Many clients ask; “How do I train my dog?” First and foremost, to train a dog, you must have the dog’s attention! Can you get your dog to sit for one minute without a leash on? If so, then you have already learned how to get your dogs attention — wonderful! If not, then I ask you to take my 7 day challenge!
I ask that you hand feed your dog every meal for 1 week, every meal, and see how your relationship changes in just 7 days. You might keep a journal and really see your dogs attention on you grow with enthusiasm and duration in many different behaviors.
If your dog can already sit and stay in your home, then I suggest you take your training on the road and see if your dog can perform the same behaviors in your front yard, down the street, and at the local park. Training in environments with lots of stimulation takes practice, tasty motivation and often lots of patience. If your dog cannot sit and stay in your yard, then you simply are not ready to ask for this emotional control at the park. Set your dog up for success and begin developing good habits in just one week!
Ideas for training: come, come/sit, shake, down, leave it, touch, roll over, high five, speak, sit/stay, down/stay, wait, watch me, you get it!
What if my dog will not look at me? Simply use his meal mixed with some yummy treats and sit down in a chair. Toss a treat on the floor near your dog, while he is eating the treat, say his name in a happy tone. When he looks at you say “yes” and toss another treat. Continue playing this game for the entire meal. The next day you can try playing this game outside or add different criteria like “Fido come” when he is eating the treat and reward by tossing another treat away from you.
Have fun, motivate using your happy pitch and smile at your dog every time he looks at you. If you are frustrated and using a firm tone, he may comply but I’d bet he avoids looking at you. I want your dog to offer behaviors such as coming to you because it makes him feel good, not come to you to avoid a correction. There is no relationship building in correction training, as the dog is simply performing a behavior to avoid the punishment — Life is Not Good for these dogs! So, try rewarding with every meal for 7 days and I am sure you will see a new relationship building and love it!