Yesterday we spent about an hour running around the backyard. We live next to a big pond and she loves running to the water. I called her and she avoided eye contact.
I kept calling her and she kept avoiding eye contact.
I’ve learned that she thinks if she dosen’t make eye contact she doesn’t have to listen to me.
After scooping her up and bring her back inside I said to Rachael: “She is like a puppy. No attention, no response.”
This is an excellent lesson to take into the weekend as you get ready to do some training. If there is one comment I hear over and over it is:
“My dog won’t listen to me.”
So here are two simple tips to help you get a better response from your dog:
ADTM TIP #1: Engagement. Dogs that don’t perform the command are usually not paying attention to the owner. If your dog is not paying attention, they will not do the command.
When you are training you need your dog’s attention. Your dog should engage and interact with you while you are training. Working on attention will quickly improve your dog’s performance.
ADTM TIP #2: Stop repeating. A common mistake people make training their dogs is repeating the command. Saying, “Sit, Sit, Sit, SIT, SIIIT, SIIIIITTT, SIIIITTTT DOWWWNNN!” will not improve performance.
What will improve it is calmly saying, “Sit.” If your dog does not do the command, you teach and use a non-reward marker.
So if I am working with a dog and I say, “Sit,” and the dog does not do the command I simply say, “Wrong,” and withhold any reward. I also remove MY attention and walk away for a couple of seconds.
I can then approach the dog and ask for the behavior again. If the dog now does the behavior he is rewarded.
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