Training & Nutrition
The Ten Training Commandments:
- Praise Your Dog when he performs an exercise correctly. This is what your dog is working for...your praise! Make training worthwhile to your dog. Use motivation instead of compulsion in most cases.
- Correct Your Dog Firmly when he fails to perform an exercise properly. Do this ONLY if you are sure that he understands what is expected of him.
- Think Like A Dog. Put yourself in your dog's shoes, and train him accordingly. Don't punish your dog for performing an exercise incorrectly when it is likely that he does not understand what you want.
- Have Patience. If you lose your temper, you will do more harm than good. Put your leash away until tomorrow if you feel yourself losing patience.
- Do Your Homework. Your instructors can show you HOW to train your dog, but the important part is up to you.
- Have Your Dog's Attention while working with him. Talk to him enthusiastically, pat your leg or use the leash to keep him attentive. Use tidbits of food or other training aides if necessary. Smile and make training a fun game for your dog.
- Don't Call Your Dog To You and then Punish Him! He will think that he is being punished for coming. Make the recall a pleasant experience always. If he does not come, go and get him and do not correct him. Keeping the dog on leash until the recall is very reliable is very important. You NEVER want to set your dog up for failure.
- Consistency Is The Name Of The Game. Your dog will not learn right from wrong if you allow him to do something one day and then punish him the next day for doing the same thing...jumping on the couch for example. Use the same command word every time, and make sure all members of the family do, too.
- Be Your Dog's Master. Don't ask your dog to do something...tell him. A dog will happily obey a master he respects. Moreover, dogs equate respect with love. The firmer you are with your dog the more he will love you. You need not be cruel, but develop a confident attitude towards your dog. You are "alpha".
- Practice everyday, rain or shine. Practice in different locations. Also, as your dog becomes more reliable, practice with many distractions for reliability. Many think that there dog is well trained until they go to a setting foreign to the dog or with tempting distractions. Thus, it is very important to train in many places with many sights and sounds and temptations.