Occasionally I will post some dog training tips to help people successfully train their dogs. I started professionally training dogs in the 1960’s and have learned a lot over the years. I hope these tips will help you. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or suggestions.
Dogs do not speak English, therefore you must SHOW your dog what you want. Your actions speak louder than your words. All of your body language speaks to your dog. Therefore, your ATTITUDE, FACIAL EXPRESSION, TONE OF VOICE AND MOVEMENT communicate to your dog.
You cannot try and tell your dog that he is not doing the right thing while you are hiding a laugh because you really think your dog’s behavior is cute or funny. Your dog will laugh right along with you. And yes, dogs do laugh.
You cannot ask your dog to obey you if you hesitate in your movements. Your dog will not believe that you are the leader. On the other hand, you cannot bully your dog or physically punish him and expect your dog to respect and trust you. A good working relationship with your dog is built on trust and leadership. This is communicated to your dog by giving commands in a tone of voice that says, “I expect you to do this, no discussion.” Then move in a steady, yet gentle way to convey leadership. Too many people ask their dog to obey, their tone of voice is “sit, will you please sit? Do you feel like sitting?”
Never re-command your dog. If your dog knows what the word means, re-commanding him only teaches your dog that a) he does not have to listen to you; b) he can do it when he wants and c) you are not the leader. For every command there should be an action.
Either you coax the dog into doing what you want or reward him when he does it on his own. If your dog does not know the “sit” command, and you tell your dog, “Sit . . . Sit . . . SIT!”, then make the dog sit on the third sit, your dog will learn not to sit until the third command. He will think that the command is “sit-sit-sit.”
Most people repeat commands to their dog’s because they are being polite (according to human standards) and assume that the dog did not hear the first or second time. I can assure you that if your dog does not respond the first time, and does not acknowledge you, he DOES HEAR you. He is just IGNORING you. Therefore, politeness to a dog translates into “My owner is wimpy, wimpy, wimpy! Why should I listen?”
So, speak clearly and in a direct manner to your dog. For every command expect or initiate an action. Do not repeat commands. Do not hesitate when you move. Show your dog that you are a leader, not a follower.
The two most important things to remember (which is true for people too) are: 1. obedience is not a question of knowing what to do or what not to do, but the ability to exercise self control to do it or not do it. You have to give your dog time and practice to develop self-control. Punishment or harsh training methods should never be used.
2. Your dog knows how to do everything you want him to do. He only has to learn to associate the word or command with the action. For example, before you even obtained your puppy, he knew how to sit, come, and lay down.