With so many different training programs, it’s important for owners and handlers to find a method that works for them and their dogs. Here are a few quick tips to add to just about any method, that will help bring out the most in a dog. They’ll also create a strong bond between pup and owner.
There is no gray area in dog training. Running dogs is as black and white as it gets. When a handler says “come,” the dog will come or it won’t. If the dog comes, then they're rewarded with a pat, a treat, or a kind word. If the dog doesn’t come, then they need some correction. Add a check cord, repeat the command, and lead them in. Then praise them. That’s basic stuff. Where it gets complicated is when a handler isn’t consistent. It’s usually when the dog does what it’s asked to do and the handler doesn’t praise them. If the dog isn’t consistently getting praised for a job well done, then what is their motivation for working well? The dog just gives up. Not using the same command is also a problem. If you say “come” one time and “come on” a second time and “come over here” a third time, you’re using inconsistent commands. Be clear to your dog, and they will respond.
It takes a lot of patience to work with dogs. Some dogs will really test a handler. Handlers can’t lose their temper in those situations. Getting frustrated doesn’t do anyone any good. But it can do a lot of damage to the relationship between the dog and the handler. Dogs pick up on a handler’s attitude, and training sessions need to be positive and upbeat. When dogs are having fun, they will do just about anything asked of them.
Training shouldn’t be random. There should be a standard. Handlers are teachers, and as teachers they need to demonstrate what they want the dog to do. Always put dogs in a position for success, and they’ll develop confidence and boldness. Be sure to reward them along the way, and you’ll have a performance athlete that exceeds your expectations.
Dog training should be fun for the owner and the dog alike. If it’s not fun, then something needs to change. Look at your consistency, patience and standards and modify if necessary. It won’t take long before you’re both right on track.