Dog Behavior And Repetitions Of A Dog Training Activity

At a quick glance, it seems that a dog takes many repetitions to grasp a lesson. According to “dogma”, a dog has to practice a behavior many times until the lesson seeps into his limited mind. Then, once a lesson is mastered, it becomes so ingrained in the dog’s brain that it becomes a habit. That dogs require repetition to learn from an experience is particularly noticeable when we are trying to train the dog to do something that isn’t natural for him, such as walking nicely on a lead in an area full of interesting sights, sounds, and smells. It would seem that this exercise is difficult for a dog to learn and would require many practice sessions for it to become a reliable habit.

Therefore, traditional thinking holds that it’s best to start practicing the lesson with puppies before they might have the opportunity to practice the undesirable habit of pulling hard on the lead and also while they’re small and easy to out-muscle.

A clue that repetition, while part of learning, isn’t fundamental to learning is revealed by other observations that people commonly make that contradict this traditional premise. For example, we don’t think of ball playing as something mastered through repetition. It looks like the dog is having fun, and that seems a sufficient explanation. The first time the owner attracted his dog’s attention to the ball and rolled it away, the dog immediately chased it, grabbed it, and then carried it around proudly. The lesson took one repetition and had a permanent effect for the rest of the dog’s life.

This pure example of learning shows us the formula at the core of the process. If an activity is natural, the dog gets it immediately without the need for repetition. And, since the most natural activities involve the prey instinct, we find the best examples of quick learning in this regard. In ball playing, what determines each individual dog’s enthusiasm and rate of progress is how much prey value he invests in the ball. That some dogs may take longer to build an attraction to the ball is not due to a need for repetition, but because the prey instinct isn’t yet turned on. Through repetition, as the dog grabs the ball, his sensitivity to its novelty or his owner’s influence starts to relax until drive starts to flow into prey making. Once uninhibited, the ball no longer has a being to which the dog needs to appeal for access, which initially thwarted his drive to chase and bite it.

A habit is like a riverbed: The stronger the flow that courses through it, the deeper the bed is carved, and the more water it will be able to channel. When the full current rushes through the organism, a completely mature behavior emerges as if learned. In truth, the lesson was gained in the first instant of making contact through the prey instinct, no matter how feeble the first trickle. It just took time for the pathway to be scoured deeply enough in the dog’s brain and body to handle the full load of drive.

How to Get Your Dog to Hang Around the Yard

Dear Adam:

My question is: How do I get my dog to stay in my yard without having to buy an electric fence? You know, for her just to hang around in the yard when I let her out to play. I would be most grateful if you would answer my question

Thank You,
Mark Murray

Dear Mark:

There is a common myth that you can/should be able to put your dog in the backyard unsupervised, without a properly fenced-in yard.

But both of these are designed for when your are generally with your dog, For example, having a picnic, washing the car, in the yard gardening, etc&

I would not recommend even using an electronic fence if you will be leaving your dog for long periods of time in the yard. There is just too much risk involved. Nor does an e-fence prevent other animals from wandering into your yard.

How to Teach Your Dog The “Wait” Command

“Wait” is a very useful command that you can teach your dog.

Teaching your pet how to wait is especially important if you are planning to work him all the way through off-leash obedience. It is one of the several safety commands that you can use to monitor him and keep him safe from potential danger.

There will be times when you need your dog to wait for you but not necessarily to be still. The “Stay” command would not be the appropriate command to use at such times. Also, there will be times when he will be in a hurry to have something or do something.

“Wait” will be the right word to tell him that he can have what he wants, but not right away.

Because dogs live in the present moment, teaching them how to “Wait” not only adds an interesting and useful word to their vocabularies, but it also adds a concept that is very difficult for them to understand. However, your dog can understand the meaning of the word “Wait” on a short-term basis.  The most effective way to train your dog to “Wait” is by tone of voice.

Keep in mind that the tone of voice is one of the most effective tools that you can use in dog training. Your pet needs to be able to understand your tone to properly respond to it.

To understand how this kind of training works, keep in mind that your dog is a pack animal and that you are his pack leader.

He looks to you for approval and direction. When he is doing something, anything at all, and you say a word, any word at all in a moderately disapproving tone, he will stop whatever it is he is doing because of your disapproval. For example, when you want him to wait at the bottom of the steps leading out of the park and you say “Wait” in a serious but not an angry tone, a trained dog– who should already be looking at you– will pause… waiting for the
next command. If he continues up the steps, say “NO, WAIT!” in a firmer tone.

The difference between the command “Enough” and “Wait” is that “Enough” means stopping the activity for now. On the other hand, “Wait” means a momentarily pause. In the example of a dog waiting to leave the park and jump into the car, the command “Wait” gives him the joy of anticipation.  It lets him know that if he pauses for a moment, then he can continue getting up into the car and that he has your approval.

Use the command “Wait” when you are putting his food down on the floor. Make him wait for a few seconds… just long enough for you to get out of the way before he starts to eat his dinner. When you’re ready, give him his release command, “Take a break!” or “Free!”

He can wait to get out of the car or to go out the front door. He can also wait for you to go first through doorways and down flight of stairs. “Wait” must always be followed by the release command to let your dog know it is ok for him to continue with the activity.

House Training a Dog Or Puppy In A Hurry

Here Are Five Things You Must Know About Housebreaking Your Dog:

Every professional dog trainer knows that there are five keys to successfully housebreaking your dog.  Ignore any of these five keys and you’ll be dooming yourself to many extra months of housebreaking misery.

1.) Correct the dog every time (100%) that he has an accident in the house. Keep him confined to either a crate, or a dog run outside when you can’t supervise him.

2.) Praise the dog anytime he eliminates outside.

3.) Establish a specific spot, and a command you repeat (such as “Get busy!”) while you’re waiting for him to eliminate outside.

4.) Set up a rigorous feeding and watering schedule, and take him out immediately after he does both.

5.) Use an odor neutralizer, such as a product called “Nature’s Miracle” (you can buy this at your local pet store, or through a mail order catalog.) You’ll need to make sure that whatever product you’re using is an enzymatic cleaner, meaning that it actually ‘breaks down’ the urine or fecal mater on a microscopic level, rather than just masking the scent.

Six Commonly Used Hand Signals In Dog Obedience Training

The following is a list of six hand signals that are commonly used in dog obedience training.

1. “Come”: A movement across the body from the side toward the opposite shoulder.

2. “Down”: Can be done in two ways. The first way is with the arm raised to shoulder height in a striking motion if the owner is facing the dog. The second way to carry out the “Down” signal is to with the left arm down with elbow straight, wrist bent, and palm and fingers parallel to the floor if the dog is at heel position.

3. “Heel”: A forward motion of the left hand parallel to the floor to make the dog start walking at heel. It is also a swinging motion of the left hand from in front of the owner to his side to make the dog go to heel.

4. “Sit”: While facing the dog with either hand extended and palm faced upward, flip up the fingers with a quick wrist motion.

5. “Stay”: Can be done by having the arm extended downward, palm back, and held momentarily in front of the dog’s muzzle.

6. “Stand — Stay”: This is done by using the signal similar to “Stay.”

Dog Training Commands: How To Talk So Your Dog Understands

Everything in language (including “Dog-lish” — the international dog training language) is based on associations. And even if we have prior associations with a word, if those associations are not maintained properly, then the word will lose it’s meaning– or association. Or it can take on a different association.

Ever been in a relationship where the words, “I love you” no longer hold any meaning? In some parts of the world, you can tell a person, “Go jump in a lake” [insert local expletive] … and the response will garner a chuckle and some back-slapping and maybe a complimentary beer. Whereas in other parts of the world, those same words may garner a challenge to a duel. Here’s my advice: Start consciously designing the words you use with your dog TODAY, and consistently attach the associations you want with those words so your dog will learn in a few days– or sometimes– in only a few minutes–that your commands (your words) have meaning.

Now, you may be wondering about tonation? The tone is of minor importance. As a general rule, you should use high tones for praise and lower tones for commands and correction words. But I can say “No!!!” in a low throaty growl, and if I toss your dog a piece of filet mignon, I can guarantee that by the end of the session, you can do your best to sound low and “growly” … and your dog will still wag his tale and smile at you and bounce around happily, thinking that he’s just done the ‘right thing.’ Because “No!” means … YIPPIE! I get steak!!! So– you need to tug on the leash, firmly, after you say “No!” EVERYTIME… in order to create a negative association with the word, “NO” so that your dog understands and associates what you want to communicate.