Socialize Your Dog!
Take them to pet friendly places (Home Depot, pet shops, parks, pet-friendly friend’s homes, outdoor cafe’s, most banks).
Take your dog in the car on short trips; they can wait in the car if the outside temperature is 70 degrees or below. Crate them if they are not yet trustworthy when left unattended.
- NEVER use a negative action or voice when your dog is coming towards you or making eye contact.
- Never correct your dog if you do not catch them in the act. A three second rule applies. A late correction will only confuse them.
- Tone of voice – Use contrast in your voice to give your dog a clear message.
- Dogs have superior hearing in comparison to humans. Your commands need not be loud.
- Fears – Desensitize by increasing pleasure and exposure.
- Help them realize that life is good!
- “Off ” means get off the furniture, get off of me, etc. “Down” means the “down” position.
- “Leave it” means “Not now, maybe later,” like sniffing the ground or socializing.
- “NO” is ALWAYS NO, NEVER. This behavior is never permitted, like aggression or
- There will be good days and bad days. Mistakes will be made. Work through them. Dogs are not robots.
- Think of obedience class like when you were in elementary school. We will have a class clown, an over achiever, an under achiever, a social butterfly, someone with ADD or ADHD. Not all dogs learn at the same pace.
- Training never stops!
Jackie’s Training Tips
By Jacqueline Aguilar, Owner
Oh My Dog Grooming, Boarding and Training
When I teach an obedience class, I explain to my students that I am there to teach them how to teach their dog to be a well behaved canine citizen — it is the greatest gift you can give your dog. I use the example of my childhood. My parents told me when to eat, sleep and go to school. All the bills were paid; I always had a safe, secure and comfortable place to call home; and all I had to do in exchange was be kind and obedient. It was a wonderful time in my life.
Dogs that do not have manners and are destructive or out of control are one of the many reasons that our shelters and rescues are at or above maximum capacity. My passion is to teach basic obedience to keep dogs in their homes, not to have them turned in or returned to shelters because they were destructive, dangerous or a burden to their families.
With as few as eight one-hour long classes, you and your dog can learn basic obedience and problem solving that will insure that your dog has a forever home. Some of the areas I focus on are:
- Give clear commands. Dogs want to please if they understand what is being asked of them. No one likes to be nagged, and if you are constantly repeating yourself and pulling on your dog’s collar with little or no results, you are nagging.
- Everyone in the house should use the same command words and be consistent. If sit only means sit once in a while, you probably will be frustrated long before your dog learns how to sit.
- Teaching your dog should be fun and full of rewards. Whether it is a treat or praise, be generous with your rewards. I use gambling as an example. We put money in a machine hoping for a big payoff, sometimes we get it, sometimes we don’t, but we keep repeating that behavior. A dog will eagerly repeat a behavior with the hope of getting a treat, sometimes they get it, sometimes they don’t.
- Keep training fun and upbeat. You will get so much more out of your dog by keeping training fun and upbeat. Think of when you were in school. If your teacher was long winded and boring, you learned very little. If they were fun and upbeat, class was fun and you learned a lot. In every class we had over achievers, under achievers and class clowns. Obedience class is no different. Every dog will not learn at the same pace.
- Research your breed if you are looking for a dog. If you have an active lifestyle, don’t choose a Scottish Terrier with two inch legs to go hiking with you. If you want a couch potato, you don’t want a Border Collie.
In closing, remember the three second rule. If you are praising or disciplining your dog, it must be within three seconds of that behavior or your dog will not understand why he is being praised or disciplined. Always end training on a good note telling your dog he is the “best dog in the world!”