Dog Training Accessory

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Do Use Predictable "Corrections".When we train and proof our dogs, we constantly and deliberately place them in a position of choice.Dog accessory and training for the dog under training should expect and welcome an event marker or Click as much as he does the correction command 'Ahhhh!' and learn equally from both. The dog should never have cause to fear a correction command - the Ahhhh! is not given in a tone of rebuke. Corrections cannot be given randomly, to be effective they must be consistent, predictable and superbly timed. A badly timed correction is absolutely worthless as a training tool just as badly timed event markers/clicks are absolutely worthless. Do not correct the Dog for Handler Errors. This is self explanatory but one of the main reasons dogs lag and go wide in heeling and develop the resigned helplessness we see in some dogs. The dog is being trained by the handler, the dog is not training the handler - he is not responsible for handler errors.

Do Praise and Reward your Dog Appropriately. Praise every attempt by the dog but don't praise the dog unnecessarily - a dog must earn his praise. The dog must be encouraged to try again even if he hasn't got it quite right when teaching a new exercise. The dog should be praised and/or rewarded every time he completes a new exercise correctly. Thereafter, he should be praised and rewarded randomly. This is not a simple subject and needs to be understood well, see Training Methods for details Do Not Expect Your Dog to Act like a Machine. Like humans dogs make mistakes, have lapses in concentration, misjudge things, feel off colour at times, have bad hair days, etc. Work your dog up to an excellent standard but don't expect perfection 100 per cent of the time. Do Select a Suitable Training Area. The ideal outside training area is a cool, grassed, enclosed area free from all unwanted distractions. The area may be less than the size of a trial ring to beginwith but after the dog has learnt the basic exercises, the regular training area should be no less than the size of a trial ring. The trial equipment for the class the dog is training for should be set up in the training area. Vary the location of your training area frequently and vary the orientation of your rings with in these training areas. See proofing for mock trials. Do quit training if you are tired or upset with the dog. The dog will sense your demeanour and will not perform well and you are likely to take your frustration's out on the dog. It becomes a vicious circle. Don't ever lose your temper, if you are feeling ill with the world then skip training until your mood improves. Do Be Patient and Persevere. Patience and perseverance are essential in dog training. Do Proof all Training as you Go. The suggested proofing for each exercise is shown in the pages which describe the training for that exercise. Do Teach Your Dog the "Working" and "Free" Commands. The dog must know when he is working under your command and free to do what dogs do or free to play with you. Don't command your dog to 'Stay' and then walk away for an hour or two. Always give the release command after training has been completed for the day. Don't use your feet or hands to kick or hit the dog. Your feet and hands are important training aids. The dog should not be given any reason to be foot or hand shy. In any case, physical punishment is almost always counterproductive and unnecessary. Of course, the hands and feet can be used to gently correct a dog. Don't Heed the Anti-food Brigade. food (treats) is a very valuable training tool when used correctly. Don't feed your dog immediately before trialling or training. See Training Theory and Training Methods. Don't Heed the Positive Reinforcement Only Brigade. Positive Reinforcement is the right training method, it teaches the dog what is right. The dog must also be taught what is wrong so corrections are necessary - most corrections are indicated by the correction command followed by Negative Punishment (withholding the reward). There is no place for physical punishment or abuse in obedience training. See Training Theory and Training Methods.

Don't religiously follow new fads and trends. The are no magic methods for obedience training - period! There are clever dogs and natural born trainers who will find it easier than the average handler and average dog to progress. There are right ways and wrong ways to train but there are no magic wands or any other devices or methods that will replace common sense and practice. Most of the methods touted as 'new and innovative' are merely adaptations of tried and proven principles and techniques. The clicker is merely a secondary reinforcer like a verbal event marker. The clicker does provide some individuals better timing with the secondary reinforcer but that is all it does. Don't repetitively train entire exercises to correct a part of an exercise. Analyse problems carefully and concentrate on the areas that need training and practice. Don't bore the dog by overtraining entire exercises unnecessarily. If the dog has a problem with a particular part of an exercise, and you are training to correct it, don't confuse the dog by correcting small imperfections in other parts of the exercise at the same time, eg a slightly crooked sit in front when training the Finish. Don't compromise. Training isn't a democratic process, your dog does not have a choice or a vote in the process. Dogs don't understand or respect weak or laissez faire leaders. All your commands, once they are understood by the dog, should be demanding, firm, uncompromising, unequivocal. The dog is yours to command and the dog is to obey - period! This is my advice, it doesn't come from a harsh trainer - I am an old softie at heart - and I love my dogs. This is responsible dog ownership.Don't rush the dog's training or skip stages or steps in his training. Ensure the dog can carry out each step properly (perhaps ten times in a row each day for a week) before progressing to the next step. Rushed training and missed steps always comes back to haunt and bite you later. Don't repeat the voice commands over and over. Otherwise, the dog will associate the 'Retrieve' command, for example, with 'Fetch, .. Fetch, .. Fetch,.. Fetch, .. Fetch ...' etc, with ever increasing pitch and desperation in the tone of voice, or the dog will learn that the 'Retrieve' Command means to fetch on the eighth or ninth time the dog hears the 'Retrieve' command. Give the voice command at the start of the exercise and perhaps with and event marker (praise) in the sit position in Front, ie 'Good Fetch', then phase out the second voice command. Don't forget to play with your dog. Break up the training sessions by playing with the dog. Make all training session great fun for you and the dog. Your dog can't concentrate for ever no matter how good he is so give him a break and keep training sessions short interspersed with short and exciting play sessions.

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