10 Patience – You must be patient Grasshopper. Yes Master. Don’t expect your dog to “get it” right away it takes time. Even when they start understanding the command don’t be surprised if they revert back.
9 Luring – Using food to teach the dog to go to a specific position or perform a certain movement. It’s like a carrot in front of the horse. Train when your dog is hungry. I use food with all my young dogs and I use luring to teach sit, down, come, and tricks!
8 Praise – When your dog is doing it right let them know. Stroke their head, verbally praise and give them a treat. Praise is a reward which can include touch, talk, food or toy. You don’t work for free don’t expect your dog to. Once your dog is doing great put him or her on a variable reward schedule.
7 Word Association – When luring and your dog’s butt hits the floor say “sit”. My dogs bark at the people who come by the house and delivery people. I added a word “watch em”. Now when I say “watch em” they immediately start barking and looking around for someone to bark at. I have a customer who says “squirrel” and the dog starts barking.
6 Practice – I am sure you have heard “practice makes perfect”. The more you train with your dog the better they will be. I recently had a farmer sign up for a couple of lessons. He had a week between lessons and came in saying, the weather has been bad and I have not worked with my dog. Its difficult to build on what we did the prior week if the dog is in the same place he was the week before. I advised we would be wasting a lesson. I sent him home and said once you practice with your dog call me and I will work with you some more.
5 Long Line – Everyone needs a long line when training the dog outdoors. Long lines prevent your dog from running from you and teach to come when they are called. You can teach boundaries using a long line. You want your dog to stay out of the woods use a long line and when they approach the woods give a snap of the line. It doesn’t have to be abusive just a snap and when they look at you walk away from the woods. If your dog wants to run from you, step on that long line to stop them from running. Say “let’s go” and walk away from the dog. Make sure you had the line in your hand so they learn to follow. The dog follows you not vice versa.
4 Everything is Black and White – Dog’s don’t do grey areas. Dogs love rules and want to know what the rules are. You cannot let them get on the furniture and expect them to stay off the furniture when company is over. If you want your dog to walk with a loose leash next to you don’t take him/her out to go potty on a retractable leash. Retractable leashes teach your dog to pull. You can’t have it both ways. If you don’t want your dog to beg don’t toss him treats when having dinner.
3 Don’t Give a Command You Are Not Willing to Back Up – If you tell your dog to sit, they have to sit. Push his/her but down if you have to. There are no other options but to sit. If you tell your dog to come and they ignore you sniffing odor you better be ready to trounce out in the rain and grab your dog by the collar and make them come. The dog doesn’t get to make the decisions you do. That’s if you want a reliable recall.
2 Interrupt Unwanted Behavior – If your dog is jumping, barking, digging, eating poo, chasing and nipping kids, they will continue with those behaviors until you make it uncomfortable so they stop. Dogs do these behaviors because they are bored, lack exercise or seeking attention. If your dog lacks exercise, exercise can solve your problem. Sometimes a squirt bottle or shaker bottle can interrupt unwanted behavior. If your dog is chasing the kids, he should be on a long line so you can step on it and stop him from chasing. Figure out what works with your dog. If you are struggling seek the assistance of a professional
1 Consistency is very important when it comes to dog training. Remember dog’s don’t do grey areas. They don’t like inconsistency either because they won’t know what you expect from them. If you sit your dog at a door and follow you through the door, this needs to happen with all doors. If come means come and sit in front of you, it has to be that way all of the time. Heel means walk next to me on a loose leash all the time. When you are teaching a behavior you need to consistently reward that behavior so the dog will want to repeat it. Behavior/Reward, behavior reward. If you are not consistent the dog will not repeat the behavior.