How does your dog learn?
Two ways. Your dog learns through
Let’s say you open the refrigerator door. Your dog comes over and you give him a slice of cheese.
You repeat this process a few times and your dog will associate the sound of the fridge door opening with the cheese and he will come running.
Learning through association – also know as… classical conditioning.
Next you open the fridge door and your dog comes running over. Instead of simply handing your dog the cheese you say, “sit.” Your dog sits and you hand the cheese over.
Learning through consequence – also known as… operant conditioning.
Now that you are armed with this knowledge you can train your dog. First we want to classically condition a sound or word with a positive association.
Clickers have become very popular. By clicking and then giving your dog a treat you are associating the sound of the click as something good to your dog, the same way the fridge door brings your dog magically by your side.
I use my voice instead of clickers. I say the word, “YES!” and then give a treat. I want my dog to hear the word and expect a treat.
Once I have classically conditioned the word “YES!” I can use this word to teach my dog to do obedience.
The second my dog sits I can say, “YES!” and deliver the reward.
This is one of the most effective ways to train your dog. You can speed up the time it takes to train your dog and it also helps clear up confusion as your dog is learning.
The word “YES!” is limited to teaching your dog behaviors. To stop behaviors (jumping, barking, begging, etc.) your dog has to learn the word “NO.”
This is accomplished by associating a word with a negative consequence.
Using this information you can now go forth and train your dog to listen to your commands and have a dog that comes when called, walks on leash, does NOT jump and stops dashing out the door.
And if you need a little more help, head on over to The Dog Training Inner Circle where you can get personal help from me.
Best of all it is just $1.00 to join.
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