It's important to stay two steps ahead of your dog at all times--trying to understand and predict what he is likely to do in a given situation. Always think the worst! A wise dog trainer once told me that the best way to break a bad habit with a dog is to ensure the bad habit never even starts. For instance, don't leave your trash can in reach of your dog--it should be on the other side of the gate, even if it means residing in your dining room until he matures. Once he gets a taste of those steak leftovers in your trash, he will always remember that adventure as being fun and worthwhile. And you will never be able to cure him of his curiosity of scoping out the trash can.
We should not teach obedience commands in order to have control over our dogs. Rather, we teach commands to form the language through which we can communicate with our precious pup in order to socialize him in our world. Remember that being a leader and being dominant are two totally different roles; and what we want is to be is a leader to our dog.
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Keep in mind, dogs do not understand the human language. But they can be taught to understand what you want from them. It is our responsibility to teach them good manners. They are looking for a loving leader who is fair, consistent, and clear with his expectations. Sometimes this is difficult for the novice family member to get across to his beloved pup, and this is where I can help.
An untrained dog will not know how to communicate with his owner or how to behave. The trained dog understands what is expected of him, and he is confident because he now has the tools to please his owner.
When your puppy becomes more confident in understanding your directions, the more he can succeed. The more he succeeds, the more you can praise and reward him for the tasks he has accomplished.
This confidence, along with regular obedience training, will cement your relationship as a team.
My philosophy about dog training is pretty simple and is similar to what yours might be about training children. Training a dog to sit/down/wait/come is as elementary, yet important, as teaching your child to read or tie his shoelaces. It doesn't happen overnight, and it's a process that will become part of your everyday life. I can show you how.
When you sent your child to first grade, you didn't expect him/her to come home that summer with a high school diploma or college degree. Dogs are the same way--with practice, they will continue to learn more each day, progressing at their own pace and eventually mastering more difficult behaviors as time goes on. The more you practice and can teach them, the more their brains are receptive to learning new things...and the more adjusted, happy and trainable they will become! The key is practice and quick rewarding for correct behavior. I can coach you to be a good trainer for your canine companion.