In regard to dog training, there is no doubt that many valuable pointers can be found in “tips and tricks” articles, but learning from mistakes can also prove to be beneficial. In order to prevent you from having to learn the hard way, here are some things to take with you into your training ventures.
Training is about more than just tricks
Some dog training information does not go beyond the basics. When training your dog, it is important to learn and realise the value of things such as impulse control and the purposes of play time. If one does not factor these things in, a dog may behave in a pushy or impatient manner. You may not realise it is because he might need some impulse control training.
A dog who greets visitors by bounding up on them is not behaving that way because he’s just friendly; he was never educated on how to appropriately greet people entering the home. A dog barking all day when his owner is at work is most likely feeling frustrated about being locked up throughout the day.
These things are mostly reactionary, and there needs to be more connection between training and a specific behaviour (and how it can be remedied if needed).
Not all dogs are highly food/treat driven
You may not believe it, but there are dogs who would literally spit out some meat if they discover something they find more interesting.
Some dogs are reactionary and require more than a simple snack to retrieve their attention. If a dog becomes too excited, it can be difficult to bring them back down and place their focus on you, even if you have the most temptingly tasty treat. Your bribe is worthless to a dog who is not motivated by food.
Some dogs are simply more motivated by play. You can utilise this to your advantage by bringing toys along when you want to practice impulse control on a walk with your dog. This may also work when you want to teach him a new trick. You might find an increase in success if you try switching up your methods; you may find that the reason you were struggling with house training was simply because your dog was not satisfied enough with his reward to make it a priority for him.
The environment makes a huge difference
Attempting to hold your dog’s attention while outside, with all sorts of different sights and smells, can prove to be much more difficult than in the comfort of your own home. Even then, if you have several visitors over, you might find your dog hesitant to perform that trick you’ve mastered when you are one on one.
One of the most glaring examples of differences in environment is when you are teaching a reliable recall. After you have worked with your dog on the “come here” command indoors, you may triumph and have it down to a science. But the minute you take that freshly-mastered command outdoors, you may find yourself lacking in victory. This does not necessarily mean he has forgotten what “come here” means, it may simply mean he is too distracted by all of the excitement happening outside and may not care to “come here”.
Hopefully, taking these things into consideration when you begin training your dog will benefit you in remembering to be patient and to factor all of these in with your efforts.