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Three Top Training Tips for Dogs
The quality of life of any dog will be improved significantly by training.
Correct training should be seen as an owner’s basic responsibility which will result in a bond and understanding that makes a dog a companion for life.
Common to any type of training method adopted will be these three golden rules:-

Be positive.

Dogs respond better to what they perceive as positive reactions and generous praise. Avoid overuse of negative commands, “No”; “Stop” etc. adopt a more positive approach by praising his good actions. Try to help the dog wherever possible by guiding him through what you require and then offering generous praise or rewards when he achieves this.

Be consistent.

It is important to keep what you say, how you say it and what you mean as consistent as possible, never assume dogs understand what you are saying. If you allow your dog to do something one day, do not confuse him by disallowing that type of behaviour on another day. Whatever rules you apply it helps if you keep them consistent.
Dogs learn by “association of ideas” and will associate certain of your reactions with pleasure or displeasure. If you think it is great if your dog fetches your newspaper when it comes through the letter box don’t get angry when next time what he delivers is some soggy mail, remember it is all just paper to him.

Be clear.

Keep your commands short and clear and use your body language to make your dog aware that you are talking to him.
Dogs do not understand words, they basically only understand sounds and tones and this is what causes their reaction. It might be great when your dog gets excited on hearing “time for a walk” but don’t be surprised by the same reaction if he overhears you saying “time for a talk.

The amount of training your dog requires will vary and which method you choose will depend on many factors,
• is your dog just a pet,
• will he be a working dog (hunting, herding, guarding etc. )
• is he being trained for a specific purpose (guide dog, rescue dog etc.).

However simple or complicated the training regime you adopt it will greatly benefit if it is underpinned by being positive, consistent and clear.

David Bates

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