Monday, February 6, 2012

What I believe about dog training...

I have been sitting through a beginning obedience class the last few weeks because there are several people I know that are in the class. As I watch the class and the one before it, there are some things that I've noticed that perhaps new or non-doggy people don't see or understand.
#1 You dog WANTS to understand what you are asking. Most dogs are born people-pleasers. You can bait them with treats and such, but most of them want to do stuff that makes you happy.
#2 People that can communicate to their dog when they are happy about what the dog is doing- without sounding fake- have greater success in training.
#3 Being absolutely consistant is absolutely essential. If you want to say "sit" four times before you dog sits, don't expect him to sit on the third time. Don't ask him to do something you can't enforce. Don't be fuzzy or wishy washy on criteria.
#4 Being inconsistant creates a dog that stops trying to please you. If he tries his best to understand and can't, he will quit. Can't blame him either.
#5 Everyone feels stupid when they begin. It is a lot to learn. But imagine how your dog feels... he has the same stuff to learn, but in a foreign language. Stick to it, it gets better.
#6 A trained, socialized dog is a happier dog and handler, and it is well worth the effort.
#7 You can't make a dog happy just by giving it treats. Teach him to walk on a lead and take him for a walk. Teach him to do a trick that makes an elderly person laugh. Teach him to stand still for a small hand to stroke him. Teach him to be your partner, not just an accessory, and you will both be better for the experience.
Okay, off my soapbox.


  1. excellent post! im doing my very best with stormy and its really starting to show now.
    i always tell my husband like you said in #2 that he cant be fake to stormy he has to show him he is properly happy. storm loves it then. especially when we play and i hit myself on the head with his toys to make him want them more LOL!!! well each to there own eh, works for me :)

  2. I agree TOTALLY! I had taken a class with my border collie, Chumley. He does not take treats, which is how this woman wanted us to reward the dogs into obeying! I would tell him good boy and praise with a stroke on his head. She scolded me twice and I had to tell her thats the only way I reward him. Needless to say Chumley passed at the top of the class! And I never recommended her class again! Chumley is a rescue dog and was scared to death of men. Almost bit my husband in the face. That was 8 years ago, he is now a very socialized pet and everybody loves him.
    I don't know where some of these trainers get their education but they need to go back to school!

  3. I hate when people just repeat and don't enforce. Wonder what their kids are like?