Critter Alley

Critter Alley

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Training Tip

There are many theories on dog training from the pack leader-type style of Cesar Millan (the Dog Whisperer, if you're one of the few folks who haven't heard of him) to the advocates of only using reward based training.

However, the training I most often see owners use with their dogs everyday goes something like this:

"Sit, Fido. I said sit. Sit now. Sit! SIT!"

Fido complies or not, depending upon how he feels at the moment, or if he wants the treat held in his owner's hand.

Repeating commands over and over is an easy trap to fall into. I admit to being as guilty as anyone else of it until a trainer told me something that made a lot of sense. The only behavior that repeating commands taught the dog was that he didn't have to obey until he heard it at least 12 times (if then).

I've learned to say the command only once, and then if necessary, gently "assist" the dog to the desired result. After this comes praise/reward.

It really does help! Good dog!


The Word Place said...

Oh, yes, Lady has caught on beautifully. . .to the treat factor, that is! Jump, Judy, jump!

Anonymous said...

Barkley has been a revelation to me. I don't think either Tom or I have ever had such an intelligent dog before. He catches on very fast.

His second night in our home, he made a mess in the upstairs study. We didn't rebuke him at all, just immediately let him go outside. We cleaned up and left it at that. The next night, he didn't hesitate to wake us and ask to be let outside. We figured he had been punished for disturbing his people at night.

We make a point of praising him whenever he asks to go outside and he seems so relieved and grateful when we understand what he wants.

Like all dallies, though, he is ultra crafty and can be very dense about catching on . . . when he doesn't wish to, that is:)