To train your dog to come when called, start on leash in a quiet area. Back away from your dog while enthusiastically telling her to “come!” Only give the command once, but be enthusiastic, and keep your body language relaxed and open. You can show your dog a treat to encourage her to head your way. Once she starts towards you, say “yes!” (or click) and reward her with a treat.
Handlers should leave their dogs on a sit stay to the end of the leash. Once at the end of the leash they should turn and face the dog, on your command, they should call the dog by saying the dog’s name and “come.” They can guide the dog with the leash so that the dog will come with straight and with speed, stopping to sit directly in front of them.
Professor Donaldson defines fear or aggression versus just being upset and teaches you how to recognize these traits in dogs. She outlines the five mechanisms that drive fear and discusses a classification system that covers aggression to strangers, resource guarding, and intolerance of body handling, as well as suggestions for handling each behavior. x
In the 1950s Blanche Saunders was a staunch advocate of pet-dog training, travelling throughout the U.S. to promote obedience classes. In The Complete Book of Dog Obedience, she said, "Dogs learn by associating their act with a pleasing or displeasing result. They must be disciplined when they do wrong, but they must also be rewarded when they do right." Negative reinforcement procedures played a key part in Saunders' method, primarily the jerking of the choke chain. The mantra taught to students was "Command! Jerk! Praise!" She felt that food should not be an ongoing reward, but that it was acceptable to use "a tidbit now and then to overcome a problem." Saunders perhaps began the shift away from military and police training methods, stressing repeatedly the importance of reinforcement for good behaviour in training—a move toward the positive training methods used today.
Operant conditioning (or instrumental conditioning) is a form of learning in which an individual's behavior is modified by its consequences. Two complementary motivations drive instrumental learning: the maximization of positive outcomes and minimization of aversive ones. There are two ways in which behavior is reinforced or strengthened: positive reinforcement occurs when a behavior is strengthened by producing some desirable consequence; negative reinforcement occurs when a behavior is strengthened by avoiding some undesirable consequence. There are two ways in which behavior is decreased or weakened: negative punishment occurs when a behavior is weakened by not producing a reinforcing consequence; and positive punishment occurs when a behavior is weakened by producing a consequence that is a disincentive. In combination, these basic reinforcing and punishing contingencies provide four ways for modifying behavior. Reinforcement increases the relative probability or frequency of the behavior it follows, while punishment decreases the relative probability or frequency of the behaviour it follows.
Dogs, like their wolf ancestors, are used to working and living with a pack. Think of the pack like a small cohesive military unit. Dogs work better when they are consistently given rules and orders to abide. Training gives the dog an opportunity to learn what it should and should not do. It also helps the owner establish that his word is law, and that the dog would do well to obey its owner.
Unlike other best dog training books on this list, this manual provides more of an understanding of the why and how of dog training rather than the “how to.” While I don’t recommend this book for newcomers to learn how to train dogs per se, it's useful for any dog owner to keep these things in mind and it's definitely a must-read for anyone looking to understand more about their dog’s motivation.
No-pull harness The no-pull harness is worn on the body of the animal. The no-pull harness differs significantly from the standard harness since it makes it harder for the dog to pull because it distributes energy over the dog's back and shoulders. Like the head collar, the no-pull harness does not teach the dog not to pull, it only makes it harder for the dog to pull.
3. Learn to communicate with your dog. Although dogs don’t speak in the same way humans do, they DO communicate in a way that’s easy to understand – if you know how. Understanding your dog’s body language is absolutely essential, not only in training, but in raising a happy, healthy pup. To better understand the subtleties of your dog’s unique language, check out these fantastic illustrative books on the subject: The Dog Body Language Phrasebook and How to Speak Dog: Mastering the Art of Dog-Human Communication.
A year-long study by the University of Pennsylvania, published in the journal Applied Animal Behavior Science (Elsevier), showed that aggressive dogs who were trained with aggressive, confrontational, or aversive training techniques, such as being stared at, growled at, rolled onto their backs, or hit, continued their aggressive ways. Non-aversive training methods, such as exercise or rewards, were very successful in reducing or eliminating aggressive responses.