“Down” can be taught very similarly to “sit.” You can wait for your dog to lie down (beginning in a boring, small room such as a bathroom can help) and capture the behavior by reinforcing your dog with a treat when he lies down, giving him his release cue to stand back up (and encouragement with a lure if needed) and then waiting for him to lie down again. When he is quickly lying down after standing up, you can begin saying “down” right before he does so.
Observational learning is the learning that occurs through observing the behavior of others. This form of learning does not need reinforcement to occur; instead, a model animal is required. While the model may not be intentionally trying to instill any particular behavior, many behaviors that are observed are remembered and imitated. The domestic dog is a social species and its social dependency makes it aware of the behavior of others, which contributes to its own behavior and learning abilities. There is, however, ongoing discussion about how much, and how, dogs can learn by interacting with each other and with people.
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Socialization should begin as soon as you get your puppy and often this means at 7 weeks of age. Puppies naturally accept new people, other species and introduction to new situations during the socialization period which occurs between 7 and 14 to 16 weeks of age. This period provides an opportunity for a myriad of introductions that will provide positive memories that last a life time. Puppies are eager, exploratory and uninhibited during this period and it is important to take advantage of this enthusiasm. Be sure to protect your puppy during this period and ensure that all experiences are positive, fun and not fear evoking.
Every dog whether puppy or adult needs to be socialized. It helps them to be more accepting of new animals, people and places. The way that it is done is by gradually exposing the dog to new people, animals and experiences. You need to be near your pet when you do this, so you can stay in control. Your dog may have fears or phobias and it’s your job to put him at ease with these new encounters. Use a reassuring tone until your dog feels comfortable and talk to him. Let him know it’s alright. Exposure is the only way to socialize your dog. Use positive reinforcement to reward appropriate behaviors and firmness for negative behaviors including aggressive behaviors. Your dog will be more well adjusted if he is properly socialized. Some things that you can do to speed the process are to take your dog on regular walks where there are other animals and people, take hi to a dog par, enroll the dog in a doggie day care a few times a month or invite friends to come over and bring their dogs for a visit.
Summary: Bring your puppy to the party! This is the time to introduce your puppy off-leash to new people and puppies of all breeds and personalities. A professional dog trainer and experienced assistants will be on hand to monitor and modify play skills. Toys, treats, and some low-impact agility equipment may be introduced to add to the educational fun. Puppy Socials will be a great opportunity to ask questions regarding training and behavior. All puppies under 18 weeks old with proof of 2 rounds of DHPP vaccinations will be allowed to participate (please bring proof with you to each social). Registration required. View class dates and register below.
This command teaches your dog to come when you call him. It’s a good idea to start with this command whenever you take your dog out for toilet training. When he’s finished with his business, tell him “come.” If he doesn’t respond, get his attention. Some dogs are more headstrong than others so you will need patience and consistency. Make eye contact with your dog and keep your body at a level that is higher than his head. This lets him know that you are dominant. If he doesn’t come, go to where he is and continue to say “come” while leading him to where you want him to go. Repeat the process until he responds every time you call. A good trick to use is to initially offer a reward when you say “come” and gradually discontinue the reward offers, because he needs to obey you without getting a treat every time. Don’t tolerate disobedience. When he refuses to comply, let him know that there are consequences. This doesn’t include any act of violence, but rather, guidance, patience and firmness. He will know that he’s displeased you when you calmly scold him with a firm voice. By nature, most dogs want to please their owners, so this is an advantage in training for basic and even more advanced commands.
Likewise, if you have a special place you’d like the dog to stay when she needs to be out of the way of household activities, take her there. This is where you can finally let her off-leash. That place can be where her bed is, or a spot in the corner of the living room where you want her to lie, or her crate. By letting her off the leash here, you are telling her, “This is yours.” Don’t be surprised if she immediately decides to settle down and ignore the family for a while. This doesn’t mean she hates her new home. It means that she has found her place in it.
Ask your dog to sit. Then say “Stay” and start backing away slowly. As you take a step back and the dog stays in a sitting position, toss it a treat. Set your standards low at first: toss the treat after one step back for several repetitions, then after two steps back, and so forth. It will probably take many, many practice sessions, but soon you will be able to walk into another room and the dog will still be sitting patiently.
While this may seem to be an opposite of positive reinforcement, it is an important word that every dog and human needs to understand. Sometimes the answer is no, and it is for their own good. When your dog misbehaves, use the word “no.” Use a disapproving tone of voice and be quite firm so they understand that their behavior is not acceptable and that you will not tolerate it. Yes, dogs can be put in a time out, just like toddlers. In fact, they are very much like children when it comes to learning. They have a desire and need to learn and grow in their personalities and it’s up to the owner to guide them in the process.
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.
The 21st century has seen the proliferation of television programs and accompanying books that feature dog training and rehabilitation, including Joel Silverman's Good Dog U, Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan, It's Me or the Dog featuring Victoria Stillwell, The Underdog Show, Dogs in the City, and SuperFetch. The Association of Pet Dog Trainers advises that television programs are produced primarily for entertainment, and while all programs will have good and not-so-good points, the viewer should critically evaluate the information before deciding which training tips to adopt.
Dogs have become closely associated with humans through domestication and have also become sensitive to human communicative signals. Generally, they have a lot of exposure to human speech, especially during play, and are believed to have a good ability to recognize human speech. Two studies investigated the ability of a single dog that was believed to be exceptional in its understanding of language. Both studies revealed the potential for at least some dogs to develop an understanding of a large number of simple commands on the basis of just the sounds emitted by their owners. However the studies suggested that visual cues from the owner may be important for the understanding of more complex spoken commands.
Rather than punishing a dog for breaking the rules (which it may not even be aware of or understand), reward it for doing what you want it to do. All animals, including humans, learn faster and respond better with this method. So if your dog goes potty in the house, don’t rub its nose in it or swat it with a rolled up newspaper. The dog will have no idea what message you are trying to convey. Rather, reward the dog with over-the-top treats and praise when it goes to do its business outside in an appropriate place. The dog will associate going to the bathroom outside with a positive outcome, and will be eager to replicate those results the next time. If the dog still goes inside occasionally, just ignore it- eventually the behavior will be completely eradicated.
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.