Choose Commands Carefully and Apply Them Consistently

All members of your family must train in a consistent manner, using consistent commands. For example, DOWN means lie down, not get off the couch or stop jumping on me.  (By the way, I teach OFF for getting off the couch or jumping on me.) I do not insist that you use my words for commands, use what works for you. If you want your dog to learn the fastest possible way, then you must train in the most clear and simple way possible.  While your dog is in the learning phase, do not give a command  that you cannot enforce (that is, do not tell your dog to COME when it is clearly more interested in the squirrel). You will only teach your dog that it is sometimes okay to ignore you.

Don’t shout commands. Dogs hear far better than we do. Then why do so many people yell at their dogs? Because they have taught their dogs that unless they are shouting, there is no need to listen to what they are saying. You can give commands in a whisper if your dog is trained to listen for soft commands. Besides, commands given softly give you plenty of room to shout in case a verbal correction s needed and it is far more likely to be heeded.

Be clear with your commands. Do not jumble your command words with a lot of other words. You could give the dog a wrong message, the you will have problem like this:

Any behavior can be modified, but sometimes managing the behavior is all that is necessary. Yo are capable of changing any behavior you choose. Many times clients ask if I can help them get their dog to stop doing “x.” Of course I can, but it may mean certain sacrifices of time and effort on the client’s part. Often the solution is the use management techniques rather than behavior modification to quickly solve the problem with a minimal amount of effort. For example, if your dog is getting into the garbage, you can spend many hours teaching your dog to “leave it” and then proof of training him…or you could just put the trash can behind a closed door (into the pantry or cupboard). Want your dog to stop drinking out of the toilet? Simple… close the lid.

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