Last month we discussed how dogs learn and how that will simplify the training process for you. This month we will discuss the traits you need as a trainer so that your dog will learn and become that well trained dog you a desire.
Let’s start with the basic commands you need to teach your dog. I use the following: WHOA, (for pointing dogs), SIT (for flushing dogs), NO or LEAVE IT, HERE, HEEL, KENNEL, DOWN, HUT-HUT (used to teach the dog to quarter in field) and a RELEASE command. I use the dog’s name vs. OK as it makes the command specific to your dog. Example: Fido – HERE. Later you may add FETCH & DEAD in teaching the dog to retrieve and to track downed birds.
Following are the four qualities you need as a trainer:
INSISTENCE: When you give a command, no matter what it may be, you must insist that the dog execute the command. Even if you must walk/drag the dog through the command.
PERSISTENCE: You must not give up once a command is given. Follow through once the command is given. If you “blow it off”, guess who becomes in control? Your dog not you!
CONSISTENT: Use the same command for a specific action. Example: Do not say HERE one time and COME the next time. Everyone in the family must use the same command as to not confuse the dog!
PATIENCE: It takes many repetitions to get your dog to fully understand and execute commands. Some dogs learn quicker than others. Exercise patience when conducting your training sessions. Do not let yourself become angry and take it out on the dog. When frustration builds, go back to a command that you know your do will execute. Praise him/her lavishly when that command is executed properly. Then put the dog up for the day.
Stop by again next month as we will discuss how to teach the WHOA/SIT command.
C J, Shawnee and Duchess