Definition: This is the process of teaching a dog to perform certain behaviors under various conditions and in certain behaviors on command.
Domestic dogs come in a bewildering variety of shapes and sizes. They have been bred throughout most of their history as a working dog used for hunting, guarding humans, helping fishermen with net, pulling loads, herding livestock, as companion dog and others. Dogs live with people and they must behave in a way that makes them safe, pleasant and acceptable to people. Therefore, dogs do not figure out basic obedience on their own; they must be trained by their owners.
The most difficult part of training is communicating with the dog in a humane way that he understands. From the human perspective the handler is communicating to the dog what behaviors are correct, desired, or preferred. From the canine perspective the handler must learn what motivate the dog if the optimum result is desired. You do not need to talk too much when communicating with your dog. However, the principle of all communication is simple: reward desired behavior while ignoring or correcting undesired behavior.
A good handler must understand the communication that the dog sends to the handler. The emotional state of the dog is an important consideration in directing the training because the dog may send a signal that he is nervous, confused, happy, and so on. The dog that is stressed or distracted will not learn efficiently.
There are four important messages that the handler can send the dog:
*Reward or release marker. Correct behavior. You have earned a reward. For example Free or Okay followed by a reward.
*Keep going signal Correct behavior. Continue and you earn a reward. For example, Good or Come on.
*No reward marker. Incorrect behavior. For example, Try again.
*Punishment marker Incorrect behavior. You have earned punishment. For example. No or Out.
These four messages need to be communicated in both words and nonverbal signals. Also, hand signals and body language are important in the dog training. If the handler gives the dog a reward marker before giving the dog a food treat, the dog will lean to associate the reward marker with receiving something pleasant. Secondly, if the dog receives a punishment marker before he is scolded or put aside for bad behavior, he will learn quickly to associate the punishment marker with the punishment itself.
Command learning is not an easy task for dog. A dog who knows a particular command in one location may not recognize the same command in another location. A dog who you taught how to down in the bed room may be seriously confused when asked to down in the parking lot. However, the down commands need to be retaught in each new situation. The recall command is the most important of all the training command. A dog who responds to recall command should never be punished. Punishing a dog upon recall teaches the dog that if he returns he will be punished.
It is necessary to correct a dog while training but never use physical force or violent. This may lead to loss of interest on the part of the dog, and in extreme cases even aggression.
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