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PostSubject: Teaching the dog why its relevant.   Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:20 pm

Just thought to quickly summarize this article ( http://dogstardaily.com/blogs/when-dogs-ask-why ) regarding teaching your dog why its relevant to do something when told.

Doing the above is what really constitutes a trained dog. There's the first step of teaching your dog to do something (usually done through lure or operant conditioning with a clicker), in other words basically teaching the dog what you expect of him or her. The second step is adding a verbal or visual cue to let the dog know that the specific action is to be done when given a specific word/hand motion. And lastly as the author explains a little more in depth is teaching the dog WHY he has to do that when told to do so.

A good example used in the link above is teaching a dog to sit. Rather easy right? Step 1: Hold a treat up over its head to get the dog to sit. Do this over and over again. Step 2: Attach a word as the dog does the action for the association to stick. Step 3: Teaching a dog to sit while visitors come in because if the dog does this then the visitors will give you attention AND you won't be yelled at or sent to another room. (Of course this is done a little more differently when clicker training).

Remember that a dog doesn't come to us WANTING to do everything we ask, it has natural instincts, so we have to 'override' these instincts and learn to teach a dog that there is a reason for what we ask. So before going on about training take a quick moment to meditate and ask yourself Why you want the dog to do this, and of course "because I told you so" doesn't count. Wink


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PostSubject: Re: Teaching the dog why its relevant.   Thu Apr 08, 2010 7:11 pm

"i told you so" doesn't work for anyone, lol.... everyone likes to know why they ahve to do one thing or another.

thanks for the good summary!
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PostSubject: Re: Teaching the dog why its relevant.   Fri Apr 09, 2010 6:05 pm

"because i said so" is the wrong attitude too.

dogs need to know there is a purpose to everything they do or they will get bored and unco-operative. in the wild they hunt to eat, they groom each other to keep clean, they play fight to learn hunting techniques, they smell each other to see if they are friend or foe etc. everything has a purpose.

when training it is vital to teach our dogs that if they come back when called...something else nice will happen, if they sit, as JR says they will get praise, if they walk nicely the walk will continue and play will occur, if they stay we will come back to them, if they wait something else more exciting will come along.
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