It can be frustrating to train your dog at home. Whether it’s a new pup or an old dog, you can teach them new tricks and there’s a method to the madness when it comes to training your pup. Here are five great tips to streamline your dog training at home!
Don’t Repeat Yourself
Repeating a cue is probably the single biggest error that trainers see when teaching owners—new or experienced—how to work with their dogs. As humans, when we make a request of someone and it isn’t honored, it is in our nature to repeat ourselves to ensure we were heard. Unfortunately, this is counterproductive to our cause in dog training.
Play The Odds
Skilled trainers understand the importance of setting dogs up for success and never ask for a behavior that isn’t likely to happen.
Play the odds and take your best guess to increase the likelihood for success.
Every behavior has a price tag.
At its core, dog training hinges on the price we pay dogs to perform certain actions. For simple behaviors like “sit,” praise is often a sufficient paycheck for dogs. But more difficult behaviors like “stay” often require a bigger incentive than a simple “Good job!”
The more difficult the request, the higher the paycheck. It’s behavioral economics, and dogs generally have very little wiggle room on their sticker price. Remember, the learner decides what is rewarding, not the teacher.
No Positive Punishment
We just learned in training that the dog determines the value of a reward, not us. The converse of this is also true. The learner (dog) determines what is punishing, as well. While we may find yelling to be run-of-the-mill behavior as humans, a dog may find it to be aversive. This is why we can never overlook the potential consequences of our actions as teachers.
It’s because of this that positive reinforcement is the preferred training method for modern, cruelty-free trainers. Reward-based training has been scientifically proven to increase the rate of learning, encourages dogs to work harder for rewards, eliminates the need for forceful or aversive training tools, and fosters a human-canine bond built upon mutual trust and respect, rather than one on a dog’s desire to avoid fear, pain or punishment.
Let Your Pup Have A Choice
Behavior is conditional!
This may be the most important piece of advice a trainer can offer, which is somewhat ironic because this is probably the most difficult golden rule for owners to follow.
In training, dogs are the learners, and we are the teachers. In other words, humans control the learning conditions.
Simplifying your training and learning environment can help break through learning boundaries and help your dog learn more quickly.
With these five quick tips, you’re well on your way to training your dog at home and having the best time with your dog!
At the end of every training session, don’t forget to give your dog love and praises with a sweet treat from our bakery!
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