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Saturday, January 18, 2014

How to Make Training Successful

  • Remember that dogs do what works!  If your dog's actions get her something she enjoys, she will continue to do those actions, whether YOU like them or not! 
  • Try to set your dog up to be successful in acting the way you want her to act.  Catch her doing something you like!  Always be prepared to reward behavior that you like.  The more you reward it, the more it will happen!
  • Dogs react to our thoughts and emotions.  Think positive and happy thoughts!  Instead of focusing on what your dog does that you don't like, focus on all the great things she does that you do like! 
  • Schedule training sessions before you feed your dog.  Better yet, use some of her meal as training rewards!  A dog that is waiting to eat will be more motivated than one that has just eaten her entire meal.
  • If you run into trouble - stop!  Do not dig yourself into a big hole or get angry with your dog.  Think about what went wrong and how to do it better next time.  Take a break.
  • Manage your dog's environment to minimize behaviors you don't want.  Do not leave the chicken on the table and leave the room - unless you want the dog to eat the chicken, or you take the dog with you! 
  • Reduce stress!  Dogs and humans do not learn very well if they are stressed.  If you or your dog is stressed, stop training and try again later. 
  • Always reward your dog for paying attention to you!  If your dog's attention is on you, she will be less distracted by other things in her environment and can learn easier.
  • "Accept the dog you have, not the one you wish you had!"  ~Leslie Nelson.  I love this quote.  All dogs are different, just like all people are different.  Learn to enjoy what makes your dog unique.  We all have strengths and weaknesses.  Learn to expand on your dog's strengths and learn to work to minimize her weaknesses. 



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