General Dog Training Tips

Tali 21.03.13. #1 Courtesy of Penny Riddoch - Photographer.

CLICK TO ZOOM                                                                  Tali 21.03.13.  [Courtesy of Penny Riddoch – Photographer.]

Note: You can use a whistle if you like but, if you do, be prepared to have it in your mouth at all times when the dog is under your control. This is not always practicable or, for that matter, desirable because of its limitations.

Rapport {A relationship of liking, understanding and respect} – the more rapport you can develop between yourself and your dog the more successful an owner you will be.

Respect: Respect your dog as a companion and a friend.To start with assume that your dog is very intelligent and adjust as you proceed.

  1. If your dog is silly let it be silly but happy.
  2. Constant communication – talk to it; the more the better, because this builds rapport and gives the dog a big incentive to want to communicate with you, to please you.
  3. Observe it and give a word, or words, for action it takes. Then continue to reinforce that whenever you see the action repeated. It will soon associate the what you say  with the action and, thereafter, know what you mean when you say the word – or words.
  4. No treats – just verbal rewards “Good boy/girl”, “Clever boy/girl” etc. – anything short;  [your  tone of voice also tells dog that this is what you feel.] & pats only. There are enough human food addicts in the world without adding the canine variety!
  5. Do not spoil the animal, especially when young: indulgence = painful correction later for the dog or a painful existence for the owner.
  6. No treats.There are enough humans addicted to food without making our dogs addicted too by getting them used to treats etc. 
  7. Action and words: Instill meaning to words or expressions by associating them with actions of the dog, or situations in which it is. For example, when you see the dog turning left say “left” or “going left” or when you are turning left. If you regularly do something to your dog, like checking for ticks, and the procedure is the same each time with, say, you turning it around while it is standing, you repeat the word “turn” each time you turn it. It will soon turn on its own at the word.
  8. Create trust: For a dog to obey you it is vital that your dog trusts you so do what you say you will do. For example, if I am walking/riding in one direction and want Tali to detour – to go round or around something – I point and tell him, “Go round” or “You go round” (sometimes adding, “I am coming!” which I used each time when training him in this specific regard to give him confidence). There are numerous places where we now do this and, if a new place occurs, he catches on in a few seconds. He does so well because he knows that I will meet him at the end of his detour. [A similar instruction and response occurs when I go to my neighbour’s garden adjacent to our mutual fence to cut some vegetables: when I step out of my front door Tali rushes out of his door and I tell him, “You wait here, son, I am coming round!” and, on my way back, which starts with my moving away from him, just to communicate with him I say, “I am coming round.”].
  9. 23.3.18 – Age Seven: When training a dog keep in mind that when a pup us with mum it observes mum very carefully all the time and learns from her that way: when she looks, it looks, when she smells the wind, it smells the wind etc. etc. You can, by mimicking the mother (perhaps father too – I do not know) and adding a word (which must always be the same), train the dog to do many things. N.B. I often notice dog owners Training there dogs, or trying to train their dogs, via the leash – forcefully and even violently: this is not the way to do it! The leash can be used to gently indicate where the dog should place itself – e.g. on a short leash – whilst a command is given. The VOICE should be the primary teacher, not the leash or anything else. A PROPERLY TRAINED DOG IS AN EXUBERANT DOG!

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