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Rochelle's P.A.L.S.
rochelle@rochellespals.com
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CONSISTENCY

Consistency is critical when teaching new behaviors such as sit, stay, come, shake, etc. If, for example, your dog has 10 opportunities to jump up on you or your guests and is corrected eight times, those two uncorrected jumps will reduce or completely eliminate the effect of the eight corrections. Or, if you tell your dog to sit 10 times and only follow through eight times, you will get inconsistent responses.

Remember, your dog will only be as consistent as you are!

REWARDING ALTERNATIVE BEHAVIOR

If you're attempting to eliminate an undesirable behavior, remember to reward your dog for engaging in some other behavior that is appropriate. For example, if you're attempting to eliminate jumping up on you or guests, reward your dog for sitting, which is both incompatible with jumping and is a more desirable greeting. Other examples are chewing on a nylabone rather than the table leg (or you!) or being quiet rather than barking. This concept is extremely important for all dogs, but especially puppies under four months of age when their lifetime personalities and habits are being formed.

A special note for puppies: Don't allow the puppy to do something now, when it's his or her present size, that you may not want it to do when it's full grown and depending on the breed, much larger.

PROBLEM SOLVING AND CORRECTIONS

Specific corrections for behavior problems will be outlined separately for your dog. However, in order to solve a problem, you must first analyze its cause. Some possible causes may be health related, boredom, sudden changes in the environment, teething, or in many cases inadvertent reward or inconsistent correction of undesired behavior.

A cardinal rule in correcting problem behaviors is DON'T CORRECT AFTER THE FACT! In almost all cases, your dog will not associate a correction with a behavior that was engaged in five minutes or five hours ago.

USING THEIR NAME

Use their name only when giving a command or when praising. DO NOT use the name when correcting, unless otherwise instructed.

TONE OF VOICE

- Praise using a positive, happy tone of voice.

- Give commands in a neutral or upbeat tone (unless otherwise instructed.) The come command should always be said in a very positive, happy tone of voice.

- "NO" should be said in a very low firm tone of voice.

TEACHING COMMANDS

Specific instructions will be given depending upon your dog's responsiveness. However, commands should be given when you are able to follow through and prompt the response should your dog not do so voluntarily.

COMMAND-PROMPT-PRAISE

When teaching behaviors, remember these words; Give the command (using their name first); prompt the behavior (push rump down after giving the command to sit, for example); praise both verbally and physically. The come command is an exception to being able to follow through when your dog is off leash. Instructions will be given to avoid this problem.

Additionally, don't teach your dog that you have control when the leash is on but no control when the leash is off. It is critical that you be able to follow through with a prompt when giving a command off leash. Repetition of practicing the commands is critical for learning.

While you'll have regular short lessons with your dog between the formal lessons, it's important that you also give commands at other times of the day in functional situations, i.e. before putting food bowl down, when greeting guests, and sometimes before petting. Make some of your attention contingent upon responding to a command first. Welfare isn't good for dogs either. Always praise lavishly when your dog responds correctly.

FOOD REWARDS FOR TRAINING

Use of food rewards may or may not be used as part of training depending upon your dog's responsiveness. However, if they are used, several points are important.

If food rewards are used, they should be only given during training or other times when giving a command to your dog.

Follow your Trainer's instructions regarding frequency or giving food rewards and how they should be gradually faded out as your dog becomes proficient in their responsiveness.

FEEDING

Feed a good quality food. Schedule meals i.e. morning and late afternoon or early evening. This works well especially with housebreaking problems. Specific instructions will be given as needed. Do not give table scraps. If you change the type of food, do so gradually over a four day period.

GROOMING

Spend a few minutes each day brushing your dog. Get them used to ears, mouth, and feet examined. This will make is easier for the veterinarian or groomer to do their job.

TOYS

Toys should include nylabone(s) and hard rubber toys, rope toys. Limit or eliminate rawhide unless otherwise instructed.

Don't give old shoes, socks, or other objects that are similar or duplicates of items that you do not want your dog to chew.

PLAY

Try to spend each day playing with your dog. Specific instructions will be given if there are problems associated with play.

EQUIPMENT

1. Patience and consistency
2. Proper fitting nylon or rolled leather collar with ID tags.
3. 6 ft Nylon or leather leash.
4. Training type collar will be advised to you by trainer.
5. 30 ft. nylon cord with snap attached. Trainer will show you proper width of cord and type of snap.
6. Patience and consistency.



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