Prior to the 1980s, Karen Pryor was a marine-mammal trainer who used Skinner's operant principles to teach dolphins and develop marine-mammal shows. In 1984, she published her book, Don't Shoot the Dog: The New Art of Teaching and Training, an explanation of operant-conditioning procedures written for the general public.[23] In the book Pryor explains why punishment as a way to get people to change often fails, and describes specific positive methods for changing the behaviour of husbands, children and pets.[33] Pryor's dog training materials and seminars showed how operant procedures can be used to provide training based on positive reinforcement of good behavior.[23] Pryor and Gary Wilkes introduced clicker training to dog trainers with a series of seminars in 1992 and 1993. Wilkes used aversives as well as rewards, and the philosophical differences soon ended the partnership.[34]
It’s a good idea to give him some small treats as rewards for training. You can use soft commercial food treats sized for puppies, pieces of string cheese, or small pieces of cut-up hot dog that he can swallow right away. Avoid hard, crunchy treats because they take a while to chew. Give treats to your puppy immediately—within half a second of him completing the desired behavior. The faster you confirm the behavior you want, the easier it is for your puppy to understand what you’re trying to teach him. When you give the reward, follow it up by saying “Good boy!”
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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.[37] 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.[38] 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.
With Professor Donaldson by your side providing invaluable insights, these step-by-step, field tested training plans will teach you how to become a competent trainer, able to teach any dog—young or old, of any breed or variety—basic obedience, troubleshoot training problems, solve common behavior problems, and more accurately interpret behavior. Once you and your dog have finished this course, you’ll each have a better understanding of and a stronger relationship with your best friend.

Discourage him from biting or nipping. Instead of scolding him, a great way to put off your mouthy canine is to pretend that you're in great pain when he's biting or nipping you. He'll be so surprised he's likely to stop immediately. If this doesn't work, try trading a chew toy for your hand or pant leg. The swap trick also works when he's into your favorite shoes. He'll prefer a toy or bone anyway. If all else fails, break up the biting behavior, and then just ignore him.
Training classes for young puppies are also an excellent way to socialize your new puppy to a variety of people, dogs, and other stimuli in a controlled environment. In addition, you will learn how to prevent problems before they can begin, or deal with them as they emerge, rather than having to find a way to correct problems that have already developed. Your puppy might also make some new friends of the same age. You could then visit these friends (or vice versa) with your puppy for social play and exercise sessions. Since the primary socialization period for dogs ends by 3 months of age, puppy socialization classes are most valuable for puppies 8 weeks of age and older. If all puppies in the class have had initial vaccinations, are healthy and parasite free, the health risks are low and the potential benefits are enormous. Discuss the location of classes in your area and when to start them with your veterinarian.
Individualised training is used with dogs that have an urgent or unique training problem such as fear, hyperactivity, aggression (and other related problems), separation anxiety, biting, excessive barking, insecurity, destructive behaviors, walking difficulties, and inappropriate elimination.[80][81] This type of training would normally be undertaken where the problem naturally occurs rather than a class situation. Class training can be effective in encouraging socialization and play with a peer group. Classes are often offered at a more affordable rate and can cover both problem behaviors and teach new skills. Classes can range from puppy and beginner training to more advanced training and skill training such as performing tricks or therapy work.
Many 4-H Dog obedience leaders have struggled with how much information to put into each week’s training session for youth. I have found that a leader can teach the basics in an eoght-week course. In eight weeks, youth are able to keep up without feeling too much pressure and the dogs can perfect a move before moving on to the next, but not get bored. Moving at a pace that is right for the dog and the handler is very important so that patience is always present for both, and so no one becomes discouraged.

Get an introduction to the importance of training dogs, both for owners and the dogs themselves. Through some powerful analogies, Professor Donaldson will put you in the mindset of your dog to show you why certain training methods don't work and others do. Learn the three key principles of dog training that will provide the foundation for every lesson moving forward. She'll also recommend some important tools to have on hand. x
In competition obedience training, “heel” means the dog is walking on your left side with his head even with your knee while you hold the leash loosely. Puppy training can be a little more relaxed with the goal being that they walk politely on a loose leash without pulling. Some trainers prefer to say “let’s go” or “forward” instead of “heel” when they train this easy way of walking together.
“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.
Feed your dog a high-quality diet with appropriate amounts of protein. If your dog spends most of his days lounging in your condo, don’t feed him food with a protein level that is ideal for dogs who herd sheep all day. The money that you will spend on feeding an appropriate quality food will often be money that you save in vet bills later on. I recommend you always check with your veterinarian for the right diet for your dog.

We base our training around the "Classical Conditioning" model (aka "Pavlovian"or "respondent conditioning"). This includes developing conditioned or automatic reflexes to commands. In it's simplest form (after proper conditioning) -- when owner says 'sit', dog automatically sits without thinking about it. Our unique techniques ensure our program is a success no matter the behavior we encounter.
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Handler should be heeling their dog when he or she calls this command; the handler will then stop, face the dog, tell it to stand, while touching it in the flank area. It may be necessary to hold the dog at first or put the leash under its groin area and hold it up. (The leash is a safe for comfortable way for dogs that are shy about their groin or bellies.) Count to 10; call exercise finish.

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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.

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A: They will receive an email from The Great Courses notifying them of your eGift. The email will direct them to TheGreatCourses.com. If they are already a customer, they will be able to add the gift to their My Digital Library and mobile apps. If they are not yet a customer, we will help them set up a new account so they can enjoy their course in their My Digital Library or via our free mobile apps.

Person-to-person communication is key with trainers, but words matter only so far as they can be translated into action. “Any kind of woo-woo language, about ‘energy,’ ‘packs,’ ‘leadership;’ anything that sounds very non-concrete, where you come away thinking, ‘O.K., but what’s actually going to physically happen with my dog here?’; any attempt to obfuscate — that is a huge red flag,” Ms. Donaldson said.


As soon as your dog comes home with you – that very first day – you should begin training basic obedience commands like Come, Sit, Stay and Down. You might discover your dog can already follow basic commands. You might also find that you need to take it very slow, working on just one command a day or for a couple of days or weeks then moving on to another command. Repeating a command over and over won’t make your pooch listen any better. If you find he can’t speak any English, solicit the help of a ‘translator’ or positive dog trainer to help you communicate more effectively.
For me dog training always was something scary. I never knew how to start to train my dog. Now I'm thinking about buying a dog, but before this book I had a lot of fears of training a dog. But now I found answers to the majority of questions that I had. This step-by-step guide is a great book that helps to understand such difficult thing as dog training.
You do not necessarily need to train in a set session daily. Rather, integrate these tasks throughout the day. A goal to strive for is at least 15 minutes of training every day. These can be short 5 minute sessions spread throughout the day. Try to have all family members ask your puppy to do these tasks. Remember to try to train in every room of your house. You want your puppy to “sit,” “lie down,” and “stay” everywhere, not just in the training location. Practice in all locations you would like your puppy to behave and feel comfortable and relaxed in the future.

The foundation of training should be based on positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcement is the process of giving a dog (or person!) a reward to encourage the behavior you want, like getting a pay check for going to work. The idea is not to bribe the behavior but to train it using something your dog values.  Avoid using punishment such as leash corrections or yelling. Punishment can cause a dog to become confused and unsure about what is being asked of him.  It is important to remember that we can’t expect dogs to know what they don’t know – just like you wouldn’t expect a 2-year-old child to know how to tie his shoes. Patience will go a long way in helping your new puppy learn how to behave.


If he came from another home, objects like leashes, hands, rolled up newspapers and magazines, feet, chairs and sticks are just some of the pieces of “training equipment” that may have been used on this dog. Words like “come here” and “lie down” may bring forth a reaction other than the one you expect.Or maybe he led a sheltered life and was never socialized to children or sidewalk activity. This dog may be the product of a never-ending series of scrambled communications and unreal expectations that will require patience on your part.
This is the best place! I took my puppy here for training classes and would do it again in a heart beat. The trainers are highly informed in training dogs, love every puppy, and are VERY approachable. I have recommended it to a handful of people with new puppies. They even answered questions for me months later. Top quality!!! You guys are perfect!
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.
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.
Training a dog can be a frustrating experience if you’re not sure of what you’re doing. There are many ways that people approach the task, but in our experience, postive reinforcement techniques are the most effective and humane. Here are twenty universal dog training tips that will help beginners to achieve the best results in the shortest amount of time. They are useful to help beginners to understand the hows and why’s of the techniques that apply to all dog breeds universally. These methods are applicable to dogs of all ages whether they’re young puppies or older dogs. When your pet understands the rules of the house and abides by them, dog ownership becomes a wonderful experience for everyone.

Stay is the second command to teach your dog. When he is in a sitting position, tell him “stay,” then walk a short distance. If he gets up, make him sit again and repeat the process, offering him a reward every time he obeys the command. Move further and further away each time until he stays when you are out of his sight. Be persistent and consistent until he understands the command and is willing to obey. The best hand gesture to use with this command is a flat hand turned upwards with fingers pointed up, held outwards towards the dog.
Whether you want to learn how to train a puppy or are hoping to teach your old dog some new tricks, Petco’s expert trainers in New Orleans are here to help. We offer beginning through advanced classes for puppies and adult dogs, including complete training packages and a canine good citizen class. Learn more or sign up today by calling (504) 226-2030.
The Monks of New Skete, who were breeders and trainers of German Shepherds in Cambridge, New York, published How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend: A Training Manual for Dog Owners in 1978 and it became an immediate best seller. Despite advocating a philosophy that "understanding is the key to communication and compassion with your dog,"[29] they endorsed confrontational punishments which were later shown to elicit dangerously aggressive responses in many dogs.[30]
If your dog exhibits extreme fears or aggression that is beyond what you are capable of handling, all is not lost. You can find a qualified and recommended dog trainer to work with your pet and help them move beyond whatever is causing the problem. In many cases, fear is behind extreme behaviors and a professional trainer is skilled at identifying the likely cause of the problem, then working with your dog to modify the extreme behaviors.
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
Dogs like having a routine. A dog who has spent the last few weeks or more in a shelter or rescue may have been stressed out in part because his life had become so unpredictable. By establishing a routine for feeding, walking, playtime and bedtime, you can begin providing some stability for your dog. In most cases, this will help with his adjustment to his new home.
Basic obedience training is necessary to keep your pet and those who come in contact with him safe. Disobedient dogs can be hazardous as well as embarrassing and destructive. Obedient dogs can be a pleasure to have around. You will start by teaching your dogs some basic commands. Patience is required while he is learning because he may not understand what you’re doing at first, but hang in there, he’ll catch on.
When you’re a new dog owner, people will begin to give you advice on the “best” collar to use for training. Using positive reinforcement means avoiding choke or prong collars which can cut off the air supply or cause pain, and possible physical harm to your pet. There are lots of different collar styles that are safe, but still give you control. Smart collars are a new innovation that uses technology to track the health, fitness and location of your dog through GPS. They are useful for some types of training.
If he's an older dog, he's probably used to his name; however, changing it isn't out of the question. If he's from a shelter, they may neglect to tell you that he has a temporary name assigned to him by staff. If he's from a breeder, he'll come to you with a long name, which you may want to shorten, or change. And if he's coming out of an abusive situation, a new name may represent a fresh start. But we're lucky: dogs are extremely adaptable. And soon enough, if you use it consistently, he will respond to his new name.
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