GENERAL STUFF - What's Important whatever the methods?
Motivation: Why Should your Dog do these things that you ask? -
Forget dogs for a moment, imagine that it is Mrs Smith that wants Mr Smith to cut the Grass.
It is Sunday afternoon, just had a huge Sunday Dinner, laying half asleep on the settee, with the football about to start on telly shortly, lets face it - theres a row coming... and not much grass cutting.
Go on she says, you can have one of my chocolates when you've done - Phew after all that roast dinner - nah..
You'll not watch that football until you have .. The row begins, grass cutting still a long way off.
Give me that remote... All hell breaks loose.. Mr Smith learns to hide the remote on Sundays, Mrs Smith learns to hate football even more, runs off with the milkman (who likes gardening)
All because there was no motivation - So another version, earlier on Sunday, Mrs Smith says, You pop out and cut the grass, that will give me a chance to get the lunch on, and finish the Death by Chocolate Desert - here have a little taste - This is more promising - maybe..
Or - Get it finished before lunch is ready, and there may be time for...? Now were getting nearer
Or - Use the new sit on, turbo powered, 0-60 in the run up to the flower bed, monster 2000cc (closer cuts) SuperGrassMobile - WHAT FUN - LET Me at it...
Dogs need Motivation. If we are using tit bits - they need to be tasty, the dog should not be fed first. The adrenalin needs to be flowing, the training HAS to be enjoyable, for Us and the Dog.
Dogs read our moods, they are very good at it, and will respond to them, If we are having fun, then the dog will too
The rewards for doing this training must be high - Give the dogs praise when they have done what you ask, not just an ' oh - er - good dog' - but real praise - go mad like the dog has won the lottery
When you get that sit that you've been struggling to get - Jackpot the dog - loads of treats, loads of praise, some games - throw their tuggie, scruff their back - make it worth it - the dogs will begin to remember, and want to achieve that state again.
So - Do we chastise them when they get it wrong, or fail, or misunderstand - NO...
Most of the time its our fault, and worst of all, we have just destroyed this all important motivation - there is more on this subject in the other sections, but basically what we do, is to heap praises and good things on the successes, and ignore the failures - these will die out, and we maintain the motivation, and most of all the love of our best friend.
Also very important - We need the dogs' attention on us in every single exercise, or manoeuvre.
Imagine - Mr Smith, although motivated, was sneaking a look at the footie preview as Mrs Smith pointed out which lawn needed doing - Result - Back Lawn Done! but it's behind the fence, no one can see it, and the Jones Front Manicured Golf Green Lawn, looks even more spectacular against our Jungle - No Candy for you Smithy - of any sort!
If the Dogs attention is elsewhere, he cannot know what we want, what we are asking, or prompting him to do..
Attention is very important - there are methods for achieving it, in both the Lure-Reward section, and in the Clicker Training Section.
Response to Commands:
Mr Smith's mind isn't on the task - was he really listening? was he thinking too much about the football? Was his attention wandering, - No all was ok, but doesn't really know what Mow The Lawn really means, he thinks its something outside - so he washes the car instead - Poor Smithy, all of that motivation and attention gone to waste - no sweeties.
And the point - Your dog has to know what the commands - or cue words and signals mean.
That's where the training comes in, reliable results come from clear learning and practise.