A training tip that bears repeating

dog trainingHere is something I said recently to my class at my local dog training club and I think bears repeating here:

When you are training your dog, work with your dog where she or he IS not where you think she or he should be. This is the number one rule in dog training: train the dog you have, not the one you wish you had. Also, if your dog shows any behavior that is particularly difficult for you (jumping, aggression, not listening, barking) realize that for the dog it is simply a behavior – for you it is a whole story about how the dog is “bad” or “mean” or “doesn’t like me” or “doesn’t listen”. Treat the behavior as a behavior and it will be easier to manage. Every behavior works under the same set or principles: Behaviors that are rewarded continue, behaviors that are ignored or “corrected’ go away. But sometimes we are rewarding behaviors when we think we are not, and some behaviors (like barking) are self rewarding, so be careful to really look at what is going on…and this is where the help of a trainer comes in handy as they can see things we can’t when we are right up in something. Never hesitate to ask a question or to seek advice. We’ve all been there!

July 4, 2009 • Tags:  • Posted in: advice, behavior, observations, training

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