Training your dog is a process. No matter how you approach your training, it will likely take longer than you expect and will expose frustrations you’ve never even thought about.
Utilize these dog training tips (I call them postulates) to get better, faster, more reliable results when training your dog.
POSTULATE #1) Structure is rules. By creating and abiding by these rules you will be doing the same things and always expecting the same results.
POSTULATE #2) Consistency is the key to training your dog. You must know how you want your dog to behave then act consistently in any given situation.
POSTULATE #3) Control is about confidence. When you are confident about what you are communicating you never have to worry about being consistent.
POSTULATE #4) Dominance is about trust. If your dog trusts you will be consistent in any given situation she is less likely to test the boundaries. When you create trust, you create great communication and an incredible bond between you and your dog.
POSTULATE #5) Praise is the only way you are truly teaching your dog. It is the only way you are going to get her to do what you want in a way she is willing to do that thing.
POSTULATE #6) Motivation is anything, positive, you use to create that your dog pays attention to you then makes a choice. Anything that is overused as a motivation creates an expectation from your dog.
POSTULATE #7) Correction is anything, negative, you use to make your dog stop doing what she is doing and pay attention to you. Anything that is overused as a correction creates fear in your dog.
POSTULATE #8) Understanding what you want is most important. When you put it into terms of what you don’t want then that behavior is the only thing that gets attention. Attention for a behavior reinforces that behavior whether it is good or bad attention.
POSTULATE #9) Anything you do once or twice does not create a behavior or correct a behavior. The quicker you catch yourself and then correct yourself, the quicker you and your dog will learn.
POSTULATE #10) It is in your dog’s nature to test the boundaries. The more structure you create and the more consistent you are the less she will test the boundaries you have established.
POSTULATE #11) When you have hit the life-time ratio of praising your 10 time more than you have ever corrected, your dog will always choose to do the behavior you want, even if you are not there.
POSTULATE #12) A dog truly does not know a command until she has done that command 1,000 times on her own with no prompting (motivation or correction) from the owner.
POSTULATE #13) The key to understanding most commands is to have your dog hold that command for longer periods with bigger distractions.
POSTULATE #14) If there is a behavior you are okay with, you just want your dog to stop doing that behavior when told, correct her with a word or phrase then immediately praise her for doing what you asked. This shows her it was okay to do that thing just stop when told.
POSTULATE #15) To correct your dog well after she has done a behavior you don’t want, or away from the location of the infraction does not make sense to her. It has nothing to do with the behavior and your dog only thinks what she is doing at the time is what she is getting corrected for. You have about 5-second reaction time once you see a behavior you want to correct. Any amount of time after that is too late.
POSTULATE #16) Looking your dog in her eyes is one of two things; Praise or a Challenge. As an owner you are never challenging your dog, ever. So, to look your dog in her eyes at the moment she is doing anything is praising her for that thing.
POSTULATE #17) The SIT command is just getting the dog to sit. It is not about focus, nor is it about correction, though the SIT command is used more often for these two reasons than any other command.
POSTULATE #18) The HEEL command is about focus for your dog. This is the command we use to warm up, to get ready, and to start the workout. Heel is rarely used in everyday situations.
POSTULATE #19) The COME command is about focus for you. Teaching the COME command has nothing to do with your dog. It has to do with your understanding of what it means to be consistent.
POSTULATE #20) The PLACE command is the confidence builder for your dog. For your dog to hold a command while you do other things helps her to understand that doing for you is what you want even when you are not giving her attention.
POSTULATE #21) All dogs must go through resistance while learning the DOWN command. This command must be done willingly by your dog in order for her to accept her place under you in the hierarchy. The DOWN command is the most submissive command you can ask of your dog. For her to lie down for you, willingly, is the breakthrough most people need to be able to work on any behaviors they may be having an issue with. If the DOWN command is not done willingly, you will not be able to get the long lasting results you desire on many behaviors.
POSTULATE #22) When leash training, leaving the leash on your dog creates a sense of control. Whether you are touching the leash or not is insignificant.
POSTULATE #23) If a distraction is used that could also be a positive motivator for your dog (such as a treat or toy) you must give that item to your dog after the workout is over. This is so your dog will not fear that item. She is to learn to complete the command without the fear of some item.
POSTULATE #24) Never make your dog do a command while working on a behavior. The goal is to make your dog do the correct behavior and by putting your dog into a command you are only making her work on doing that command in bigger distractions.
POSTULATE #25) Body Language is the number one way a dog learns from you. Your body language can change the mood, direction, or choice from your dog without you even knowing it. It is also why we use hand signals. Dogs pick up on body language before they pick up on any other type of communication you use. It usually takes a dog about six months to really understand your body language.
POSTULATE #26) Your voice tone is another way a dog learns from you. A dog can pick up on the most subtle changes in your voice that will let her know if you are serious.
POSTULATE #27) Your energy is what you exert when working, playing, or just hanging out with your dog. This energy is reflected by your dog. Think of your leash as a conductor of whatever you are feeling at the time.
POSTULATE #28) When you have a great attitude, no matter what the situation, you will always see better results, because you are looking for, and expecting, better results.
POSTULATE #29) Dogs have personalities. Because of this fact, you will find that different dogs will react very different in many of the same situations (even if they are the same breed).
POSTULATE #30) Humans have personalities. Because of this fact, you will find that different owners (such as a spouse or a child) will get a very different reaction from your dog in many of the same situations.
POSTULATE #31) Dog is Dog’s best friend. Dogs understand each other much better than they understand humans.
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