Many people believe that dogs can only be trained when they’re young. Learning how to train a puppy is certainly a more popular topic than how to train a dog (i.e. an older dog). But despite the old adage “You can’t teach a old dog new tricks”, it is definitely possible to teach a dog of virtually any age new behaviors and yes, tricks.
Potty training puppies is certainly preferable to leaving this task until the dog is older, but perhaps you’ve adopted an older dog whose previous owner never bothered to learn how to house train a dog. Maybe the dog was kept outside previously.
Dogs can become somewhat set in their ways, and be less inclined to be interested in learning.
My dogs tend to look at me a little suspiciously these days if I try to introduce a new command. But once they get the idea that I’m giving them a new way to please me, it doesn’t take them too long to start to comply.
Effective dog training is best achieved by a reward method, or by a combination of reward and correction. The reward training method, as the name suggests, involves rewarding your dog when s/he does something you like, and a training method that also incorporates correction involves correcting your dog when s/he does something you don’t like.
Good training naturally must establish an appropriate relationship between you and your dog, and very importantly must ensure that your dog understands what you want of him/her.
The idea is to teach your dog to make his own decisions (believe it or not!) Not complicated decisions, of course, – just whether to do something or not. If your dog makes the right decision, then you reward him/her. If your dog makes the wrong decision, you can elect to issue a correction, and the opportunity to then choose the right decision. Or incorrect behaviors can be ignored in the reward training only method. Simple!I’ve been reading “Secrets of a Professional Dog Trainer” by Adam Katz: www.Dog-Health-Care-Information.com/dogtraining. It reminded me of an absolutely crucial point when training a dog – the fact that consistency is critical with your dog.
Because your dog is always looking for opportunities to elevate him/herself in the heirachy of your household, even just a little bit … if you don’t insist on a certain behavior every single time, or conversely if you allow a misbehavior even once, your dog can end up receiving a mixed message about what dog behaviors are not acceptable and what dog behaviors s/he can get away with.
As an example, if you’ve taught your dog to come when called, the only way you can be certain s/he will come every single time you give the command, is if you don’t give your dog a choice until you’re 100 percent certain your dog will respond to your command every single time.
So the question then arises – how to train your dog to ensure that you’re 100 percent certain your dog will respond every time. Well, one way of doing this is with a long leash or rope, so you can make your dog come each time you call him/her.
Adam’s dog training ebook is over 300 pages long and explains all of this in much greater detail and not only tells you exactly how to train your dog to respond to specific commands, but also the most effective ways to prevent unwanted behaviors, and how to train your dog in order that you’ll end up with a much better behaved dog in general.
What I really like about Adam’s strategies is that his methods utilize your dog’s natural instincts and drives, and because you treat your dog as if s/he is a member of your pack, rather than a child of your household, you actually end up with a happier dog. I know it may be tempting to “baby” your dog and treat them like your children, but they are dogs, and it stands to reason therefore that they’re happier being treated like loved pets instead of like surrogate children which they’re really not!
Some of the methods described in Adam’s ebook are somewhat controversial, but I’d really recommend that you read the arguments he puts forward and make your own decision. Granted, Adam’s ebook is not a literary masterpiece – actually it doesn’t flow as well as it might, and it’s somewhat repetitive – but the information contained in it is priceless.
And this is just one of an enormous number of resources available inside Adam’s membership site.
You can see whether the membership site is something you and your dog can benefit from by going to this website – just click on the link and take a look: http://www.Dog-Health-Care-Information.com/dogtraining
There is one matter on which I really take issue with Adam, though, and that’s his views on shelter dogs. He recommends against getting shelter dogs. I absolutely disagree with this sentiment, one hundred percent. For some people – people who have never had a dog and have young children, for example, a decision to adopt a shelter dog should not be taken lightly. Many (although not all) shelter dogs have been mistreated, and they need time to develop trust with a new owner. But they can be wonderful companions, and it’s such a rewarding thing to be able to save a dog from being put down.
One other matter that Adam advocates is to use a prong collar. I also have reservations in relation to using prong collars and electronic “shock” collars. Personally I wouldn’t use either myself.
But as I say, Adam does have some great ideas and you’ll find lots of very helpful information in his membership site, whatever your particular training philosophies are.