General Training Tips
Here are a few tips for you before you get started:
- Young or old, big or small, all dogs need to be trained.
- Training sessions should only be 5 to 10 minutes as many dogs have short attention spans. They should be repeated regularly and peformed in an area free from distractions.
- Modern do training uses the positive reward system a technique favoured by most animal trainers.
- Food is used as motivation and reward. This food should be in small pieces, be highly palatable and a special treat the dog really enjoys and only receives at training sessions.
- For training techniques to be successful the rewards must be given immediately after the dog has obeyed or responded, and should be backed up by words or praise such as "Good Dog" and on occassion a pat as well.
- Don't forget to include the food value of the training treats as part of the dogs normal food intake as you may end up dealing with a weight problem in your dog.
- Train in an area freee from distractions. Your dog needs to focus on you only.
- Training should be enjoyable for all so praise and reward desired behaviour, ignore negative behaviour. Punishing your dog will probably teach him to be afraid of you.
- Patience is essential in training. If you;re feeling angry, unwell or frustrated, don't train. Dogs are sensative to emotions and will pick up on your emotions and may misunderstand you instruction.
- Just the same as when we talk to each, look at your dog when giving a command.
- Always use a happy friendly voice, Never yell.
- Use simple clear, concise commands and don't change them. If you mean "drop", don't change it to "down" otherwise you will confuse your dog.
- Don't move onto new training until you are confident your dog has mastered what you have been teaching him.
- Right around Australia there are puppy pre-schools and dog obedience clubs. Please visit one in your area as they are there to help. We recommend Scally Wags obedience training.
- Begin with your dog facing you. Hold a food trat in you hand at the dog's nose.
- Move your hand (with the treat in it), palm facing up, upwards to you waist level. As you dog lifts it's head to follow the food, it will sit down.
- As soon as the dog has his bottom on the floor, say "sit" and give it the treat as a reward.
- Don't say the work until the dog actually does it, we are labelling this activity with a word and later we can use this word as an instruction once the dog understands it's meaning.
- Soon, you won't need to have a treat in you hand to lure the dog, just five the hand signal and ask you dog to "sit" at the same time, then you can get a reward out of your pocket and give it to the dog when he complies.
- Start with your dog in the sit position.
- Hold a treat in your hand, place the teat on you plam and hold it in position with you thumb. Turn your hand over, palm-side facing down.
- Place this hand at you dog's nose with the thumb-side closest to their nose. Move your hand (slowly at first) towards the ground, keeping your plam facing downwards. This is usually easier if you stand at right angles to you dog, rather than directly in front of him.
As your dog follows the treat downwards, his tummy will end up touching the floor. When this happens, say "lie down" and give your dog the treat from you hand. Remember, at this stage we only say the word when the dog actually lies down, not while we are trying to get him to do it.
Walking nicely on the lead
- Get some really tasty treats and spend a few moments before heading off getting your dog's attention and rewarding him with some of the yummy treats and praising him. Put a supply of them in your pocket.
- Attach your dog's lead and head off, if he pulls simply hold the leash in both hands close to your body and STAND STILL. Don't move, Don't say anything to him. Become a post. Eventually and be patient he'll figure our that something isn't quite right here and he will look at you. PRAISE HIM FOR DOING THIS and give him one of those delicious treats to reward him for paying attention to you.
- Walk calmly and any time that lead gets tight - STOP Stand there until your dog makes the lead go slack. As soon as there is even the tiniest bit of looseness in the lead, praise him and move forward. Sometimes the dog will come back to you when he feels you stop at the end of a tight lead - if he does this five him a treat and tell him how wonderful he is for acknowledging you.
- Continue in this manner - stopping every time the lead foes tight, and only moving on when it is loose. THIS CAN BE QUITE TEDIOUS, ESPECIALLY FOR THE FIRST FEW WALKS as you don't feel like you are getting very far. But, it is vital that you are consistent and that your dog learns that he never gets anywhere on a tight lead.
- In the dog's eye's, YOU ARE STILL THE GOOD GUY. You haven't been yanking him around or yelling at him. Since you are doing nothing at all, he will come to realise that it is HIS behaviour that's causing the interruption to his walk. He must come to understand that if his behaviour does not change then he will no get to where he wants to go.
- ONLY WHEN THE LEAD IS LOOSE should you continue walking.
- Use your treats to help your dog practise focusing his attention on you during the walk. As he begins to be more mindful of you, he can be allowed to walk on a longer leash, BUT any time he start to pull, STOP.