Dog Obedience Training
Obedience training is quite simply training your dog to be obedient. It includes training them the basic commands including: sit, stay, heel, come and so on. There are two basic approaches to obedience training. One school of though employs negative reinforcement techniques like choke collars and electric shocks while the other utilizes a simple clicker and rewards. Which do you think works best? Clicker training and rewards, here’s why…
Negative reinforcement breeds fear. It makes your dog afraid of you and of others. Fear causes aggression and unpredictable behavior. The results are a dog which bites, destroys your property and barks incessantly.
While negative reinforcement behaviors may work in the short run, they are not predictable. For the best dog training results you want to make sure that the behaviors are predictable and repeatable.
Dog training with positive reinforcement creates bond that will last a lifetime and using a clicker is the most effective and efficient tool to accomplish the task.
Dog Obedience Training using a clicker is a training method which uses a tool, a clicker. The clicker tells your dog the instant it has performed a correct or desirable behavior. The sound is their signal that they’ve done it right.
This clicking sound combined with positive reinforcement like verbal praise and food rewards is an incredibly effective way to train your dog to perform any behavior including sit, stay, heel, fetch, speak, attack, roll over, play dead, lay down and just about any behavior or trick you can think of. Before you get started with clicker training there are some tips to make the most of your clicker training sessions.
Making training sessions a part of your every day life helps your dog know what to expect. They’ll actually anticipate this time with you. If you schedule training sessions before meal time they’ll be extra motivated to learn the obedience behavior you’re trying to train.
Keep Obedience Training Sessions Short
Dogs only have unlimited attention spans when it involves a ball or chasing a cat. Actually, they lose focus for those fun activities too. Keep training sessions to around five minutes and your dog will be attentive and engaged. Drag the session on too long and your dog may lose interest in training all together.
Don’t Punish Your Dog for Bad Behavior
This may seem contrary to how training should be handled however punishment like yelling, hitting or time outs in their crate actually can cause more harm than good.
It causes your dog to be fearful, stressed, and destructive. Instead, fix bad behaviors by rewarding good behavior. It may take them a little longer to catch on but the rewards are worth it and the training will last. You won’t have to retrain and retrain and retrain.
Practice Using the Clicker Before You Begin Training Your Dog
A clicker is a simple tool, you pinch it and it makes a clicking sound. However it isn’t as simple to use. Because the sound is the cue to proper obedience behavior it must be accurate.
If you click after your dog has performed the correct behavior they may not make the association. Rather click when your dog is performing the correct behavior. To be an accurate clicker, practice.
Plan Your Obedience Training
Before you begin to train a behavior consider exactly what you want your dog to do. For example if you’re training your dog to sit consider the following questions:
- What will you do to cue the command? Will you give your dog a verbal cue, a physical cue or both?
- How long should they sit for?
- Do you want the dog to sit in front of you or just to sit where he stands no matter where you are?
This is important because you will click and reward for progress toward the ultimate behavior. For example, if you want your dog to sit on command until you release him there are two commands you will teach however your first step is to simply get them to understand the concept of sitting. Every time they sit you will click and reward. Eventually, through progression, you will add a cue, a release command and so on until you have achieved the desired result.
Dog Obedience training is important for many reasons. It keeps your dog safe. It ensures your dog will not adopt unwanted behaviors like tugging on the leash, jumping on people and begging during dinner, not to mention destructive tendencies. It gives your dog structure and expectations which make them feel secure.
It also provides you and your dog quality time and a positive owner and dog relationship. Whether your dog is young or old, large or small, calm or hyper, obedience training is a positive step toward lifelong dog and owner happiness.