First, teach the release word. Choose which word you will use, such as “OK” or “free.” Stand with your puppy in a sit or a stand, toss a treat on the floor, and say your word as he steps forward to get the treat. Repeat this a couple of times until you can say the word first and then toss the treat AFTER he begins to move. This teaches the dog that the release cue means to move your feet.
Fetch is a command that is very useful for socialization, exercise and obedience. Throwing a safe object for a distance will give your dog some excellent running time to build his muscles and improve his overall health and fitness. An additional benefit of this game is that it will help you to form a special bond with your pet. Play is positive attention and it’s good for both you and your dog. Most dogs will respond quickly to this game. When he chases the item that you throw, tell him to bring it to you. When he does, give him praise and a reward. Gradually decrease the rewards as he gains more understanding of what is going on. For this game, you can use the “drop it” command, or if you prefer the word “release,” they both work out the same.
Typical positive reinforcement events will satisfy some physiological or psychological need, so it can be food, a game, or a demonstration of affection. Different dogs will find different things reinforcing. Negative reinforcement occurs when a dog discovers that a particular response ends the presentation of an aversive stimulus. An aversive is anything that the dog does not like, such as verbal admonishment, or a tightened choke chain.
Get the dog into a sitting position and then draw the treat forward and down, so that as the dog follows the treat with its nose it naturally moves into a lying down position. Follow the same strategy as above by saying “Lie down!” as the dog starts getting into the correct position, giving the treat within five seconds, and praising the dog in a happy voice. If the dog doesn’t understand at first and walks forward towards the treat, cheerfully say “Nope!” and turn your back for a few seconds. Then try again. Keep repeating until the dog is lying down on command like a champ. Repetition is the key.
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A Hungarian dog training group called Népszigeti Kutyaiskola use a variation of model-rival training which they describe as the Mirror Method. The mirror method philosophy is that dogs instinctively learn by following the example of others in their social sphere. Core to the program is including the dog in all aspects of the owner's life and positive reinforcement of copying behaviors. Mirror method dog training relies on using a dog's natural instincts and inclinations rather than working against them.
Professor Donaldson reveals the fascinating evolution of dogs that provides insight into why dogs do many of the things they do. This foundation gives you the background to help train, or un-train, certain actions. You'll uncover fight/flight instincts, canine social structure, courtship and reproductive behaviors, and the characteristics and styles of dog play. x
Learned helplessness occurs when a dog ceases to respond in a situation where it has no option to avoid a negative event. For learned helplessness to occur, the event must be both traumatic and outside the dog's control. Family dogs that are exposed to unpredictable or uncontrolled punishment are at risk of developing disturbances associated with the learned helplessness disorder. Punishment which is poorly coordinated with identifiable avoidance cues or response options, such as when punishment takes place long after the event, meet the criteria of inescapable trauma.
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!
In addition, over the past year, we have had great success integrating remote collars into our training program. These collars use very low-level electrical impulses (usually lower than a human can feel in their own hand,) in conjunction with commands to reinforce understanding and bring your dog to on and off-leash reliability, while adjusting unwanted behavior in less time and with much less stress than ever before.
Treat your shelter dog the same way you would a new puppy coming into your house. Assume he has never had any training. Even if he has had obedience training in the past, he may need a refresher after all he's been through. Your best bet is to expect that he knows nothing. This way you'll be pleasantly surprised if the dog already knows some basic commands or is already housebroken, but you won't be setting him up for failure with expectations that are too high. Be sure to train your new dog using positive reinforcement. Keep training sessions upbeat and low-stress.
Every dog needs to learn to walk on a leash. Besides the fact that most areas have leash laws, there will be times when keeping your dog on a leash is for his own safety. Learn how to introduce your dog or puppy to the leash, then teach him how to walk properly on the leash. A loose leash walk teaches your dog not to pull or lunge when on the leash, making the experience more enjoyable for both you and your dog.