It doesn’t take much to make a big difference in your dogs behavior, but most people don’t know where or how to begin. Even worse, most people change their lifestyle to accommodate their dog’s unwanted behaviors.
Animals are there to support us in this lifetime and it has been proven scientifically that animals and especially our furry friends have numerous health benefits. Let’s treat them well and learn to co-exist.
No matter what you’re trying to teach your dog, from house training to “heel,” there are a few basic guidelines that will make the process go easier.
- Always be fair and kind but firm and confident in the handling of your dogs.
- Know your home training schedule and carry it out in short, intensive, effective periods.
- Do not train your dog when he has eaten, is physically tired, sick or injured.
- Do not train if you are up-tight, bad tempered or tired. Remember training should be relaxed but with maximum concentration on your part.
- Always train your dog with a slack lead to emphasize his need for attentiveness.
- Anticipate or “read” your dog’s attitude. Learn to understand when he is genuinely confused or just acting up.
- Let your dog discover the error of not being watchful and attentive to you by taking the proper corrective action.
- Be consistent in handling your dog by making sure he understands the reason for your praise or correction.
- One “firm” well executed correction is worth a hundred “nagging” ineffectual corrections.
- The greater the distractions offered to your dog the harder he will concentrate on you.
- One command only for an exercise and if no response take corrective action immediately.
- Remember to praise your dog sincerely for correctly executed exercises.
- Remember your dog senses insincerity with you.
- Learn to balance praise and correction when handling your dog, to obtain a well-balanced, mature relationship with you.
A handler’s left hand side should be considered as a pleasant and safe haven for the dog.
- Always end a training session on a high note by doing an exercise your dog performs well and praise lavishly.
- Never punish your dog when he comes to you, even if he has done something unforgivable. Rather snap on his lead and give him a session of training at the double, or apply the proper correction for the indiscretion.
- Training techniques seldom fail. Only the handler fails in his/her application of these principles through laziness, apathy or lack of imagination.
An amazing side benefit of dog training is that the more you teach your dogs the quicker they learn because your teaching skills improve as does your dog’s ability to understand the training game and learn most efficiently.
Milnerton based Cape Handlers Dog Club (CHDC), was formed in 1987 and is a KUSA affiliated dog club specialising in obedience training for all breeds of dog.