TIP #1: Find what motivates your dog*. This should be something that "really floats his* boat!"
One of the greatest joys that a dog owner experiences is a well-behaved, obedient dog. There are many methods to teach obedience and you must find what "works" for you and your dog. I prefer positive motivation for obedience work. There are many different motivators that can be used. With my dogs, I have found that Holly will do anything for her tennis ball, Del will quickly respond for treats and Chelsea would give her life just to hear my voice praising her.
TIP #2: Teach the command first!
Puppies and dogs do not come with a Webster's Dictionary built into their heads. Therefore, we must first teach or show them what we expect when we say a command word. The words that I prefer for basic commands are SIT, DOWN (to lie down), STAY, STAND (to stand for examination), HEEL (to walk at your side), COME, and OFF (get off me, don't jump up and put your paws on me, get off the couch (hehehe - heaven forbid!), get off the counter, etc.). (Many times the commands "Down" and "Off" are used just as "DOWN" or "LIE DOWN" which can cause confusion for the dog.)
TIP #3: Be persistent and consistent!
While teaching the commands, it is important that you and all family members use the SAME command words. Commands should be one word (ie, "sit", not sit down; "off", not get off, etc.).
TIP #4: Give the command ONE TIME, then enforce it!
After you are sure that your dog understands what action on his part is expected, you should begin enforcing the command. DON'T NAG!!!! Give the command and if the dog does not respond quickly, enforce the command by putting the dog into the desired position. DO NOT REPEAT THE COMMAND!!! By repeating the command several times, you are allowing the dog to determine when (and if) he should respond. Why should he sit the first time you tell him, when he knows that you will tell him over and over again? Maybe this time he will do it on the 1st time you tell him OR make you wait until you have given the command 4 times. If you are persistent and consistent, your dog will know exactly what action is required and do it the FIRST time you tell him.
TIP #5: Reward for good behavior!
When your dog begins to respond QUICKLY and properly to the command you have given, praise him with the motivator every time. After a short period of time, start giving the motivator randomly. This will keep the dog on his toes in anticipation of getting the motivator. If you have a hyper dog, you should keep the praise very low key. But, if you have a very shy, timid or sensitive dog, you may want to exaggerate the praise. Dogs respond to our voices and body language - use them to your advantage.
TIP #6: Don't use a command you are not prepared to enforce!
NEVER use a command that you cannot enforce. When you are in the yard with your dog and give the Command for him to come to you, if you do not have a leash or a long rope attached to the dog, go get him and bring him to the area where you first gave the command to come. I use two commands to get my dogs to come to me. "COME" means come on guys, let's go, I want you to start heading in my direction, but I don't care if you stop to smell the flowers or sniff the ground, just as long as you get to me within a few seconds. "HERE" means get your butts immediately to me! If your dog is disobeying you when you say "Come"...teach him the new command of "Here"...but NEVER, EVER say "here" if you do not have a leash or long line on the dog until you are sure he understands the difference. "Here" is not optional!! It could save your dog's life!(*Masculine/feminine gender interchangeable, as is dog and pup.)
I hope you find these tips useful. I will be happy to respond to obedience questions via e-mail.
BACK TO OUR HOMEPAGE
THE TRAINOR KIDS
FAMILY ALBUM, Page 2
THE TRAINING GROUP
PROFESSIONAL DOG TRAINERS
FOOTPRINTS - Inspirational Poem
You are our
visitor! Please bookmark our homepage for updates on dog training tips!
AMERICAN KENNEL CLUB (AKC)
THE LABRADOR RETRIEVER HOME PAGE - FAQ and more!
WORKING RETRIEVER CENTRAL - More info on working retrievers? Don't miss this site!!
PURINA PET CARE CENTER - PRO PLAN MAINTENANCE=shiny coats and energy!
RETRIEVER WORLD - Loaded with equipment for working retrievers!
GUN DOG EXPRESS - Check out this site for quality dog & kennel supplies!
Copyright & copy; 1996 Vicky Lane Trainor
This Home Page was created on Friday, August 23, 1996
Most recent revision Monday, January 15, 2001
You are our visitor! Please bookmark our homepage for updates on dog training tips!