Re: Dog training
As I always say, the most important aspect of dog training is the relationship between the owner and the dog. Every dog has three questions that need to be answered:
1. Who is my boss?,
2. What is my job?, and
3. What's in it for me?
The sad thing is there are many ways to answer those questions so many people will tell you "I've always done it this way and it works just fine." For instance, you can answer those questions in a dog's mind with:
1. I'm your boss because I'm the biggest, meanest guy in the house
2. Your job is to never let me catch you doing anything that makes me angry, and
3. What's in it for you is I'll stop hitting you once you figure all of this out.
Yes, that works. I prefer the following answers:
1. I am your boss because I am smart and strong and a mighty hunter.
2. Your job is to do whatever task I give you, or to follow the established rules of the house when I leave you unsupervised, once I have taken the time to train you in a way that you understand.
3. Your paycheck is plenty of play and exercise, a feeling of security, a belly full of high quality food, and a return of the unconditional love that you give me.
For potty training a puppy, your best friends are a crate and a leash. Until my pups are house-broken, they are either in their crates or on a leash, literally 24 hours a day. The dog sleeps in the crate at night, and first thing in the morning open the crate, attach the leash, and give her permission to come out. Walk her outside on leash to the exact spot where you want her to relieve herself, and when she's done walk her back into the house and into her crate. If you're going to leave her out of her crate, keep her with you and on a leash. Take her out to the same place to relieve herself after she eats or drinks, after playtime, when she wakes up from a nap, and again last thing before going to sleep at night.
Dogs are creatures of habit, and if I can keep her from peeing in the house by having her in her crate or on leash, and if I can get her to pee in the same spot outside over and over, very soon I will have a potty-trained dog that no longer needs to be on leash in the house.
The best way to get a dog to ignore cats is to again establish the relationship with the dog first. Dogs instictively know that the leader of the pack makes decisions for the rest of the pack. If he sees that you are ignoring the cats then he will know that he doesn't need to worry about them. But like I said, the relationship comes first. He needs to know a few basic commands, starting with a word for praise, a word for correction, and his name so he knows who the heck you're talking to.
That's the single most important reason for obedience training. It may not really matter that your dog knows 25 different commands, but what does matter is that while she was learning those commands your relationship was established. You're the boss, she works for you, and you correct and reward her consistently, in a way that she understands, and in a timely fashion.
My kit: Pacific wood, Evans oil, Zildjian bronze
Last edited by DogBreath; 08-04-2010 at 12:44 AM.