The more beneficial training a dog receives, the faster and more effectively he will learn new things. Good training means that you are aware of how to instruct the exercise, that you are specific in your expectations and commands, and that you praise and correct the dog in an appropriate manner.
You are only allowed to progress to the next level once the dog has successfully completed all of the previous levels.
You are to be held accountable for the effectiveness of the training session. Train your dog at a time when you are not irritated with it, with anyone else, or with anything else.
Before beginning each training session, it is important to read over the training manual and think about the goals you have for that particular session. You should make an effort to anticipate the reaction of the dog and plan how you will deal with it.
At the beginning level, you should perform all of the exercises every day, but focus on improving a specific aspect of each one. Take the example of heeling, for instance. Make sure the dog goes through a warm-up heeling routine, but then decide which aspect of the dog’s heeling you want to concentrate on improving specifically. Imagine that the dog is getting in the way when you try to make left turns.
To begin, you would go over the material that pertains to teaching the left turn. After that, the instruction of the left turn would take up the bulk of your time during the session. On that particular day, you might not feel like doing any more heeling, but you can still move on to the other exercises.
Perform each exercise according to the exact same procedure. Finish off the session with some drills that the dog is familiar with and is most likely going to take pleasure in performing. To put it another way, be sure to wrap things up on a positive and upbeat note, and do so before the dog becomes overly exhausted.
Spend some time reflecting on what transpired at the end of each time you go through the practice routine. Think about the dog’s and your own areas that need improvement. Think about what you are going to focus on during the next session and how you are going to approach it. Keeping a journal at the end of each workout to keep track of one’s progression is something that a lot of people find to be of great assistance.
There is going to be enough work for you to complete in the later weeks of this class that you will need to practice with your dog for a minimum of thirty minutes each and every day. It is preferable to practice twice daily for a total of 15 minutes each time. It is possible to instruct many of the exercises inside. I recommend that you conduct some “impromptu” training sessions inside in addition to your regular training sessions.
A significant portion of the training can also be incorporated into your regular interactions with your dog and into your day-to-day life. For instance, if your dog is nearby while you watch television, you should have some dog treats on hand and perform a couple of obedience exercises during the commercial breaks.
In addition, you should perform your daily workouts outside whenever possible. At the very least once per day, take your dog to a place it has never been before so it can get some training. Excellent places to go include shopping centers, parks, school grounds, the interiors of strange buildings, and breezeways. This will make it easier for him to learn to work for you despite the unfamiliar surroundings and the numerous distractions that are present.
Problems with learning
There are five primary reasons why dogs are unable to retain the information:
1. You do not have a good understanding of the exercises.
2. You are not providing the dog with a clear understanding of what you expect from it.
3. Unsuitable positive reinforcers in the environment Your dog should be excited to receive the reward.
4. Insufficient positive reinforcement in the form of praise, or praise that isn’t sincere when it is given.
5. The amount of time spent practicing was insufficient.
It is always the fault of the trainer, not the dog, when there is a lack of clarity; however, the dog is typically the one who pays the price for this. You have to have a very clear idea of what you want the dog to do, and you have to communicate that to the dog very clearly. After you have communicated your expectations to him in a clear manner, you have two options: either you should immediately and sincerely praise him for complying with the command, or you should immediately and sincerely correct him so that he can demonstrate the appropriate behavior, after which you should immediately and sincerely praise him.
Not every canine is a glutton for food. Do not use food as a reward for your dog if he or she is not particularly fond of eating. Find something that your dog enjoys doing very much.
Perhaps there is a particular toy that he enjoys playing with the most. If he does, you might want to think about rewarding him for his obedience or reinforcing it by playing with his favorite toy with him. Some canines have a stronger preference for particular kinds of food than others. You should save treats like cheese or chicken for your dog’s training sessions if you know that he enjoys these foods more than anything else.
praise that is insufficient or praise that is not sincere
Inexperienced trainers frequently focus too much on maintaining proper dog-handling technique. Have I correctly communicated the order? Is the way I’m holding my leash appropriate? In which direction should I be looking at this moment?
Because of this, they end up forgetting about the dog. Although this is something that can be easily understood, it can be very disheartening for the dog. Think about what happens if the dog accomplishes something wonderful but is never praised for it. What will happen?
It would be the same as if you did an excellent job at your job but were never given a pay check for it. It’s very discouraging to think about. Your dog will have no way of differentiating appropriate behavior from inappropriate behavior if you do not offer him generous and genuine praise. Praise your dog as soon as he gets something right, preferably within two seconds.
LESSON PLAN – WEEK 1 19
Too little time spent practicing
You’ll become a better trainer and handler the more you put in the effort to hone your skills. The better your handling skills, the less likely it is that you will get caught in the pitfalls that were previously outlined. Repetition is how dogs gain knowledge. More time spent practicing will lead to increased levels of comprehension. However, you should make sure that it is a productive practice and that the dog continues to be happy and motivated throughout the entire session.
Maintain the dog’s enthusiasm for its new experiences.
You shouldn’t force the dog to perform the same exercise over and over again. There is no motivation here for the dog to perform the task properly. It won’t take long for him to lose his motivation and become bored.
His demeanor is going to deteriorate. If additional practice is required, it is best to go through an exercise quickly two or three times and then come back to it later in the training session or later in the day.
Attitude is the most important thing. A dog that has a positive attitude toward the task at hand will learn new things quickly and willingly. It is a lot of fun to train a dog who is enthusiastic about the process. It is important that the training sessions be engaging, lively, and lighthearted in order to foster a positive attitude toward learning.
Avoid overworking the dog in any way.
Finish the training session by leaving the dog wanting more, and then move on to an activity that the dog is good at. Because of this, the dog is able to leave the session with the perception that he was successful, despite the fact that difficulties may have been encountered during the session.
If it’s just that he doesn’t get it… then start from the very beginning.
Having your dog fail over and over again at an exercise is one of the most frustrating things that can happen. Keep in mind that if your dog is struggling with an exercise, it is likely because he does not comprehend what it is that you are asking of him. This is typically the result of insufficient time spent practicing at each stage. The dog has, in essence, been progressed through the various stages of the exercise prior to having completely mastered the earlier stages. It’s the equivalent of expecting yourself to be able to do calculus when you don’t even know the basics of algebra.
The most effective response to this challenge is to restart the activity from the very beginning in order to gain a better understanding of how to proceed. Proceed through each step in turn. Wait to move on until the dog has shown, in a reliable manner, that he comprehends the stage in its entirety before moving on. More specifically, the dog should be able to complete the exercise correctly ten times out of ten and should be able to do so while being distracted.
Begin by expanding the dog’s knowledge in baby steps that are easily accomplished. Conduct a thorough examination of the current endeavor and decide which subjects ought to be presented initially. Continue to instruct up until the first element is completely mastered.
The next step is to choose and instruct on the subsequent component, as well as the subsequent component, and so on, until the entire process has been mastered. Be sure to take baby steps; if you move through the exercises too quickly, the dog will become confused and will lose confidence in himself. Don’t rush.