Best Dog Training Basics

Dog training is easy-peasy, right? Well , no, wrong!

But it can be mostly simple if you follow one basic rule: the O M I R rule.

Observe   Manage   Ignore    Reinforce

  • Observe your dog so you know what things s/he already does that you like, what things s/he does that you don’t like, and if there is any pattern to when these thins happen. e.g. time of day, after a particular event, with a particular person;
  • Manage things to prevent as many of the naughty behaviours as possible;
  • Ignore the naughty things s/he does as far as possible. (If your observation & management are good, you should find that the naughty things decrease.); and
  • Reinforce the behaviours you like and want to encourage.

Dog training basics #1: Observe:

It will be well worth your while to note Fido’s behaviour for a few days. Jot them down somewhere. This will help with your planning and, therefore, your training.

So, what sorts of things might you want to note? Well, barking patterns, digging behaviours, ‘theft’, nipping, chewing on your furniture, crazily zooming around the room, jumping up on people to name but a few.

More importantly, make sure you observe & note all the good behaviours. Things like lying quietly on the bed or mat, waiting at the door instead of dashing out ahead of you, walking nicely beside you instead of pulling on the lead, etc.

Dog training basics Dog training basics #2: Manage

How might you organise your house so that some of the naughty things don’t happen?

The most obvious is to make sure Fido can’t reach the things he likes to steal. Put them up out of his reach. Tell the kids that they are to do the same.

Barking is another one. Dogs bark at noises and at things they can see and don’t like. Your solution here is to block the view of these things. Put covers on the window that Fido likes to watch out of to do his barking.

If your dog is outside and barks at kids coming home from school each day, bring him inside at school start & finish times.

Dog training basics #3: Ignore:

No matter how good your management, there will still be things your dog does that you don’t like. By far the best way to stop them is to ignore them.

Ignoring means:

  • not saying a word,
  • not looking at your dog (not even out of the corner of your eye!),
  • not making any physical contact,
  • turning your back,
  • walking away (provided you don’t have a tiny needle toothed monster attached to your ankle).

If your dog jumps up on you, turn your back and ignore her.

If your dog scratches on the door to get inside, ignore him until he stops. (Don’t forget that in your management plan you covered the door with cardboard or an old door from the recycling centre so there is no risk of scratches on the good door now.)

If your dog zooms around the room crazily, leave the room and shut her in. She’ll get such a surprise that she’ll stop almost immediately.

Leaving the room a few times when she’s crazy will soon stop this behaviour!

Dog training basics #4: Reinforce

This is the hard part. When things are going well we tend to relax & ignore our dogs’ behaviours. “Peace at last”, we think.

This is a huge mistake.

You need to grab this opportunity to reinforce the good stuff that he’s already doing. Remember how you turned your back on him and stayed silent when he was jumping up?

Now, it’s important that you wait until he has stopped jumping up.

When this happens, instantly reward him by giving him huge pats & praise.

If he jumps up again, repeat: ignore, wait, reinforce!

Overall, keep in mind that, the more strictly you follow our dog training basics, the better your results will be!

For in depth help, enroll in our puppy course or our adult obedience course.

Excellent free help can also be found online at PPG Australia

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