Obedience Training for Dogs – What You Should Know to Do Things Right the First Time

Do not get discouraged if your dog does not respond to your training at first. There are principles behind dog training. You should be able to understand these principle involved, meaning every or concept that you will train your dog for. Positive reinforcement will get much better results than negative reinforcement. If the dog sees that when it does something you deem as good, he or she gets a pat on the head or a treat, it will continue to do that action to get the response. If you scold the dog for not doing the job right, it will discourage that action altogether and will negate all the training you have begun.

Ivan Pavlov did an experiment on behaviorism and conditioning, which involved dogs. His research involved reflexes that were influenced by a situation and not by thinking. In this experiment, Pavlov rang a bell to alert his dog to food being available. The dog would then run to the sound of the bell to get the food. Pavlov did this for a week, and then started ringing the bell at times when there was no food. The dog would still come running, expecting his food. This was considered classical conditioning. Every time the dog heard the bell, he would salivate because he thought he would get food. It then got to the point where the dog would salivate whenever the lab technician that fed him was around. The point of explaining this experiment to you is to show that your dog can be trained to do what you need him or her to do. The behavioral conditioning you are placing on your dog will help to make him or her more obedient and a better friend to spend time with.

If you wish to have your dog bring your slippers as a job, place the slippers in front of the dog at the time you wish for him or her to bring them. Choose a phrase for this job such as “fetch the slippers” or “get the house shoes”, and always use the same phrase. Pick the shoes up and place them in front of the dog while saying the training phrase. Hold them to the dog’s snout and repeat the phrase. Place the slippers back down on the ground and sit a few feet away from the slippers. Wait to see if the dog will bring the slippers to your location. If the dog simply walks over to you, he is getting the idea you want him to come to you, but not that you want him to bring the slippers. Pick the slippers up and then bring them back to your location, while telling the dog your training phrase again. Repeat this at least 3 times inside of your training hour with the dog daily for a week.

The repetitiveness of the job will not only help the dog to understand the command, but become familiar with it. If the dog picks up the shoe, but will not bring it, call the dog while the shoe is in the mouth. Once the dog has successfully picked up one shoe and brought to you, have a treat available as a reward. If the dog does not respond, it may take longer than one week for your dog to understand the training response. You can judge based on previous training, how long it will take for your dog to learn the commands and responses.

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Many people will begin giving their dog a job by teaching the dog to fetch. This is one of the easiest tasks for a dog to complete, and once they have perfected fetching on demand, they can be taught to do other more skilled jobs. There are instances of people training their dogs to open refrigerators and bring drinks to guests. This would take extended training and much time, but this is an example of the fun things you can learn to do with your dog.

DISCLAIMER: The information on this site is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian or doctor. Should you think that your pet needs medical attention, please contact your local veterinarian.  
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