Posts Tagged ‘puppy training’

Albert Einstein could have been a Dog Obedience Trainer ! by Marilee Cole

“Insanity:  Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”  Albert Einstein

I wonder if Albert Einstein had a dog ?   This certainly pertains with training your dog.

Everyday scenario:   You (hypothetical) take your dog out for a walk.  Sunshine is walking along nicely, enjoying the company of his BFF and the beautiful day.  You stop at the mailbox and ask Sunshine to “sit”.  Sunshine is watching the cars go by and doesn’t “sit”.  You ask , again…. Sunshine still doesn’t “sit”, you then ask a third time… still no response.  By this time you are irritated because you know that Sunshine knows how to “sit”, he does it all the time at home, so you jerk on the leash, raise your voice and say “Sunshine, I said, sit.”  Sunshine looks at you and sits.

Same scenario:  but with a different ending.  You take Sunshine for a walk , stop at the mailbox and ask Sunshine to sit and he sits !  You praise him … what a great boy !!!  pet him, get your mail and walk home.

What made the difference?  First scenario:  Sunshine has learned, he doesn’t have to sit until the 4th request and the tug on the leash.  Why?  Because when training Sunshine you didn’t communicate that when you ask for a command, you want the command on the first request.  Sunshine also may have been so enthralled by all the great looking cars going by that your request became background noise and a physical prompt (hand on his bottom) would have reminded him he was with you. Training with physical prompts is another form of communication.  The inflection of your voice definitely got his attention but Sunshine was probably thinking, ” Wow !  What made my BFF so angry, I had better sit.”  So, Sunshine, sat out of intimidation not out of desire to please you.

Training  with physical prompts will help the dog understand what you want and will help build the social bond with your dog.  Training with consistency will help the dog understand and respond the first time you  ask.  Remember, when your dog becomes rock solid at home, up the challenge and train in a new location… and even in the new location you are still training.  When do dogs learn ?  ALL the time, not just when we are ” training”  them.