For home training, basic commands are easier and more fruitful to use the methodology of positive reinforcement. Even the child will be able to apply it. This does not need a dog handler talent and fundamental knowledge. Dog training at home for novice owners from mechanical training turns into entertaining training without coercion.
Traditional training methods
The success of the dog’s training directly depends on the chosen methodology. The old school of training is based on a system of positive and negative reinforcements, in other words, gingerbread and whip.
Educational instructions are full of recommendations to apply power methods when the dog does something wrong: “press on the withers”, “pull the leash”, “pull the collar” and so on.
So they advise you to teach the puppy the command to Down in the traditional way.
Supporters of old methods do not believe in the dog’s ability to understand commands without forced measures. The main tasks of such training are to suppress the nature of the animal, to completely subordinate, to achieve impeccable automatic execution of commands.
This approach to home training violates the contact of the animal and the owner. The dog connects negative emotions with the owner. He perceives him as a center of his disasters, from which you need to stay away.
An excess of negative emotions in sensitive dogs leads to stress. Chronic internally stress is posed by the main cause of behavioral problems.
Dog training by positive reinforcement
For the past two decades, coaches and owners have departed from traditional methods of home training of dogs.
The methodology of positive reinforcement is entirely based on the internal motivation of the animal to perform the owner’s command and denies violent methods.
Dogs are social animals. Nature endowed them with cognitive abilities aimed at building relationships with man. In other words, they do not want to conflict with the owner who gives shelter, food, care and love at all. Dogs are also interested in building a peaceful relationship.
The owner can only develop natural abilities, intelligibly explain what behavior he is waiting for:
- Positive reinforcement is all that the dog loves and the easiest, understandable way to transmit information: do as I want, and get that you love. The animal quickly connects its behavior with a valuable award. Next time will complete the task with a greater probability, faster and better.
- Training on a positive reinforcement is held on a joyful emotional background, strengthen contact with the owner.
- The dog is sincerely interested in the result. He perceives the first award as an accident, considers the second to coincide, the third – by the regularity. After regular classes, he takes the initiative in anticipation of the award, he himself offers the behavior of the right owner.
- The training on positive reinforcement is suitable for an animal of any age: from a two-month puppy to an adult dog with problems of behavior.
When next to the owner is emotionally comfortable, interesting, fun and tasty, basic skills are mastered by “by themselves”, without effort.
Positive reinforcement – does not mean permissiveness when the owner does not respond to the actions of the pet. On the contrary, this is a humane way to establish its own rules, to teach the dog the correct behavior.
Three whales of homemade dog training – 3 types of motivation
The dog lives according to its own laws, it follows instincts, and does not work just like that. The driving force of training is the motivation of the animal. If the dog wants to get something, then he is ready to strain, think and do.
The most effective 3 types of motivation:
- Food. A healthy dog is always interested in food. This property is due to the instinct of survival. The owner prompts a delicious piece to perform the right action, rewards after the correct execution.
- Game. Each dog has a hunting instinct. Hence the habit of jerking objects, catching up. A favorite toy will work no worse than a tidy piece for guidance of an animal for the desired action. The game with the owner will be encouraging proper behavior.
- Social. This secondary motivation, which is developed gradually. If together with a delicacy, a toy to a dog to praise an emotionally, stroke, she will quickly understand the meaning of words and touch. Gradually, praise becomes an independent motivator without adding food and playing.
The easiest way to manage the animal, which has developed all 3 types of motivation. A delicacy, a favorite toy, praise is a salary of a dog for which she is ready to work.
Why negative reinforcement does not work
Negative reinforcement is any negative impact directly at the moment of non-execution of the command. Raising the voice, forceful methods give a temporary result, they have to be constantly tightened.
First, the dog reacts to shouts, obeys. Then he gets used to it, stops noticing. The owner strengthens the negative reinforcement, jerks of the leash are used.
This temporarily helps, but the animal adapts to them. You have to pull harder and so on ad infinitum. Particularly ” advanced” trainers from their own impotence reach strict or electric shock collars.
Negative reinforcement teaches nothing, does not motivate to do the right thing. During training, the dog feels nothing but fear and disgust for commands. As a result, he lives in a state of chronic stress.
Sensitive animals earn a real neurosis, which is difficult to treat. You can forget about trust, respect and love. Fear becomes the main driving force of actions.
Sound markers of positive reinforcement
An audible signal is a way to instantly mark the correct execution of a command. To do this, use a clicker in training.
When you press the button, the clicker emits a clear click of medium volume.
Before the first classes, train your pet in a calm home environment:
- Click the clicker. Then immediately give a tasty piece.
- Repeat the exercise 5-7 times in a row, take a break.
- During the day, return to it 5-6 more times.
- Work out for 2 – 3 days, then check. Give a signal and look at the reaction of the animal. If the dog starts up and looks expectantly, it means that he understands the sound correctly and you can start classes.
The clicker is convenient to use, but it has drawbacks. The device occupies hands, is lost, forgotten. Some dogs find clicks unnerving. In the initial classes, instead of a clicker, you can use the word “Yes”. He is spoken briefly, without emotion, always the same.
An audible signal is given exactly at the moment of correct execution. He does not cancel awards. After clicking the clicker or the “Yes” marker, the dog is always treated, praised or played. Without encouragement, the signal becomes useless.
It is convenient to fix short successful moments with sound markers. For a moment, do not have time to put a tasty piece in your mouth. A click of a clicker or the word “Yes” tells the animal: you did the right thing, now there will be a reward.
The signal instantly fixes the execution of the command at a distance, when it is impossible to immediately reward the dog. After mastering the skill, sound markers are no longer needed.
Sound markers of negative reinforcement
Incorrect behavior is marked with a short word, more often “no”. The word is pronounced calmly, without emotion, with the same intonation. It transmits a message to the animal: you were mistaken, you need to redo it.
After the marker “no”, the dog is deprived of a reward. When close emotional contact is established between a person and a dog, a non-renewal of a portion of affection, praise, goodies become a real punishment for an animal.
At what age to start training the puppy and how much to do
Previously, dog training began at 6 months. In training, power techniques were used, which are not acceptable for small puppies.
Training on positive reinforcements can be started from 2 months at home, and after planned vaccinations, go to the street:
- Classes in short sessions, but several times a day, for example, in the morning and evening.
- The total time of one training for a puppy is no more than 15 minutes, for an adult dog – 40 minutes.
- Repeat one command no more than 3 – 5 times in a row, then take a break, play with a pet or go to another task.
- Finish the training a little earlier than he gets tired or loses interest.
What a treat to give a puppy during training
A delicious piece in training as a pointer. He leads to the desired action, helps to explain the command, notes successful execution.
Before training, the dog is not fed, otherwise the treat will not interest the pet. A hungry dog is also a bad student. The smell of food will become a strong stimulus, distracts attention from the owner.
Feed the pet 2 to 3 hours before training.
Everyday food will not become an effective incentive. Take the most welcome food for classes that meets the criteria:
- It will not harm the health of the dog.
- Does not get your hands dirty. For example, raw meat is attractive to animals, but leaves traces on the palms, clothes.
- Available in training food is needed constantly, and not on holidays.
- Does not crumble. A boiled chicken in his hands delays, falls to the ground, distracts the dog.
The size of the pieces is made so that the dog is able to quickly swallow. If he has been chewing the earned treat for a long time, he forgets why he received him. But do not deceive the pet, do not give crumbs that he will not feel at all.
Here is a version of the delicacy that is suitable for training:
- Take the lung in equal parts of the beef, heart, liver.
- Wash, boil for 30 – 40 minutes.
- Cool, cut into cubes.
Dogs love such food, it does not harm health, leaves no traces on the hands and does not break up into pieces.
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Other types of training food:
- Boiled stomachs, chicken hearts, cut into cubes.
- Slices of low-fat sausage or cheese are not healthy food, but will do when there is nothing at hand.
- Ready-made treats for training from the pet store.
Before starting classes, practice at home catching a dog for a piece, teach you to move with your hand. Bring your fingertips up to your nose, let it sniff, and move the side away so that the puppy follows the piece.
How to start training a puppy
The first condition for successful training is to establish eye contact with your pet.
The basis of home training: eye contact with the pet.
This word hides not just mutual understanding, trust and the joy of communication. This is the ability to look, hold your eyes, focus on the owner, without being distracted by external stimuli.
The dog thinks about what he sees in front of him. When he looks at the owner, he hears him, is ready to receive and execute commands.
Therefore, first teach your pet to quickly switch attention to you:
- At home, sit opposite the puppy, show a piece and hide it behind your back.
- When he starts looking, call out the name.
- Wait for the dog to look you in the eyes, catch the eye for at least a second.
- At this point, beep with a clicker or the word “Yes”, praise and give away a piece.
- Repeat the exercise in a calm atmosphere at home 3-5 times in several sessions with breaks.
- Then continue to train on a walk: first in a wasteland, then on a bestdogfood.Expert with irritants.
- Gradually increase the time of concentration – hold your gaze for 2, 3, 5 seconds. And only then give a sound signal, praise and treat.
Gradually, the puppy will understand that it is beneficial to look at you, because they give you a treat for it. He will stop running away on walks, he will look back more often. This behavior is easily overlaid by other commands.
What commands can you learn with a dog
You can independently master the basic skills that greatly simplify life together with a pet:
- Come / Come here – instantly run up to the call. Stand, Down – take static positions and do not move without permission.
- Heel – do not pull the owner on walks or move without a leash. – calmly walk past discarded food on the street, do not pick up garbage from the ground. – go to the couch on demand. – calmly give the seized bone or valuable thing. – this skill is useful during the game, when you need to reset the accumulated energy.
To assess progress, mastering a new skill can be divided into 4 main stages:
- The first successful implementation.
- A dog without hesitation shows a new skill in 8 cases out of 10 in a quiet secluded place.
- The command without delays is performed anywhere on the street and at home, with different distracting factors.
- The new skill becomes part of everyday life, it remains to support it.
For a major success and the transition to the next stage of training, the dog is awarded a large portion of the most desired treat. It is like a “jack-skew” that is issued in the event of a significant breakthrough.
The dog does not execute the command – what to do
Failures in training more often occur for three reasons: low motivation, owner errors, poor health of the animal:
- Do not rush the dog. She herself will set the pace, because the speed of training is different for everyone. Some absorb a new skill after 5 repetitions, others and 100 consolidations are not enough. But the most ingenious ones will not complete the first time in an unfamiliar environment, with strong stimuli. Read on the topic: The most trained little dogs in the ranking of S. Koren.
- Put the completed tasks. Complicate the tasks gradually: the more objects distracting the attention, the more difficult the dog. Train first at home, then on the street in secluded corners, then in places with a minimum of stimuli. When the puppy begins to work out, go to sites with strong distracting factors where other animals, strangers walk.
If the training is transferred from the house immediately to the noisy yard, the pet will forget all the commands.
The dog does only what is beneficial to it without coercion. Let her know – the correct behavior and the execution of the commands is tasty, pleasant and funccess will come when your interests coincide with the benefit of a pet.
How to teach a dog a command “Come / Come here” at home
This is the most important command. She will protect the animal from dangers, and the owner from conflicts for a walk. Until learned skill of calling puppies on the street is not lowered from the leash.
Performing the task lasts seconds, but the dog will have to teach three elements:
- I instantly be distracted from your classes and switch attention to the owner.
- Quickly run up without being distracted by extraneous objects.
- After completing, sit down at the left leg or, on the contrary, look at the owner, wait for instructions.
In order for the dog to master the exercise by 100%, train first at home, then on the street with different distraction.
How to train the reference of a puppy – the first steps
First, the puppy is introduced to the command “Come / Come here” at home:
- The first step – explain the meaning of the command, form a connection between words and movement to the owner. Call the puppy when he looks, is ready to run up or heads in your direction.
- Say the command calmly and clearly that it is not lost in the stream of words, with positive intonations. When the puppy runs up, consolidate success with a sound signal, treat it with a treat, praise.
- The second stage is to move to a distance of 1 – 2 steps. Code the moment when the puppy looks in your direction, show the toy or food and command “Come / Come here”.
- The third step – call the puppy when he does not look at you, but is not busy with anything interesting. When he runs up, step back a couple of steps back so that the puppy moves after you.
- The fourth step – give the command when the puppy is passionate about the toy. If he does not react, then it is too early to complicate the task. Return timely back.
- Fifth step – call the puppy from the next room. Do not forget to treat, praise each time.
- The final element is taught to sit down at your feet. Bring a piece to the nose, lift the puppy above the head, move it a little back to the eye line. When he lifts his face, the rear part involuntarily drops to the floor, so dogs are arranged.
The main errors of primary education in the Calculation:
- Repeat the command several times. The puppy will get used to running up from 2 to 5 attempts. The main task for a novice trainer is to learn to recognize when the pet is probably suitable.
- Call in a formidable voice.
- Say the nickname and command together. They should not merge into one word. The name is necessary to attract attention, the command is for the call.
- Call the puppy for unpleasant hygiene procedures or scolding for guests.
Tie with the command only positive emotions.
How to teach a dog to look at the owner more often during a walk
Outside the house for the puppy, a new world of sounds, smells, strangers, dogs and cats opens. Under the influence of impressions, he forgets about the owner, ceases to notice.
In such conditions, it is useless to train. First, establish eye contact with a pet on the street, teach you to see you and hear. Find a quiet place with a minimum of stimuli or take it to the yard early in the morning, late in the evening.
To train the attention of the puppy, it is useful to perform 3 exercises:
- On the walk silently stop and wait for the dog to look at you. Keep on a short leash no more than a meter. Let the dog run, sniffs around. When you look at you or suitable – give a sound signal and reward.
- After 3 – 5 repetitions, release to run on a long leash. On each walk, do 5 of these exercises.
- Control your dog’s attention on the move. Walk at a leisurely pace, then stop. As soon as the dog turns to you – get a tasty piece, step back two steps. Let him come and take it. Soon the dog will turn around during stops.
- Show a treat and turn away. The dog will run in front and will seek interaction with you.
At this stage, do not call the dog, do not pull on the leash. The purpose of the exercises is to get attention without coercion. If the dog approaches and does not want to leave, play with him. Show how fun and interesting you are. Then let him run on a long leash.
Become interesting for the pet, and he will not want to walk on his own and run after the dogs.
Command “Come” on the street
After making eye contact, return to practicing the call. There are too many things to do on walks for a puppy, so start at close range in a quiet place:
- Keep the puppy on a 2-3 meter long leash. Show a toy or treat and call when he is not interested in anything, looks in your direction. Associate the correct execution of the command with positive emotions. Praise, treat with delicious pieces, play and let go for a walk.
- Gradually increase the length of the leash, first to 5, then 7, 10 meters. Call as before, when the dog turned to you, she is ready to come running. Give commands in a lively, joyful voice.
- Repeat the call on a walk every 10 – 15 minutes, treat, praise and again send to run on a long leash. Help the puppy not to be distracted along the way by foreign objectsn back yourself, cheer with claps, praise.
- Then for 5 simple calls, add 1 complex one. Give the command when the dog is distracted, not looking at you. Learn to determine how absorbed she is. Call when you are sure of completion. If the dog does not come running to the call at the moment of sniffing a bug in the grass, then he will not be able to switch his attention in the midst of the game.
- Without a leash, the dog behaves differently, often ceases to obey. Tie a rope 10-20 meters long instead of a leash while practicing the “Come” command. It will give you a feeling of freedom. However, you can step on the tip at any time and control your pet from a distance.
- At the final stage, show what to do after completing the command. At the time of approaching, catch the pet on a piece, bring to the right place. Then raise the treat over the puppy’s head, it will automatically sit at your feet.
When the call is obtained 100% in secluded places, go to the sites by external stimuli. And start again at close range.
From the leash, the pet is lowered when he instantly runs for a call, even if a cat appears Heel or other dogs play.
The dog does not fit the call – we correct errors
According to the rules, the call is given only once, and the dog must run at the first request. However, the ideal model is not always obtained. To blame the animal is not productive, try to figure out your mistakes.
Here are the possible situations that lead to the disobedience of the pet:
- You call the dog a threatening tone. No sensible creature will want to approach if he hears evil intonations. Serve commands with a positive voice.
- The pet hesitated, distracted, ran up with a delay. You scold for this. The dog lives real. She does not connect the dissatisfaction of the owner with an act committed a minute earlier. In the minds of the pet, the disapproval of the beloved owner and the moment of approaching are united. The next time he will not want to run up. Praise, encourage even for execution late.
- The dog does not obey, you are trying to catch. The dog perceives such actions as a game. It is enjoyed in it. Try to run away. The dog will instinctively follow. At this moment, turn around, command “Come / Come here”, and after completing reward.
- On the street you let the dog run freely, play. At the end, you are entering, leading home. If walks pass according to such a scenario, for the dog, after fulfilling the order “Come / Come here”, joy and fun ends. Call the pet 5 to 10 times per walk. Praise and send again to run. To smooth out the moment of returning home, play a little along the way.
Sometimes the owners behave unpredictably. During training, they are consistently taught the commands on a positive reinforcement. The houses scream, beat for the offenses. As a result, the dog is afraid to approach. He simply does not know what to expect from the owner.
If there are difficulties with independent training of a dog, you can sign up for training courses. Each dog handler has its own achievements and valuable finds. Even on free webinars, you can find a lot of useful for yourself.
Command Heel – homework
This is a difficult task. The dog needs to be able to start moving, speed up, slow down, stop, make turns. First, determine the place of the pet next to you – at the left, right foot, or he is allowed to walk from either side. Designate for yourself how far he can move. Usually the leash sags a little.
The more clearly you present the model of the future behavior of the pet, the more intelligibly you explain, and the puppy will understand faster.
Spend the first lessons at home, devote to explaining the command. Introduce the puppy to the leash at the same time:
- Put on the leash so that it sags a little. Stand near the pet, give a delicious piece. So you designate a place near you. Do not enter a verbal command yet. It is perceived as noise and prevents the puppy from concentrating on the task.
- Take 1-2 steps forward. When the puppy follows you, praise, treat.
- Gradually increase the “walks” around the house, constantly reinforce the correct behavior with praise and treats.
- When the puppy begins to move freely at your leg, introduce the word Near. This is the only command that can be repeated more than once.
When the dog understands the meaning of the command, move on to walking.
How to wean a dog from pulling on a leash
Before the walk, set up the dog to walk beside you already in the hallway. Don’t let us run ahead. If she rushes through the door, stop at the exit. Approach your pet and move the leash to the side. Do not pull back, it will only spur you to run forward. When the dog stands at the foot, praise, command “Heel” and go.
For outdoor activities, find a quiet, deserted place. First, let the dog go to the toilet, run. Play for 5-10 minutes. Moving animals need to lose energy. Then start training:
- Take the puppy by the leash, bring the treat to the place next to you, which was marked at home. Command and start moving. Every 2-3 steps stop, praise, treat.
- If the dog ran forward, pulled on the leash – do not pull, just stop. Then call the pet, step back a couple of steps. When he returns, do not give a treat, do not reinforce the desire to run away, pull on the leash. Just command and continue the exercise, periodically encouraging.
- If the dog is interested in an object far away, rushes forward uncontrollably – come up, holding the leash. Then pull sideways without jerking and turn the animal in the opposite direction. Command “Heel”. After 3-4 steps, praise, reward, keep moving.
- Turn a puppy that is too energetic every time it rushes forward with force. Then move in the opposite direction. Do not pull on the leash, this gives a short-term result. On the next walk, everything will be repeated all over again.
Exercise regularly on every walk in several visits. Walk on a short leash for 5 minutes. Then play, let go for a walk for 5 – 10 minutes.
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