Top 5 dog training tips.
Many words may be learned by dogs, including “walkies,” “riding in-vehicle,” “dinner,” and “fetch.” However, if we use the wrong terms, people may get confused. The veterinarian behaviorist at one clinic constantly asks owners whether their dogs know how to “down.” Most people answer yes. They say “down” when the dog leaps on them.
They say “down” as well if they want the dog to lay down. How does the poor dog distinguish between the two? It implies “get your paws off me” in one example and “please lay on your chest and belly on the floor” in the other. It’s easy to understand why the dog is perplexed.
Mrs. Owner says “sit” and Mr. Owner says “sit down” in other circumstances. Naturally, their dog is perplexed.
When dealing with the dog, everyone should use the same term for each activity. And one word is preferable than two. So simply say “down” instead of “lay down” (any dog and grammar instructor knows it should be “lie down” anyway). Say “off” when you want your dog to leave you alone.
What matters is how you say it, not what you say.
Your voice’s tone is also essential. Use short, swiftly repeated notes if you want the dog to come or perform something energetic, such as retrieve. Use a harsh, single note if you want him to cease doing anything right now. A lengthy, monotonous sound, such as “Staaaaaay” or “Eaaaaaasy,” is ideal for slowing or relaxing your dog.
Patricia McConnell, PhD, CAAB, author of The Other End of the Leash, collected signals from professional animal handlers throughout the globe (from Quechua-speaking sheepdog handlers to Spanish-speaking thoroughbred jockeys). Short, swiftly repeated notes were employed to encourage activity, whereas long, slow notes were used to decrease an animal’s motion or calm it down, regardless of language. She proved it by teaching pups how to come and remain.
Some puppies were trained to respond to computer-generated whistles that were brief and repeated, as well as lengthy, flat or falling whistles. The signs were taught to the other puppies backward. Short, repetitive sounds were associated to arriving when called, precisely as you would if you called your dog with handclaps or “Pup pup pup!”
“Come” is one of the most difficult commands to teach since dogs can tell when there is nothing constraining them, and they can tell when a chipmunk is dashing by or the compost heap is waiting for them. The importance of the correct incentive for training a dog to execute the desired behavior is shown by teaching this skill.
“Come” may be taught in a variety of ways. Denver found the banana approach to be effective. Denver, a Cairn Terrier, preferred bananas over more traditional goodies such as chicken or cheese. He was taught to come when he was quite nearby calling him and rewarding him with a piece of banana.
Denver was gradually able to go farther away before being summoned. He was soon almost flawless as long as he was summoned within ninety seconds after leaving. He was simply too far away to hear or care after ninety seconds.
But he always returned to the home after a few minutes, since Denver always receives a slice of banana when he comes to the house willingly. The lessons of this tale are that if the prize is good enough, the dog will work hard to obtain it, and that what is important to one dog may not be important to another.
I Didn’t Mean to Teach You What You Learned
Denver is a twenty-pound bundle of unconditional affection with dirty paws.
He liked to breach guests’ personal space by jumping on and licking them. Teaching him “put” and “stay” solved his issue.
There are several techniques for teaching a dog not to jump on you. The majority are physical, such as a knee to the chest, standing on the dog’s toes, or grasping the dog’s front paws and pulling it backward while screaming “Off!” The problem with these techniques is that, although the dog may get off you at the time, he will almost certainly jump on you the next time you return home. Why?
Why do dogs do what they do? They do things to get something in return: food, petting, the rush of sprinting, a play with a companion, or attention.
We could claim they do it for our attention! Dogs are naturally drawn to people.
Denver attracts your attention when he climbs up on you. You are allowed to pet him, particularly if he is twenty pounds and you are dressed in old clothing. However, if he’s eighty pounds, you could scream at him and shove him away, particularly if you’re dressed in your finest white pants. In any situation, he is noticed.
Attention is yelling at him or kneeing him.
Remember that punishment is only effective if it lessens the likelihood of the behavior occurring again. Unless you’re really powerful, your actions are unlikely to lessen the chances of his leaping again. So you’re not going to punish him for leaping on you. You will instead be rewarding him.
Unfortunately, we teach our dogs the incorrect lesson much more often than we would want.
So, how do we go about teaching the correct lessons? Keeping in mind that most jumping difficulties are caused by a need for attention, the best treatment is to ignore the behavior. You must not talk to, stare at, or touch the dog. Turn away from me. Leave the room if he jumps on your back. The behavior will ultimately go away.
The difficulty is that although this may work for you, your dog’s behavior may not be universal. Dogs have a difficult time generalizing.
The “stay” command comes in handy here. A dog that stays ten feet from the entrance cannot leap on your visitors. He may be driven to leap, but if he can control his need to do so, he will be a much better companion. And you must offer an alternative behavior—one that is incompatible with jumping—just as gratifying to educate him to restrain himself.
Your dog may start learning “stay” as soon as he understands “sit.” Place yourself directly in front of the dog. Say “stay” while holding your palm in front of him like a traffic officer. Count to three, then let him go. “Okay” may be used as the releasing word, but be cautious since we use “okay” in too many other circumstances. You don’t want to teach him the incorrect thing by mistake.
You might use the word “come” as a release word to encourage him to come to you. You may also say “free dog.” Gradually increase the amount of time the dog must remain. For a dog, a minute is a long time.
“Stay” should be the only request you make. A deep, soothing tone with a decreasing intonation should be used: The proprietors of Denver adopted the phrase “remain, Denver, stay, stay” as a motto.
“Place” and “Stay” combined
Pick a position about 10 feet from the entrance. The ideal location is determined by the construction of your home. If your house’s stairs stop near the front entrance, for example, you may need to educate your dog to use the sixth step.
The first stage is to summon him to the location you’ve chosen and say “place” as he approaches, at which point he’ll be given a reward. After a few repetitions, say “place” and pat the location, then give him his reward when he arrives. Finally, you’d walk to the door and say “place,” and your dog would go to his reward area.
The last stage would be to add “remain” so that your visitors may walk all the way inside the home before greeting your dog. The extra bonus is that if your dog stays in his position away from the door, he is less likely to rush out the door and down the street.
“Come,” or Recall Off-Leash
You may teach “come” in a variety of ways, and you can utilize any of them. A fun technique to train a family dog is to have everyone in the family sit in a circle with the dog, kind of like the game Doggy in the Middle. Attach a leash to the dog’s collar and a small weight to the other end of the leash.
“Shep, come,” Dad says as you toss the weighted end to him. If Shep does not appear, Dad gently brings him to him and, when the dog appears, strokes or treats him.
Dad throws the leash’s end to a youngster, who says “Shep, come” and praises him for arriving. Notice how we’re utilizing negative reinforcement (releasing leash pressure) and positive reinforcement (providing a treat) to promote and reward the proper response: coming.
The youngster then throws the leash to a sibling, and the game continues. Shep has no way of knowing who will contact him next, so he must pay attention to who is calling. The game may be played with two players, but Shep will just learn to run from one to the other; at least three people is ideal.
If you’re alone, you may also teach “come.” Simply stroll about the house and call the dog from other rooms, rewarding him each time he comes, so he grows used to looking for you even when he can’t see you.
Another method for teaching “come” is to utilize it as a release from the remaining posture. Instead of saying “okay,” say “come,” and the dog will gladly come over to you since “come” signifies the end of remaining, which is arduous labor for a dog. To begin, do this in the home without a leash and subsequently on walks with a leash.
Keep your dog on a leash when practicing “come” to be extra cautious. You can use a long line, then a fishing line that is so light that he won’t notice it’s there, once he’s dependable on a standard leash. Release the dog in a secure place, such as a tennis court, and call him when you’re ready. Distract him with his favorite toys or other people in the vicinity.
He won’t be able to go away, but it’ll be an excellent test for you to see whether he’s really skilled at off-leash recall.
Finally, when your dog reliably comes when called, let him off the leash, but carefully check the area for any hazards before releasing him.
Pitfalls to Avoid and Maintaining Focus
Farley isn’t very good with recall, and when you’re in a rush to go, he heads towards the neighbor’s home. You call him again and over, but he ignores you. Finally, you track him down and dial his number again. He approaches you, and as soon as he does, you start berating him. “Terrible Farley, bad dog.”
Farley is befuddled; he arrived, yet you chastised him when he did. You could have even yanked his collar. He used to think “come” meant “come and be reprimanded by a very furious person,” but now it means “come and be scolded by a really angry person.” He may not come the next time you call, or he could arrive with his head and tail down.
When a dog refuses to perform what you ask, it’s difficult to remain calm. If you want a well-trained dog, though, you must stay cool and serene. This applies to all of the commands you teach your dog, but notably “coming.”
Pitfalls of Food-Rewarding
When asked to show their dog’s reaction to “sit” and “down” during a behavioral consultation, many dog owners remark, “Oh, he’ll only do that if I have food.” However, whether you have food or not, your dog should always obey a request. What’s the matter?
If you want the dog to accomplish anything for you, you must reward him. He is no more likely than you to labor for no pay. You do not have to praise him every time he makes the connection between a word and an action once he has done so. You shouldn’t, in fact. Your dog will “gamble” in anticipation of the huge payday if you don’t know when the reward will arrive. Remember how we spoke about varied reinforcement (rewarding a learned behavior sporadically rather than continually after each repetition)?
Failure to Extrapolate
What if your dog performs well at obedience school and in your living room, but he doesn’t appear to comprehend your commands when you go to see other people or go on a walk? This is most likely due to his inability to transfer his knowledge from one setting to another. To help him generalize his abilities, he should practice in a variety of circumstances and with diverse distractions.
So, what exactly did we say?
Your dog’s brain is always expanding and learning new things.
Take advantage of your dog’s learning abilities! Train him to complete the basic activities that provide regularity to his life and delight to yours.
Dogs, like other animals, including humans, need incentives. They will react several times if there is a reward, but they will ultimately cease responding if there is no incentive.
Dogs may be taught to find clicking gratifying. Clicker training may be used to teach a wide range of behaviors.
When training, your choice of words and tone of voice are equally crucial.
Dogs are not wolves dressed as Poodles. To educate your dog to be the ideal dog, you do not need to be domineering over him. With positive reinforcement, you may simply train him to look at you, sit, stay, and come. Your dog will learn to trust you rather than fear you by obtaining treats. The bond will be stronger from both ends of the leash’s standpoint.