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Basic Principles of Dog Training
“The dog must have choice, as we do, and they soon learn that some things bring reward along with them, some punishment and some things seem to have no consequences and can be ignored. But it is the reward and punishment that really stays with them. Punishment has a place but often it is simply the removal of something ‘good’ of a harsh verbal, administered on time. I have seen the disastrous result of dogs punished, with poor timing or over punished verbally till they give up trying.
A word of warning about the ‘alpha roll’ as seen on the TV recently: as a form of dominance over your dog it is fraught with danger. Two dogs I have personally recently seen, one a very large Cane Corso Mastiff, with no previous bite history, has bitten the owner and the vet since this was tried unsuccessfully, the other dog also with no bite history, has now bitten (A Spaniel)
Rewards they really ‘get’ and they stick in their mind. Anything they like can be a reward. Dogs learn very quickly if allowed to work something out for themselves too, that way they do not forget. Think of the dogs you know who pull and still pull, months or years later. They never learned pulling doesn’t work or (rather the owner was unable to teach this). They got to sniff that tree before they were hauled back, pulling worked and was rewarded!
Got a puppy? Start early. (See Puppy Foundation) It is never too late to get some remedial help, however often rewards are food ,(used properly) at first and largely phased out later, but a good back scratch, ear strokes, clicker, toy, all can be a reward too, as can that tree sniff, at the right time! Above all else have patience with your dog no matter how much you believe he knows everything you are thinking.
Word of warning
I help owners ‘get’ their dogs, and get a calm dog, understand what makes them tick. It is not always the same with each dog. Do not let your dog become a statistic, 3 out of 10 dogs do not stay in their original home. Do be aware that there are a lot of people who give advice on dog training e.g. internet forums and do not have experience or even use their own names and have never met the dog and owner and have caused pet owners some serious problems, with ill gotten advice. The UKRCB and the APBC have lists of behaviourists in your area. If something you were advised to do is not working or making things worse, stop doing it right away”.
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For advice on good practice with your dog, or to ask about our dog training services, call
07905 936 863