TIPS FOR TRAINING SMART
- One word – one action. Down means lie down. Don’t confuse Fido by saying Down when you mean Off. Off means get off the furniture or stop jumping up on a person.
- Don’t bore your dog. Keep training sessions short.
- A few minutes (not more than five) two or three times a day is enough to make progress without overwhelming or boring your dog.
- Set your dog up for success. If you’re going to practice Stays, why not practice when you know your dog has had a chance to get all the wriggles out and is in a calm mood.
- If you’re going to practice Come, don’t wake your dog up from a nap to do so.
- Motivational methods are based on your relationship with your dog and the attention you give each other. Be sure your hair is pinned back to make it easy for your dog to see your face. Does your hat or sunglasses prevent eye contact?
THE DOG’S BILL OF RIGHTS
The Dog’s Bill of Rights, were he able to express his opinions on training and care, would be something like the following:
- Play with me! At heart I am a frisky fellow and always ready for a game
- Be kind and I will do my best to please you
- Be generous with your praise. It is the best reward I can have
- Be fair. Tell me what you want before you correct me, then praise me when I do it
- Be patient. I can absorb just so much at a time
- Be consistent so I can learn right from wrong
- Give me confidence and security. Even flatter my ego a little
- Give me commands clearly and make your signals distinct so that I won’t be confused
- Don’t lose your temper and hit me in anger. We will both be upset If you do
- Your voice and a snap of the collar will tell me I have done something wrong
- Don’t overtrain me – training is hard work
- Don’t expect me to work after I’ve eaten – that’s when I am sleepy and lazy
- Don’t grab my coat or pinch my skin
- Don’t point your finger in my face
- Consider my health and make allowances for the weather. Lost time can be made up under better working conditions
- Keep me from getting bored by changing the routine occasionally
- Never, never nag me – nagging makes me miserable
- Hold me if I need correcting so I won’t become hand shy
- Never punish me unless I deserve it. Was it your fault I did wrong?
- If you don’t expect a miracle, I will improve if you give me time
- Most of all KEEP ME HAPPY!