pretty german shepard

 

 

 

 

I will start by saying there are ways to talk to your dog, that increases your leadership levels,and ways that have a negative effect on training. The correct use of his/her name will reinforce staying on the task..Ie say “Sit Lola” , and if she doesn’t, repeat the same command,,this time raise your energy level..and if she breaks focus and doesn’t sit, then you gently show her what you want her to do..you approach her with calm energy,( it is extremely important that she does not feel as if you are about to punish her), lift up on the chin while gently pushing down on her rear end. When she is in the sit position and looking at you ,say.. “good girl”, with enthusiasm.

Method 1

Reward Based Positive Reinforcement and Motivation Training/Whispering

What I believe makes a successful “positive dog trainer/Whisperer.”

A keen understanding of exactly what positive dog training/whispering really is.

“Positive” is a word with many meanings, but when I say I use “positive dog training techniques” it simply means I prefer to use positive reward based reinforcement and motivation/(Whispering), rather than negative reinforcement and punishment to train my dogs. I believe that it is kinder, more fun, less abusive, and even more effective than alternatives. We all have our reasons for choosing whatever style of dog training we endorse.

While my training methods are ‘softer’, make no mistake. There are no fewer boundaries or rules. In fact, you can set as many boundaries or rules as you like, just as with any other style of training. “Positive” does not equal “permissive” and “Whispering”, does not mean “too shy to speak up”.

Dogs still require leadership, they need to know what they can and can’t do, but with positive training I don’t focus on what my dogs can’t do , I focus on what I want my dogs to do. This is what all good leaders do. The real reward is that as a positive trainer/Whisperer, I set my dogs up to get what the dog wants in return for doing what I want because I have taught them to think for themselves. Everybody wins and has lots of fun too. I spoil my dogs rotten and still have obedient, polite dogs, who knows and gives me what I expect. That is a great working relationship.

Positive Reinforcement: Training Your Dog with Treats and Praise Which do you like best?,praise or punishment. Everyone will undoubtedly pick praise,the same is true for your dog, and that’s the theory behind positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcement means giving your pet something pleasant immediately after she does something you want her to do. Because your praise or reward makes her more likely to repeat that behavior in the future, it is one of your most powerful concepts for shaping or changing your dog’s behavior.

Timing is essential when using positive reinforcement.

The reward must occur immediately—within seconds—or your pet may not associate it with the proper action. For example, if you have your dog “sit” but reward her after she’s already stood back up, she’ll think she’s being rewarded for standing up.

Consistency is also essential.

Everyone who interacts with the dog on a daily basis, ie Grandma, dog walkers,doggie day care workers, should use the same commands. It might help to post these where everyone can become familiar with them.

The commands I train my dogs with are:

•”watch me”

•”sit” •”stay”

•”down” (which means “lie down”)

•”off” (which means “get off of me” or “get off the furniture”)

•”get up”

•”come”( I also incorporate hand signals,)

•”let’s go”

•”leave it”

•”settle”.

“hurry hard”(which means come quickly, dig in) it has nothing to do with curling ,,I just like the way it sounds.

Consistency means to always acknowledge the behavior you want and ignore, disagree with, unwanted behavior.

Using Positive Reinforcement

For your pet, positive reinforcement may include food treats, praise, petting, or a favorite toy or game. I find food treats work especially well for training my dogs. A treat should be irresistible to your pet. It should be a very small, soft piece of food, so that she will immediately eat it and look to you for more. If you give something has to be chewed, or that breaks into bits on the floor, he’ll be looking around the floor, not at you.

Small pieces of hot dogs, cheese, or cooked chicken or beef is what I use and have had proven success. Experiment a bit to see what works best for your pet. You can carry the treats in a pocket or fanny pack. Each time you use a food reward, you should give it power with praise. Say, “Good dog,” in an enthusiastic, happy tone.

When your pet is learning a new behavior, she should be rewarded every time she does the behavior, which means continuous reinforcement. It may be necessary to use a technique called “shaping”, which means reinforcing something close to what you wanted, and then gradually demand more from your dog before she gets the treat. For example, if I’m teaching my dog to “shake paw,” I may initially reward her for lifting her paw off the ground, then for lifting it higher, then for touching my hand, then for letting me hold her paw, and finally, for actually “shaking paws” with me.

Staggered reinforcement can be used once your pet has reasonably learned the behavior. At first, reward her with the treat 3 out of every 4 times she does the behavior. Then, over time, gradually decrease the giving of treat, replacing food, with praise and life rewards, like going for a walk, getting fed, going out to sniff the grass, until you’re only rewarding her occasionally with the treat. Although once your dog has learned the behavior, your praise can be less exuberant, such as a quiet, but positive, “Good dog.” Mix up your training schedule of reinforcement so that she doesn’t get wise to the fact that she only has to respond every other time.

By understanding reinforcement, you’ll see that you do not need to carry a 50 lb bag of treats with you wherever you go. Your dog will soon be working for your kind words and praise. Use any and all opportunities to reinforce her behavior. You may have her “sit” before letting her out the door, which with time will mean for her that an open door does not mean bolt out and down the street.

It’s a good idea to make your dog sit or lie in a calm and submissive state before she gets anything…this means before the leash goes on, calm and submissive is the key, before she eats, before she is invited into the car for a ride, before she plays, when play time is over ect. This exercise will strengthen your leadership status and build the bond with your dog.

The Pros and Cons of Punishment

Punishment means giving your pet something unpleasant immediately after she does something you don’t want her to do, ie, sharp jerk on the leash. The punishment makes it less likely that the behavior will occur again. To be effective, punishment must be delivered while your pet is engaged in the undesirable behavior—in other words, “caught in the act.” If the punishment is delivered too late, even seconds later, your pet will not associate the punishment with the undesired behavior.

If you punish your dog, it will only undermine your authority and your dog will start to not trust you. If you’re too late in giving it, punishment will be confusing to your dog. She’s likely to become fearful, distrustful, and/or aggressive, which will only lead to more behavior problems. What we often read as “guilty” looks are in fact submissive postures by our dogs. Animals don’t have a sense of right and wrong, but they do key into your (energy), and the “feeling” of impending punishment.

You should definitely stop using punishment and use only reward based positive reinforcement/whispering instead.

Never use physical punishment that involves discomfort or even pain, which may cause your pet to bite . Holding by the scruff of the neck, and shaking your dog, or performing “alpha rolls” or flooding methods.. (forcing your dog onto her side and pinning her on the floor), are likely to end with you getting bitten.

Also, your dog may become focused on other things that are there when the punishment is given, including people. For example, a dog who is punished for getting too close to a small child may become fearful of, or aggressive to that child. That’s why physical punishment is not only bad for your pet, it’s also bad for you and others.

That’s all for now

If you liked this post let me know by liking my Face Book Page River Valley Dog Training

Good luck, and keep training!

Harley

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Comments
  1. Kerri says:

    I have a 13 month old GSD that I adopted from another family who didn’t provide any training for him. We working on manners and he sits at the door before he goes out and he never just runs out, but he is NOT calm and submissive before he goes out. He waits, but he is very excited and tense until I tell him he’s free to go out. What exactly does that mean/look like? How do I help him to achieve that state?
    Thanks!
    Kerri

    Like

    • Hi Kerry, sorry it took so long to reply, I have been straight out busy..still that is no excuse.. I would suggest that you begin to make the distinction between inside and outside activities..by that I mean outside is for action, training, play, ect..and inside is for relaxations..lying on the floor, chewing a bone, sleeping, low levels of excitement, if any. Everything that takes place inside is amplified for your dog, outside he will he better able to absorb the energy of his environment. Once you dog gets used to being more relaxed and calm inside he will be less wound up at the door.. This is a good topic for me to write an article on …I hope this has helped you a little..

      Like

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