Dog Training : A New Normal
Training your dog doesn’t have to be hours set aside for training. Sure, initially you need to spend some time daily with 1:1 with your dog teaching, but then once skills are learned, you simply incorporate them into everyday life.
You create a New Normal.
Calm, well-behaved dogs know what to do, how to do it, and use those skills to earn rewards. A good handler requires a skill demonstration before the reward is given. Every time.
- Affection (hugs, kisses, belly rubs or an invitation to the couch)
- Meals & Treats
- Doorway Exits (crates, cars, and yards included)
- Getting your leash on to go for a walk
- Balls & other toys
- Play time at the park
For dogs that demonstrate any sort of aggression, resource guarding, pushiness, brattiness, dominance, bullying, attitude or other unwanted behaviors, it’s especially important to implement this New Normal.
Don’t be afraid to withhold reward. You must be willing to put the food bowl away until the next scheduled feeding. You must be willing to close the crate door and wait — or even walk away, not letting the dog out right that minute. You must be willing to not give the treat or hang the leash back up. You must be willing to walk away from the dog who wants your attention — for now. At least until he learns how to earn the reward.
It helps dogs achieve the following:
- learned routines
- clear expectations
- calmer behavior
- respect for the leader / handler & household rules
- daily practice of obedience skills in a fun way
It’s easy to achieve — just ask your dog for a command. Any command. Sit, Down, Place, Paw, Watch Me, Touch, or anything else you have taught him to do!
Command Performed. Command Released. Reward Presented.
Be sure you are not creating excitement here. Slow things down.
Once they start to understand manners are required, and can hold it for more than just a few seconds begin to simply expect they deliver the command without being told. That is you do not give any verbal or hand-signal cues. Make them think about how to earn the reward.
You can incorporate it into play time and suddenly training and everyday life is a lot more fun for both of you!