> Here's A LITTLE SECRET... It is a scientifically and metaphysically known fact that we all consist of energy; therefore, positive energy generates positive results and negative energy creates negative results. If you are frustrated, angry, tired or otherwise not feeling positive, regardless of whether these negative feelings were caused by your dog's actions or not, you should STOP! Take a few breaths and RELAX. Then approach your dog with composure and calm. This is important whether you are going to praise or correct your dog. When you are calm and confident, you can offer your dog direction. Dog training is not about screaming at your dog. It is about properly communicating with your dog through the use of positive training and dog psychology techniques.
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