What language does your dog speak?
97% of dog owners use the word “NO” for almost every situation. 73% begin most of their commands with the dog’s name like “Rover NO” “Rover Come” “Rover Sit”. The problem is the word “No” is not effective for every situation.
You need specific words for specific actions. Try using the word “Off” if the dog jumps up, “Quiet” if it is barking for attention, and “Drop” if they have something in their mouth.
How much does your dog understand?
Dogs are highly intelligent; the average dog can understand about 165 words, including signs, signals and gestures. However all these must be learned, even their own name must be taught to them. Yet we sometimes expect them to comprehend the nature and significance of our intricate language.
One of the biggest problems is rewarding the wrong behaviour. The dog jumps up on you and we say “Off”. We then follow it up with “Good Dog”, thereby rewarding the jump and the getting off. This is confusing for your dog and we should not praise it for misbehaving and then complying.
How to reward your dog
There are number of ways to reward dogs. These include verbal, treats, a game or just simple attention. It is important the timing is right on all these methods.
Clickers are effective but unfortunately most people do not get on with them. Try using the word ‘Good’ and you’ll be surprised at how effective it can be.
Look for high quality treats when training or changing unwanted behaviour. Look for healthy, bitesize treats that contain natural ingredients and resist from giving human food as treats.
Remember not to treat for a behaviour every-time. If we reward a learned action and then constantly treat the dog, the dog will become lazy. Verbal praise, love and attention can be just as rewarding!