Behavior Tips & Tricks Issue #8: Basic Rules
In the last issue we talked about how to stop whining, howling and excessive barking. In this issue we are going to go over some basic rules to help reinforce your dogs good behavior.
When it comes to making the most out of your behavioral training sessions there are a few basic rules that you can follow to help make things easier and more effective for both you and your faithful canine companion.
These basic principles can be applied in any circumstance and will help ensure that all of your efforts and hard work pay off!
First let's talk about the rule of consistency. As we have discussed many times before, consistency is one of the most important parts of an effective training routine, especially when it comes to correcting unwanted behaviors.
Dogs learn by association. If you change, vary or are inconsistent with your commands, praise, rewards and corrections it will only create confusion and leave you both feeling frustrated. To achieve consistency, it is vital that you employ the same commands for each task that you want your dog to perform at all times.
– The Importance of Good Timing
Timing is also very important. It can determine whether the training will be successful or not. Always give your dog praise when they complete a task correctly or behave properly. Reprimand them quickly and abruptly for bad behavior.
This will help them understand which behaviors that you approve of and which ones you don't. When it comes to correcting bad behavior there are two options. First, correct them right on the spot. Second, ignore them when they approach you. This will help teach them that their behavior is unacceptable.
– The Importance of Attention
Just like humans, dogs love attention and they will seek it out. The only problem is that they aren't really capable of discerning the difference between positive and negative attention. They only understand that what they did got you to notice them, so they will continue to repeat that action to attract your attention whether it's good or bad!
When comes to correcting this type of behavior one thing you can do is only direct your attention to them when they behave properly. Reinforce their good behavior with praise and treats.
Most behavioral problems can be solved by following these basic rules and keeping in mind that dogs are pack animals. It's important that they have a pack leader. Establishing leadership control over your dog will make your training sessions much easier and more effective.
Make sure you look for your next issue soon. We will be discussing what you should know about taking your dog to obedience class.