After discussing it with your veterinarian to ensure your dog has all the necessary vaccines, you may wish to take your dog to group training classes or the dog park. Pay close attention to your dog’s body language to be sure he’s having a good time — and is not fearful or a dog park bully. If you’re unsure of what signs to watch for, check out this video on safety at the dog park.
The term "observational learning" encompasses several closely related concepts: allelomimetic behavior or mimicking where, for example, puppies follow or copy others of their kind; social facilitation where the presence of another dog causes an increase in the intensity of a behavior; and local enhancement which includes pieces of social facilitation, mimicking, and trial-and-error learning, but is different from true observational learning in that the dog actively participates in the behavior in the presence of the other dog and/or other environmental cues. Four necessary conditions for observational learning are: attention, retention, motivation, and production. That is, the dog must pay attention to the dog or person performing the modelled behavior; retain the information gathered about the behavior during the observation; be motivated to reproduce the behavior in a time and place removed from the original; and finally, produce the behavior, or some reasonable facsimile thereof.
Sit is one of the most basic commands and it helps you to maintain control over your dog under all situations. This should be the first command that you teach. Start by telling your dog “sit.” Gently push downwards on the haunches until he is in the sitting position. When he is there, praise him and possible give him a doggie treat as a reward. It’s always a good idea to use hand gestures when teaching commands. A finger pointing downward will help him to learn the word and the gesture together. When fully trained he will respond to either. Repeat this process until your pet has learned to sit on command. Space the treats further and further apart until they are no longer needed.
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Use these training tasks as you integrate the puppy into your life. For example, ask your puppy to “sit” prior to receiving her food, “sit” before you let her in or out the door, and “sit” before you pet her. These are times when your puppy wants something and is more likely to comply. In this way, you are training your dog all the time, throughout the day and also establishing predictable rules and routines for interactions and helping the dog to learn who controls the resources. Training your puppy prior to getting each requested necessity, helps to prevent problems. Having your puppy sit before getting a food or treat prevents begging, while teaching your dog to sit before opening the door can prevent jumping up or running out the door. Be creative. The time you spend training your puppy now will pay off when you have an adult dog. To have a well-trained dog, you need to be committedto reinforcing the training tasks on nearly a daily basis for the first year of your puppy's life. The more you teach and supervise your puppy, the less opportunity it will have to engage in improper behaviors. Dogs do not train themselves, when left to choose their behavior they will act like dogs.
Remember that training begins from the day your new dog comes home. It can be tempting to coddle him for the first week or so to try to make up for the time he spent in the shelter. Don't do it! If you allow your shelter dog to engage in certain behaviors when you first bring him home, such as getting up on the sofa, eliminating on the carpet or chewing on table legs, it will be much harder to train him to stop doing those things later.
Once your dog has learned to sit on command, he is ready to learn to lie down. Begin in the sitting position. Instead of moving the treat over him, however, lower it slowly in front of him. He will respond by lowering his own body to reach the treat. As soon as he is in the down position, say the word “down” and offer him the treat. Avoid using the fuller phrase, “lie down,” as it is easier for dogs to learn single syllables.
You can also lure a down from a sit or stand by holding a treat in your hand to the dog’s nose and slowly bringing it to the floor. Give the treat when the dog’s elbows touch the floor to start. After a few practices, begin bringing your empty hand to the floor and giving the treat AFTER he lies down. When he can reliably follow your hand signal, begin saying “down” as you move your hand.
You will come out of this course knowing how to teach your dog the most commonly desired obedience actions; understand the complicated and fascinating world of dog behavior; grasp the fundamentals of dog communication; and have a strong foundation in the principles that underlie modern dog training philosophies. You’ll learn how dogs learn, act, react, and connect, opening the door to better interactions and a new world of trust between you and your dog.
Training will be held at Cayman Pet Paradise unless otherwise advised. Cayman Pet Paradise is located at 46 Ranch Road - if you are going east on Shamrock Road turn left at Hirst Road (just slightly past Countryside Shopping Centre) and then your 2nd left turn on to Ranch Road. If you are coming from the by-pass it is the 1st right turn on to Ranch Road.
Teach him to come when called. Come Jasper! Good boy! Teaching him to come is the command to be mastered first and foremost. And since he'll be coming to you, your alpha status will be reinforced. Get on his level and tell him to come using his name. When he does, make a big deal using positive reinforcement. Then try it when he's busy with something interesting. You'll really see the benefits of perfecting this command early as he gets older.
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!
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....
Non-associative learning is a change in a response to a stimulus that does not involve associating the presented stimulus with another stimulus or event such as reward or punishment. Habituation is non-associative learning. An example is where a dog that reacts excitedly to a door bell is subjected to repeated ringing without accompanying visitors, and stops reacting to the meaningless stimuli. It becomes habituated to the noise. On the other side of habituation is sensitization. Some dogs' reactions to the stimuli become stronger instead of them habituating to the repeated stimuli or event. Desensitization is the process of pairing positive experiences with an object, person, or situation that causes fear or anxiety. Consistent exposure to the feared object in conjunction with rewards allows the animal to become less stressed, thereby becoming desensitized in the process. This type of training can be effective for dogs who are fearful of fireworks.
Laying a solid training foundation will make life with your dog easier and more fun. If you’re not sure where to start, sign up for an in-person obedience class; there’s no better way to train your dog than to practice with an expert IRL. You can also follow any of the helpful links above, and check out our blog archives for additional tips and tricks.
Researchers have described several reasons why the dominance model is a poor choice for dog training. First, a relationship based on dominance is established to gain priority access to scarce resources, not to impose particular behaviors on the less dominant animal, so the dominance model is irrelevant for most of the behaviors that people want from their dogs, such as coming when called or walking calmly on a leash. Second dominance-submission relationships, once established, are constantly tested and must be regularly reinforced. Thus people, particularly children and the elderly, may not be able to retain their rank and are at risk of being injured if they attempt to do so. Third, dominant individuals gain priority access to resources, but only while they are present, establishing dominance over a dog does not guarantee its behavior when the dominant individual is distant or absent.
Animal behaviorists assert that using dominance to modify a behavior can suppress the behavior without addressing the underlying cause of the problem. It can exacerbate the problem and increase the dog's fear, anxiety, and aggression. Dogs that are subjected to repeated threats may react with aggression not because they are trying to be dominant, but because they feel threatened and afraid.
Remember that training is an ongoing process. You will never be completely finished. It is important to keep working on obedience training throughout the life of your dog. People who learn a language at a young age but stop speaking that language may forget much of it as they grow older. The same goes for your dog: use it or lose it. Running through even the most basic tricks and commands will help them stay fresh in your dog's mind. Plus, it's a great way to spend time with your dog.