• Linda Healy

Training Tips

- If your dog exhibits an undesirable behaviour, the best approach is to pointedly ignore the behaviour and the animal. The dog will quickly realize that doing the wrong thing deprives it of what it desires most-attention,. The only exception is when a dog becomes extremely aggressive; this type of undesirable behaviour requires your immediate attention

- Shouting at a dog when it does something wrong can have unintended consequences. Canines are programmed to crave attention-positive or negative. If one of their transgressions leads to an uproar, they may be tempted to repeat it.

-Do not reprimand a dog for a transgression unless you catch the animal in the act of committing it. A dog will not understand that you are angry about something it did an hour ago. It will simply know that you are angry perhaps about what it is doing at the moment.

-Never strike or harshly reprimand a puppy or adult dog. This is always counterproductive because it teaches the canine, first and foremost, to fear you. In the case of guarding breeds with high levels of innate aggression it can also be very dangerous.

-Always end teaching sessions on a high note. If a dog is having trouble with a new lesson, have it finish by doing an already-mastered behaviour that is can successfully execute. Praise it lavishly.

-Hold instruction sessions at the same times and places each day.

- Try to use command words such as "sit" with the same tone of voice each time. Dogs respond as much to how you say things as what you say.

-Be sure you have the dog's attention before giving a command.

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