Never forget the « NILIF » rule

March 29, 2011 by  
Filed under Dog training tips

NILIF ? or Nothing In Life Is Free.

He will try to link this up to one of his atavistic behaviours, and come to the conclusion you are showing an alleviating or submissive behaviour. To simplify, you are telling him “you are the dominant, and I’m sorry”. Obviously, your dog has no idea of what on earth you are sorry for, but gradually, this will sap your hierarchical position.
This will show by excessive attention demand: You cannot answer the phone, talk with friends, read or watch TV without your dog claiming for you to take care of him. Then more serious trouble may appear, related to a bad hierarchical positioning, that can be pretty serious, especially after puberty.

Furthermore, if treats are for free, how will you express your satisfaction when you need to, and thus how will you train your dog?

I can hear you objecting: I love my dog, he knows that, and above all, I don’t want to be deprived of these moments.

There’s no question of you having none of these bliss’s times! But just avoid mistranslation.

Just always remember to ask your dog do actually PERFORM something you ask (give a paw, go and fetch…) before giving him a gratification.
Cuddle or titbit then take a different meaning “I, as the leader of the pack, am pleased by what you’ve done”

By this attitude, you’ve reached three goals
– reassuring your dog on your pack leader ability
– having his attention, and tightening the bonding between you
– providing mental gymnastics, which he needs just as much as physical exercise.

Your dog is happy, more self-confident, and you can then share a tremendous time!

Steer Clear of Over-Punishing Your Dog

March 29, 2011 by  
Filed under Dog training tips

There are some people who feel that fear is the best motivator – period. If you want someone to act in a certain way and eschew other behaviors, you will often use the “stick” approach. This works in a fairly simple way – you make clear what you want to happen, and threaten negative results if the outcome is not to your taste. If the outcome then falls short of what you had hoped, you follow through with your threat. The person then becomes aware that your threat was genuine, and resolves to take you seriously.

The same process is often applied to training a dog. If the dog transgresses in some way, it will be punished. Often this will take the form of a physical punishment such as striking the dog. If this method is applied frequently enough, it will filter through that the behavior and the punishment are linked. Eventually, or sooner, the dog will make the link in its brain and cease the negative behavior. However, it may also come to see you as its punisher rather than its friend.

The key is to not over-punish your dog. It is simply not accurate to say that fear is the greatest motivator. Anyone who has seen the effects of excessive physical punishment on a dog cannot fail to see how the results can be hugely negative. It may resist the instinct to transgress, but equally it will not want to do anything at all. And a dog which behaves well, but loses its vitality, says more about its trainer than anything else.

How To Eliminate Bad Behavior In Your Dog

March 29, 2011 by  
Filed under Dog training tips

Dogs are like any other animal – including the human being – in that they will sometimes step over the line of bad behavior in the pursuit of enjoyment or comfort. If you are honest with yourself you must admit that there have been times when you did something wrong because the results of such action had benefits for you. Whether those benefits were active – you took something that was not yours and enjoyed using it – or passive, in that you did not do something because the alternative was preferable to you, you still transgressed.

Dogs are just the same. If a dog has gone to the toilet in the house, for example, it will have done so because it was easier than going outside. There may be many reasons why this was the case, but all the dog knows is that its action was what seemed like the right thing for it. This is not a mode of behavior you would wish to encourage, so you need to consider how to eliminate it in future. The best way of doing this may be to scold the dog sternly, or deprive it of its favorite toy – the important thing is to establish a link between action and outcome.

If a dog goes to the toilet in the house, there is little point in going to find the dog and handing out punishment there and then. The dog will not connect the punishment with the action. You need to establish this firm link by taking the dog to the scene of the action, and making clear your displeasure. Only then will the dog link cause and effect,

The Instinct Of A Dog – And How To Train It

March 29, 2011 by  
Filed under Dog training tips

Dogs are, in many ways, essentially simple animals. The typical pet dog will be free with its friendship if it is encouraged to do so. If it is left to its own devices and treated like a machine for entertainment, it will not be so keen to play favorites. Dogs respond to their pleasure stimulus more than anything, and it is by using this that you can train a happy, content dog while having a lot of fun yourself into the bargain. Go to a dog-friendly park anywhere in the country and you will see dogs responding to their pleasure instinct, and making their owners happy into the bargain.

One of the most simple commands, and a game that any dog will love to play, is “Fetch”. If you take your dog to a park where it can be let off its leash, take a ball with you and see the sheer joy that it gets when you sling the ball as far as you can and yell “fetch!”. It pins its ears back, and sets off in full flow, chasing down that ball, picking it up and bringing it back for another round. It does not question why you keep throwing the ball, but keeps bringing it back for another go – often waiting at your feet until you do.

This has a lot of applications in training a dog. It will be ready to learn from you if you are willing to give it the time and attention it wants. It will burn up a lot of excess energy which can make dogs lose concentration in training settings. It will also learn to respond to commands – although full marks go to you if you throw the ball, say “stay” and it does so. This can be considered something of a miracle.

I’m Not Sure I Like Your Tone…

March 29, 2011 by  
Filed under Dog training tips

Training a dog is a practice which makes big demands on an owner. There is a lot of effort involved in ensuring that a dog behaves well, and each person will have their own views on which methods are the most effective and efficient. What is certain is that each dog will react in its own way to different stimuli. One of the most effective tools in keeping a dog on its best behavior is the human voice – make sure your dog gets used to the sound of yours, because this is how you will get the best out of it.

As humans, we are used to recognising the tone of each other’s voices. We have become so good at this that we almost don’t need to hear a person’s words in order to know what they are saying. A warning tone, a praising tone, a cheerful tone… each is recognisably different to us, and it will be recognisable to your dog too. In this respect, you can teach your dog well by allowing it to recognise what you are saying, without having to teach it a command.

Speaking in the correct tone need not even take practice. Usually, your emotions take control of your tone of voice, and skilled liars have to work to keep their tone even – so allowing your genuine tone to come through should be simple. The dog will come to recognise the cadence of what you say as much as the actual command – and it will be this that they come to associate with good and bad behaviors and their consequences.

You Reap What You Sow

March 29, 2011 by  
Filed under Dog training tips

Dogs in general have a tendency to follow their instincts and their influences. Canine behavior is something that has given countless experts reason to write countless books, and as far and wide as you go you are unlikely to find an expert who advocates an aggressive manner of dog training. The reason for this is that dogs absorb what they are taught very quickly, and behaving aggressively towards a dog will influence it to behave in an equally aggressive manner. Deep down in every dog, there is the instinct of a wolf – because that is what they have descended from.

Now, if you find a wolf in the wild and take an aggressive posture towards it, the wolf will not back down. It is likely to go for your throat and not stop until either you or it are incapacitated. Although domestic dogs have lost something of that instinct and ferocity, there is buried deep down a tendency to react with aggression when it is backed into a corner by an owner – if you strike a dog, it may back down. If you repeatedly strike it, it will react as any animal under threat – and it will hurt you.

Give a dog fun, exercise and affection and it will reciprocate in the most wonderful way. Its instinct is to form a bond with its owner and do anything it can to please them. Use this instinct to your advantage, and watch your dog blossom into someone you can be proud of, rather than a wolf with slightly blunted teeth and instincts.

All The Help You Can Get To Train Your Dog

March 29, 2011 by  
Filed under Dog training tips, Featured

No-one is about to claim that training a dog is an easy thing to do. Dogs are animals with personalities, and whether or not those personalities are amenable to training, they will present different challenges with each different dog. It cannot be denied that some are easier to train than others, but no dog is untrainable. It is simply the case that some dogs need to be given more of a chance than others to pick up what their master wants them to learn. After all, humans are the same – if you got straight As in your freshman year of high school, congratulations, but you are in a minority.

So it makes sense that there is help that can be found to improve the behavior of a dog you are finding hard to train. As ordinary “civilians” when it comes to the overall behavioral patterns of a pet dog, it goes without saying that we will not magically have access to the “button” inside a dog’s mind that makes it behave well, perform tricks or anything else you want it to do. There are professionals who have written books and made DVDs showing helpful tips and hints, and a wealth of websites which do the same.

You may even take your dog to a trainer who will be able to identify ways to get it behaving the way you would like. The expense of doing this makes it something that you may not want to do too regularly, but if all else fails it can be beneficial to you and to your dog.