Basic Steps To Training Any Behaviour

Dogs that do not do something that you want them to do are NOT being dominant or disrespectful. They are not trained.

Train more and generalize the behaviour to many different locations for any behaviour you want to train well.

Basic Steps To Training Any Behaviour

One: train the behaviour with food visible and in a location of no distractions. Do many repetitions.

Two: train the behaviour with the food visible to the dog in a location of low distractions. Do many repetitions.

Three:  start training the behaviour with the food hidden in your hand or pocket in locations of LOW distraction. If you dog is having trouble with this, go back to the previous step and do more reps.

Four: If your dog is getting most of the reps correct, increase distractions to mild/moderate. If you have to, for the first few reps, make the food reward visible to your dog. Within a few reps, start hiding the food in your hand or pocket. If your dog is having trouble, you have likely gone too far too fast. There are too many distractions or the rewards are not valuable enough. go back and do more reps at a lower level.

Five: Continue to increase distractions to moderate. You may also want to increase duration of the behaviour – i.e. longer sit, down etc. Increase incrementally only. If you have to bring back the visible food reward for a few reps, go ahead but quickly go to hiding it again after a short time. If your dog is having trouble, go back and do more reps at a lower level.

Six: Increase behaviour duration and distance BEFORE increasing distractions to HIGH. Difficult distractions is like being in college for a dog. You have to do the lower, easier levels before you progress to more difficult situations. Do in the same manner as stated above.

The more work you do at a level, the more ingrained the habit of the behaviour will be in the dog. Don’t ask the dog to perform a behaviour in a location or around a distraction that you have never practiced.  Make sure that your dog is successful in each repetition that you practice. Errorless learning works well for dogs, and is really the only thing you can do when you are clicker training. Besides, its more fun!

Happy Training!

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