I am so grateful to Richard for his expertise with teaching me how to gain respect from my dog, showing him I am the leader and by doing so we are loving each other a little more everyday. My GSD is a rescue and he is approximately 2 years old. This is not my first GSD but my past fur babies have been mine since puppy so this has been a challenge....
When you pick up your dog, remember to ask what and when he was fed. Replicate that schedule for at least the first few days to avoid gastric distress. If you wish to switch to a different brand, do so over a period of about a week by adding one part new food to three parts of the old for several days; then switch to half new food, half old, and then one part old to three parts new. For more information about your dog’s diet, check out our section on Dog Nutrition.
2. Be patient. Whether you’re just getting started or working on complex behaviors, your dog is going to make mistakes. Whoever said “patience is a virtue” very well could have been talking about dog training! If, during training, you find yourself (or your dog) becoming frustrated, take a break. Training is a marathon, not a sprint – no need to rush through it!
Taking part in a training class is also a smart way to socialize your dog. Meeting other dogs is as fun for your pet as spending time with other owners is for you. It also gives your dog the opportunity to learn how to interact with other animals in a positive way. Moreover, a weekly class is a smart way to establish a training schedule. If you know you will attend a class each Wednesday evening, for instance, you may be more likely to make time for those daily practice sessions that the trainer assigns as homework.
Reinforcement can be anything your dog likes. Most people use small pieces of a “high value” food for training treats — something special — such as dried liver or even just their kibble. Lavish praise or the chance to play with a favorite toy can also be used as a reward. Dogs must be taught to like praise. If you give the dog a treat while saying “Good dog!” in a happy voice, he will learn that praise is a good thing and can be a reward. Some dogs also enjoy petting. Food is often the most convenient way to reinforce behavior.
If he came from another home, objects like leashes, hands, rolled up newspapers and magazines, feet, chairs and sticks are just some of the pieces of “training equipment” that may have been used on this dog. Words like “come here” and “lie down” may bring forth a reaction other than the one you expect.Or maybe he led a sheltered life and was never socialized to children or sidewalk activity. This dog may be the product of a never-ending series of scrambled communications and unreal expectations that will require patience on your part.
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“Look at the relationship you have with your dog, because that’s what it’s all about,” he said. Paramount, then, to correcting a behavioral issue is figuring out how a given issue relates to the relationship between dog and guardian. A good trainer, advises Mr. Bekoff, will say to you: “Tell me about you and your relationship with your dog: Do you work at home? Are you home a lot? How many people are in your house?”
The foundation of training should be based on positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcement is the process of giving a dog (or person!) a reward to encourage the behavior you want, like getting a pay check for going to work. The idea is not to bribe the behavior but to train it using something your dog values. Avoid using punishment such as leash corrections or yelling. Punishment can cause a dog to become confused and unsure about what is being asked of him. It is important to remember that we can’t expect dogs to know what they don’t know – just like you wouldn’t expect a 2-year-old child to know how to tie his shoes. Patience will go a long way in helping your new puppy learn how to behave.
Modifying these can be difficult and it’s even more frustrating to teach your dog to overcome these instincts altogether, but you can also learn how to use them as a baseline for your training regimen. Professor Donaldson layers in modern psychological practices such as B.F. Skinner’s operant conditioning and Pavlov’s emotional manipulation to build conditioned responses in order to create a positive environment of action and reward, motivating your dog to overcome his instincts and to adopt the behaviors you want to instill.
In order to have a well-balanced dog, we have to teach her the house rules, and set boundaries and limitations from the get-go. The message you send your dog the moment she enters your home for the first time is critical, because it immediately establishes the ground rules in your dog’s mind. If you just let her run in the door, the message is, “Here! Everything is yours, and you can do whatever you want.”
Individualised training is used with dogs that have an urgent or unique training problem such as fear, hyperactivity, aggression (and other related problems), separation anxiety, biting, excessive barking, insecurity, destructive behaviors, walking difficulties, and inappropriate elimination. This type of training would normally be undertaken where the problem naturally occurs rather than a class situation. Class training can be effective in encouraging socialization and play with a peer group. Classes are often offered at a more affordable rate and can cover both problem behaviors and teach new skills. Classes can range from puppy and beginner training to more advanced training and skill training such as performing tricks or therapy work.
When it comes to training, you must define what is keeping your dog from picking up what you are teaching; defining if your dog has what problems or why problems can alleviate frustration. Professor Donaldson explains how to motivate a dog and adjust your rate of reinforcement for these and a number of other common obstacles that may stand in his way. She also provides tips for transitioning out of training mode and into integrating what your dog has learned into common behaviors. x
Examine the difference between tricks and obedience. Explore why teaching tricks can be beneficial to your dog as you work through three types of trick training: non-transitive or simple actions, transitive, and behavior chains. By using the foundation of obedience training you've already established, you can teach old (and young) dogs new tricks. x
Classical conditioning (or Pavlovian conditioning) is a form of learning in which one stimulus, the conditioned stimulus, comes to signal the occurrence of a second stimulus, the unconditioned stimulus. Classical conditioning is when a dog learns to associate things in its environment, or discovers some things just go together. A dog may become afraid of rain through an association with thunder and lightning, or it may respond to the owner putting on a particular pair of shoes by fetching its leash. Classical conditioning is used in dog training to help a dog make specific associations with a particular stimulus, particularly in overcoming fear of people and situations.
Summary: This training workshop is open to new adopters, seasoned pet owners, and anyone looking to learn a little more about how to effectively communicate with their dog. This workshop covers the basics of how dogs learn and how you can make the most of their training. As an added benefit, anyone who attends this workshop will receive a discount code for 10% off a Manners training class.
Whitley's passion for being with, and training dogs began at the young age of three when she trailed after, and later assisted her grandfather with his hunting kennel. She served as a paramedic in and around Bexar County for over 8 years, where her commitment to patients ensured that she delivered the highest level of care. Whitley purchased her first German Shepherd many years ago and rediscovered her passion for owning, and helping others to own a well trained pet. She has worked with many breeds over the years, but continues to have a special bond with the working breed. Whitley has worked with Dog Training Elite (DTE) for over two years and has apprenticed with Seth Payeur during that time to ensure that she brings DTE's exceptional, personalized training to Texas!
Professor Donaldson is positive and encouraging, reassuring you the whole time that training may not go perfectly. Some lectures may need to be reviewed and repeated as you learn how best your dog will learn. As a bonus, she also helped create the guidebook for this course, which will give you detailed training plans for all the behaviors once you’ve gone through the course.
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Once you and your dog have basic commands in place (meaning your dog will successfully come, sit, stay and obey other basic commands), they are invited to join us for additional training that is highly valuable in further building upon already learned techniques. Our dog training classes in New Braunfels are designed to place yourself and your dog in public places (surrounded by other dogs, people, smells and sounds), so that you can train your dog to obey you... regardless of the many distractions screaming for their attention!
A dog learns from interactions it has with its environment. This can be through classical conditioning, where it forms an association between two stimuli; non-associative learning, where its behavior is modified through habituation or sensitisation; and operant conditioning, where it forms an association between an antecedent and its consequence.
Don’t overwhelm your dog by expecting too much at first. Start slow by working on basic commands, such as “sit,” and keep training sessions short. You can gradually train your dog for longer periods of time and move on to more complex commands, such as “leave it,” once basic training is successful. As your dog learns these basic commands, it becomes easier to start training your dog on the more difficult ones.