Many new dog owners get overwhelmed with behavior modification. The first thing they do is pick a behavior they want to mark, then reach for a food reward or other reward. They act as if this is sufficient for most dogs. While this may work for high-drive dogs, medium and low-drive dogs may need more. Instead, use a more gradual approach to teach your dog the desired behavior. Here are some tips:
A short leash should be used to walk your dog. Pick a side and sit next to it, while at the same time rewarding it for staying calmly next to you. It is important to remember that “here” is a more appropriate command than “come.” The key to success is consistency. When you use this command, make sure that your dog is conditioned to respond to the verbal cue, as well as to a hand signal, such as a finger placed in front of your lips.
If your dog does not immediately respond to your command, try to use a reward that comes from something that he already has, such as a bone or a chew toy. Once he understands this reward, you can gradually introduce it to the desired reward. However, it is important to remember that your dog must work hard to learn a new command, and should not be rewarded just because it performed one. If you use a treat as a reward, it will encourage your dog to follow your commands, and will not be able to resist your hand.
After your dog understands the “come” command, you can move on to teaching it to come to a different room or location. A long hallway will limit your dog’s options. As your dog gains confidence, you can move to calling him from a distance of six to ten feet away. Make sure that he sees you when you call him, or he will move in that direction. Then, the next step will be easier than before, so you can start training in an environment where there is less distractions.
Practicing recall outside is an important aspect of dog training. The great outdoors is a place for many distractions, including squirrels, so make sure your dog is trained to walk on a leash in a fenced yard. This will keep him from chasing birds and squirrels. Your dog will also appreciate the reward when you call him. In addition to being a great dog owner, leash training is a wonderful way to bond with your dog and teach him basic commands.
When training your dog, you should consider what food reward works best for him. Some training tasks need the highest level of motivation while others require the lowest level. In any case, choose a treat that your dog likes and leaves him wanting more. Small treats will be best for initial training, and you should then modify the size as necessary. And remember: the more you practice, the better your dog will get at learning the basics. Once you’ve mastered basic training, you’ll have a companionable, well-behaved dog that will be a joy to own.
Reward your dog whenever he does a desirable behavior. It is important to note that a dog learns quickly if you use positive and negative markers. Physical corrections often take the drive out of a dog. Instead, positive rewards should be used to reinforce good behaviors. If your dog learns how to recognize a positive marker, he’ll be more likely to repeat it again. It will take some practice, but in the long run, your dog will appreciate the consistency of the rewards.
Another important concept in dog training is stimulus control. Consistency is important because dogs are smarter than we are. They’ll recognize what you mean after a few repetitions and understand what you mean. In addition, you’ll need to be consistent when giving commands. You’ll be amazed how fast your dog will learn the commands you use! This will help you get the best results. It’s a lot easier than you think!
Always start with Sit. Sit is the most natural concept for most dogs. Even new dogs can learn this within a few sessions. Sit is also a transitional command; once your dog can learn to sit, you can move on to the next directive. However, you must be consistent with your training sessions and make sure to give your dog plenty of time to learn each command. If you don’t have the time to do it regularly, it’s not recommended to use this method as it is difficult to correct your dog with a leash.