Dog Training Blog
I read an amazing article many years ago about an experiment training sea bass to respond to a tone and swim back to a certain location for feeding. At some point the signal would entice them to come back for the last time when they would be caught and harvested for food.
Stubborn is used frequently to describe dogs that don't perform a task that is asked of them. Maybe the dog is pulling on his leash, maybe he doesn't lie down when cued, or maybe he lies down when you he was asked to "Sit". I think it is much easier to call a dog stubborn than to get at the root of the problem.
A good strategy for dog training is to be aware of your rewards and how you use them. I recommend something called the calorie bowl to avoid over treating. But, using treats wisely is important for both keeping your dog slim and fit and creating the best environment for a motivated dog that loves to learn.
My name is Jeff Millman and I am a clicker trainer. I know this sounds like the beginning of a 12-step program, but it is not. I am not ashamed of being a clicker trainer, nor do I want to change my ways.
I do want to help explain the benefits of clicker training so you too can train your dog faster and communicate better with him or her.
Did you know it is better to practice short training sessions and stop when your dog still wants more? This strategy will keep training interesting and you will avoid over training. I have always known this, but this was reinforced even more when I did sheep herding with my dogs three summers ago. I am always trying to add more skills to my training repetoire, and thought my two Collies and Shetland Sheepdog would enjoy the experience. My wife and I got up at 5am to avoid the traffic and drove 90 minutes to our weekly training sessions at the sheep herding farm.
Providing clear instructions is critical in dog training. Have you ever thought about the cues we give our dogs from their perspective? Over the years I am sometimes completely amazed that a given dog is able to understand the trainer at all. All trainers present many different signals to their dog without knowing it. Have you ever said, "Sit" at the same time you are moving your hand in the "Sit" hand signal that you have taught your dog? That is called "blocking", which is presenting a dog two signals at the same time. The dog might learn one signal, both, or neither. In that case, is the cue for "Sit" the verbal cue, the hand signal, or the combination?
I realized that I never taught my dogs what "Come on guys let's go for a walk" meant. That was many years ago, and since then I have taught them that, but it reminded me of the importance of consistent teaching and that . . . dogs don't understand synonyms!
Stubborn dog? This little word "stubborn" gets so many dogs in trouble. I hear this word used very frequently to describe a dogâ€™s behavior. It often is used to describe a dog that will not come when called or perform another behavior such as â€˜sitâ€™.