Tails knows how hard it is sometimes to train your dog. Many dog trainers will tell you that training the human is often more important than training the dog (training the dog is the easy part!). So Tails would like to offer some tips on simple things to incorporate into your daily dog life in order to create a harmonious home environment between your best friend and you.
Always be Consistent
If you want your dog to sit and you ask him to sit, then ensure that he does in fact sit! Never force a dog to sit. If asking them to sit doesn’t work then try using the magnet. The magnet is a treat in your hand held above the dogs head and moved backwards towards the dog's tail. Most dogs will sit to get the treat. Then, when your dog obeys your command to sit you say “Good Sit” very enthusiastically, which will reinforce the command and reward the dog for his good behaviour.
Being consistent, also means giving clear commands. For instance if you say to your dog, “Come on Lenny, sit down.” The dog maybe hearing 3 different commands - come, sit and down. This will be confusing to a lot of dogs and they will either seem to ignore you (while they are figuring out what you actually want), obey the last command and lie down, or in rare cases try to do all 3.
Consistency is easier in a one owner family, but if you have more than 1 human in your family, all the humans need to be on the same page with commands. For instance, if mum is telling the dog to “stay” and dad is telling the dog to “wait”, then you may have a problem on your hands. Talk about the commands you would like to use and have the whole family agree.
Don't Attempt To Train Your Dog
Without Considering This Simple Theory:
If you want your dog to be your best friend...
Really treat him like your best friend.
If you want to build trust and confidence in your dog...
Don't do anything to ruin it.
If you want a dog to behave a certain way as an adult...
Train him that way, consistently from the start.
If you want your dog to think the sun rises and sets with you...
Never have him associate anything bad with you.
If you want to eliminate the need for punishment and correction...
Prevent him from making mistakes with proper care & attention.
If you want to achieve effective and positive results training a dog...
Teach him what to do, instead of trying to teach him what not to do.
Ask Your Dog to Say Please
Okay, at this point you might think we’re a little nuts, but asking a dog to say please is like asking a child to say please, it ensures good manners. A dog’s version of please is sit. Ideally try to ensure that your dog sits whenever he wants something from you.
The easiest way to get your dog to sit/say please may be at dinner time. The dog must sit calmly and wait for your ‘release’ command before he eats. With my dogs this goes something like “Keeley sit. Keeley stay.” Then I make sure that Keeley is looking at me, not the food before I say: “Okay!”
Ask your dog to say please/sit for everything - a walk, a treat (unless you are training for other commands), for attention, for a toy, to have his leash put on, to go for a car ride, I think you get the picture!
For Positive Method Training Classes in the Greater Trail area please visit:
Jeanne Shaw’s website at:
Sarah Fulcher’s website at:
Linda Murray’s website at:
For further reading please try these great books:
The Loved Dog by Tamar Geller
The Intelligence of Dogs (or in fact any book) by Stanley Coren
Synergy by Brad Pattison