Most dog owners never consider that they may need to train their dogs to obey them. If you’re like most dog owners, getting your dog to listen and obey you will be your greatest challenge. But Hey! It’s still not too late to find a more interesting way to have fun with your poodle and to make him obey you. The most important thing to do while training him to be obedience is not to get mad and frustrated. Patience is the key to success.
You can tell a lot about a dog by its breed – its temperament and its trainability. If you have a mutt or a mixed breed dog, you’ll do well to keep an open mind about his mood. Since different breeds have varying temperament and trainability, it’s best to understand them and try to provide sensitive training for your dog, rather than being overly critical of his actions.
Training your dog to listen is most effective when the rewards you provide are constant and predictable. This is not to say that if you go to the beach you can’t reward your dog for good behavior; however, you can choose not to give him as many rewards as he had expected.
Dogs by nature, like to please their owners. Keep this in mind while you are carrying out your dog behavior training. You can make him listen and obey your commands through the use of positive reinforcement approaches, which is part of the obedience training program.
To make your dog obeys you, use incentive such as rewards in your training. So what kinds of rewards should we give our dogs?
1. Praise and affection – Well, praise and affection are obvious – just like your families, your dog loves to be praised. It makes him happy and he will be keen to work to earn it. While you may not specifically want to reward him when his is getting naughty, by offering affection every time he performs the right behavior, you can condition him to think that obedience is a great thing.
2. Negative association – Use this for most negative behaviors, to help your dog undo the bad and strengthen up his habits. The key is to accompany the punishment with affection and a positive reference to the right behavior. He will gradually associated the punishment with wrong behavior, and would not do it anymore.
There are many ways to surprise and delight your dog with rewarding behavior. Be creative and keep your dog guessing – just remember to be consistent with rewards he deserves and he’ll continue to surprise you with excitement and wonderful behavior.
One important point to take note is that NO physical punishment should be carried on to your dog as this will incur fear and anxiety in him, making him even more rebellious. Use of vocal punishment. A firm, stern “No” will be a good signal to him that what he is doing right now is not allowed. Dogs are excellent at reading our emotions. If you are calm and soft spoken, he may take this as a whole new meaning.
If you establish “rules”, your dog will look to you for approval. He wants to please you. If you’re clear and consistent when enforcing the rules, you’ll encounter less behavior problems.
Start with training your dog on some basic commands so that he can learn to understand and obey your instructions. Make these commands simple to understand, sounds natural and also easy to practice. “Sit”, “Down”, “Stay” and “Come” are some basic commands that you should start with.
If your dog likes to bark for no reason, you can build the association of the command ‘quiet’ to make him silence off. As your dog shut up and stopped barking at whatever he is doing when he hears “quiet”, you may then reward him with a tasty treat or say ‘good boy’ or ‘good dog’. Your dog will then shut up to keep the treat. Repeat these positive reinforcement more often and the association will get stronger.
Without the associate of treats and fancy toys, you will never induce the obedience that you wish your dog will learn. You must do it the old fashioned way.
Your dog is going to display a wide range of behaviors and might not take the training too enthusiastically. Some dogs are quick learners and pick up the instruction quickly. Other dogs are stubborn and will need more time and patience. It’s okay to be pleased that your dog learned to react to your commands, but don’t get carried away.
Another thing that determines your dog’s willingness to obey is the level of activity in which he is involved. If your dog is cooped up in the house all day while you are at work, he will naturally have an inferiority complex. This inferiority complex will lead to misbehavior.
Just remember that it takes time for your dog to be obedient. Be patient, he will get the hang of it. Spend more time with him to create the valuable bond and make him “LOVE” you. Once this relationship is built, he will obey your instructions faithfully.
Doubtless, you may have experienced how difficult it can be to get your dog to understand what you want him to do. You may have hit a roadblock somewhere with that training. It could be a combination of factors such as poor training, a lack of motivation from your dog, or a lack of team work between you and your dog.
I hope that you would find some training points in this posting that will be helpful in your dog’s obedience training progress. Taking a step back to look at the ‘big picture’ of your training program, you’ll see that there are two important pieces of information (Praise and Affection, Negative Association) to put into practice. Feel free to leave your thoughts and suggestions below.