Here are couple of principles that are universal to dog training of any dog breed, any dogs – big or small, puppy or old.
If you are serious about training your dog and want success, You MUST apply these principles. No “If”, No “But”. Get the basic right first before you start to train your dog!
Consistency is very important during training and correcting unwanted behavior. Always use the same “command” for a specific task you require of your dog. Don’t confuse him by using different command for the same task.
Once you’ve establish some house rules such as – keeping the cooking area out of bound to your dog, enforce them constantly. If the dog learns that he can get away with it now and then, your previous efforts will go down the drain.
Also make sure everyone in the family accept and enforce your rules consistently.
Timing is critical to successful training. Praise your dog whenever he is doing something right. As expected, reprimand him on the spot and to the point whenever he misbehave or fails to response to your command. Praise and reprimand that happen later will have no effect on your dog.
There are 2 main schools of thoughts concerning the timing of correction when your dog misbehaves. I would call the first school of thoughts the “Direct Approach”.
2a. The Direct Approach
It simply requires you to reprimand your dog on the spot if he misbehaves. This is more of a tangible and straight forward approach to training your dog and is easy to understand for either the dog, or the owner/trainer.
Personally, this is the preferred method for training my dogs as it is straight forward and can be applied in any situation, especially a new one never encountered before.
One more time to remind you, this method can be used in the Present ONLY! You cannot reprimand your dog for something what happened in your absence!
The second school of thoughts can be called the “Endurance Approach”, as it’ll require you to ignore your dog when he misbehaves. Using the cause and effect to your advantage, this approach requires you to ignore the dog, especially when he misbehaves to seek attention and encourage you to pay attention to your dog only when he’s a good boy.
2b. The Endurance Approach (Attention Factor)
Dogs love attention and are hugely motivated by it. Unlike man, dogs do not know how to differentiate between positive and negative attention. They see things in a simple way. If a certain action gets reaction and attention, you’ll bet they repeat it over and over again. (Cause and Effect)
Unfortunately for most dog owners, we more often than not, give our dogs negative attention. For example “Do you give chase when he runs off with your socks?”, “Do you chase after him when he doesn’t come when called?”. These are negative attentions given to the dog and it is certainly motivating his bad behavior.
Fortunately, the opposite is also true, if you pay enough attention to your dog when he behaves himself. When the dog understands that he’ll get attention only when he’s behaving, he’ll learn that only good behavior attract attention and he’ll repeat his good behavior always.
Focus your attention on your dog only when he is behaving; praise him or give him a treat, let him know that he’s getting the attention. If this technique is used correctly, he’ll be a well-behaved dog for a long time to come.
However, this approach is probably not for the short tempered as it requires you to go through an endurance ordeal. Imagine your dog chewing up your sock in your presence. “Endure Dude!”
Not to mention, How does the dog know what is a “good” and “bad” things to do every time? Especially in the totally new situations he never encountered before?
3. Training Mood
You need to be in the correct frame of mind before you train your dog. Never train your dog when you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Also do not train him if you’ve a bad day or not in the best of your mood.
If you’ve just argued with your sweetie or got a telling off from your boss earlier on, you would most probably take out your frustration on your dog and threaten your relationship with him in future.
So these are the 3 common principles for training your dog successfully. Remember to apply these dog training principles constantly and you’ll be half-way through to successful dog training.