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Pet Resources - Dog Behavior and Training

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Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks

The first rule in understanding dogs and training is that dogs do not all learn at the same rate. Learning ability and intelligence don’t always go hand in hand. Some dogs that we might consider dumb, perhaps because they don’t follow orders, can actually be very smart and simply so no reason to please their indulgent owners. This is where a qualified obedience trainer can help.

An important thing to take into consideration when training your dog is his learning environment. The environment should be familiar, preferably in your home. If you have a yard, you may want to use the same training techniques both in your yard and inside your home.

Rewards and punishments are also important considerations when it comes to proper dog training. One tangible reward can be your dog’s favorite snack. It should be very small in size or broken into small pieces because you may go through a large amount of treats in a short period of time. You should also use verbal praise as a reward so that eventually your dog will do tasks without the promise of food. Rewards should only be given to a dog when he has properly performed the task you are asking him to do. If you instruct your dog to sit and he rolls over, he shouldn’t be rewarded.

Punishments for not performing a task correctly should only involve a firm ‘No’ and your withholding of rewards. You want your dog to respect you, not fear you. Screaming or physically punishing your dog will cause your dog to be resistant to further training.