At first you are going to let the puppy see the food in your hand so that you will have her attention and can use it to guide her into position. As your puppy begins to comply more readily, you can start to hide the food in your hand, but give the command and repeat the motion or signal that she has learned to follow. Soon the puppy will come to expect the treat each time she performs the task. Then, signal and give the command, but when she performs the task, reward only with praise and give the puppy an affectionate pat. Next, you can begin to vary the frequency, giving praise with “good dog” and perhaps patting each time, but giving the food randomly, perhaps every 3 or 4 times. In time, the puppy should respond to either the hand signal or the command.
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.
Dr. Laura Sharkey, KPA CTP, has owned and led WOOFS! since 2002. An accomplished, certified professional dog trainer, Laura regularly presents to her peers at professional training conferences across the country. Her strong science background—including a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from Georgetown—informs her choice of the modern, humane, rewards-based training methods used at WOOFS!
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.
Strictly following the model set out in the Koehler Method of Dog Training, some 50 years later, the Koehler method continues to be taught in both class and private training formats. The method is based in the philosophy that a dog acts on its right to choose its actions. Koehler explained that a dog's learned behavior is an act of choice based on its own learning experience. When those choices are influenced by the expectation of reward, the behavior will most likely be repeated, and when those choices are influenced by the anticipation of punishment, they will most likely cease. Once the dog has learned that its choices result in comfort or discomfort it can be taught to make the correct decisions. Action→Memory→Desire encapsulates the learning pattern used by the method; the dog acts, remembers the consequences, and forms the desire to repeat or avoid those consequences. Adherents believe that once the behavior has been correctly taught, it should be performed, thus making any correction, fair, reasonable, and expected. While the model has been used consistently since 1962, some of the punishment procedures described in the book are now not considered necessary, humane, or appropriate by many trainers.
“Leave it” is one of the basic dog commands that can transform your pet into a reliable pet that has a tremendous amount of will power. It will give you more control over preventing your pet from picking something up with his mouth that he is considering. Start training by placing something that your dog wants to have within reach and telling him “leave it.” He may grab it anyway for the first few times, but be patient and continue to work with him. As he approaches the item, keep saying “leave it.” If he gets too close, pull him back repeating the phrase. Don’t let him have it, but when he obeys, give him a reward in the form of a treat and praise. Repeat the process until he fully understands and becomes compliant.
Have the handlers down their dogs; then leave their dogs by saying “stay,” moving their hand in front of the dogs face and then walking away with the leg furthest from the dog to the end of the leash. They will then turn and face the dog. Try to keep the handlers from putting any tension on the leash as this may cause the dog to get up. If the dog does move, the handler should move quickly to tell the dog “no,” put them back into place and leave them again.
Treats should be soft and bite-sized so your pooch will immediately be ready for more. Couple all rewards with verbal praise and your dog will soon form a positive association with the sound of your praise. Once a behavior is well established, you can slowly reduce the frequency of other rewards. In time, your dog will respond to your command simply for your praise (and the possibility of the occasional treat).
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.
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.
Say hello to Hetty! 👋 This little cutie has just started her training to become a hearing dog, and will one day transform the life of a deaf person in need. We wish Hetty the best of luck on her hearing dogs journey! 😁🐾 #hearingdogs #hearingdogsfordeafpeople #puppyofday #puppy #cute #instapuppy #instadog #dogsofig #assistancedog #puppytraining #dailybarker #puppylove #cutepuppy #labrador #labrador #labsofinstagram #labradorpuppy #chocolatelab #chocolatelabpuppy #chocolatelaboftheday #labradorable
However, a training class serves many functions. Trainers can demonstrate techniques and help guide you through the steps in training. They can help advise you on puppy training problems, and can help you advance your training to exercises that are more difficult. The puppy will be learning in a group situation, with some real life distractions. And, considering human nature, the pet owner who takes his or her dog to a puppy class will be forced to practice (do their homework) throughout the week if they do not want to fall behind by the next class. Finally, a training class is a good place to meet and talk to other new puppy owners and see how all puppies behave.