“The positive 4” keys to dog training
This is the start of my “How to make your dog the neighborhood star!” TM dog training blog tips. I produced the original training video back in 2005 with this title. This video was professional filmed in Hollywood, CA. You can check it out on my website online store. (http://www.stuntdog.com/store.htm) Each week I will share my experience on how I train my performing trick dogs.
Over the years I’ve found there are four keys to successfully training a dog. There are many methods and lots of different ways to train. However, these four keys will lead to a successfully trained dog and, or behavior. The four keys to training your dog are: 1) Consistency, 2) Repetition, 3) Motivation, and 4) Timing.
Consistency is simply just being consistent in your verbal cues and hand signals. If you mix it up you are going to confuse your dog. Therefore, it will slow down your training process. Repetition is the like the old saying goes, “practice makes perfect”. The more often you have training sessions with your dog the faster they will learn. Keep your training sessions short so you won’t burn out your dog. I also like to train multiple behaviors and reinforce behaviors my dogs already know during the same training session. I feel this helps build their confidence and allows them to train with the least amount of frustration possible.
The first thing you need to do is find out what motivates your dog. What does he/she like? A toy or maybe a treat? I motivate my dogs using positive techniques. I use toys, balls, ropes, and Frisbees. However, for the less toy motivate canines and for advanced behaviors you can certainly use food. The main thing is to keep it fun and positive!
I’ve talked about those three keys during my shows many times. However, there is one key that is super important and that is timing. When you are training your dog you must reward your dog immediately following the successful behavior. I’m talking as quick as possible. The faster you reward your dog the quicker they will understand what you are asking of them.
Next weekend I will discuss timing in more detail with the use of a power word and the ultimate positive training tool; the clicker.
Pawsitive Note: Happy Valentines Day! I encourage you to give your dog some extra love and attention today. Never forget they love you unconditionally!