Great Arizona Dog Obedience Training Techniques:
A dog provides unconditional love and friendship to a caring owner. A well-trained dog in Arizona increases your pleasure and satisfaction ten times over, as compared to an untrained dog. Studies have shown that a well-trained dog is a happier and more content animal than one who is not. When proper training techniques are employed, you will be surprised how quickly a dog will learn to follow your commands.
The following are examples of some great dog training techniques you can use to teach your Arizona dog some basic obedience skills:
The Sit Command –
This is the most common and basic command to teach your dog and probably should be the first thing you teach him. Using a treat as a reward for good behavior works well for most dog training purposes. You will need a leash attached to your dog’s collar to hold him steady. Show your dog a treat that you have in your hand and hold it over his head causing him to look up, and then say “Sit”. Sometimes, just by holding the treat over his head your dog will automatically sit. If he does not sit, place your other hand on your dog’s rear and gently press down saying “Sit”. Once he does sit, reward him immediately with the treat and praise him by saying “Good Boy” in a happy voice and pet him vigorously showing him you are pleased with his response to your “Sit” command. It’s important to reward him immediately after he responds correctly, so he knows why he is receiving the reward.
The Lie Down Command –
Once your dog has mastered the sit command, you can progress to the “Lie Down” command. A treat is also used to accomplish this with most Arizona trainers. First ask your dog to “Sit”. Do not give him a treat for sitting. While he is in the sitting position you should have a treat in your hand and hold it in front of him, very close to the floor and say “Lie Down”. If necessary place your other hand on your dogs shoulders and gently press down until your dog lies down or give him a gentle tug downward on his leash. Once your dog lies down, reward him immediately with a treat and say “Good Boy” in a happy voice and pet him vigorously showing him you are pleased with his response to your “Lie Down” command. The tone of your voice is important to let your pet know you are pleased with his response to your command.
Stay Command –
The “Stay” command is a little more challenging than the Sit and Lie Down Commands. It is important to choose the appropriate time during the day to begin working with your dog on the “Stay” command. Knowing your own dog and recognizing when he is displaying a relaxed or mellow temperament is important. You do not want to begin this training when your dog is excited or overly playful. As with the previous training commands, it is useful to use a treat when teaching the “Stay” command. To start this training give your dog the sit or lie down command. Once he is sitting or lying down say “Stay” and hold your hand up as if you were signaling someone to stop. If the dog does not move for 4 or 5 seconds, give him a treat and say “Good Boy” and pet him. Only give him praise if he stays for the 4 or 5 seconds. If he does not obey your command, try again. Once he gets the idea, increase the amount of time he must “Stay” before you give him praise. You may have to repeat the “Stay” command a few times and put your hand in a stop position to encourage him to stay. As he begins to understand, give him the “Stay” command and slowly back away a few feet, gradually increasing the distance until he masters the “Stay” command. Remember, it is important to be patient with your dog when training. If training is not successful today, just try again on another day. Patience and persistence is always rewarded.
Employ Traditional Training Techniques –
When I talk about “Traditional” training techniques in Arizona, I am referring to a few basic techniques that are important in training your dog.
– The first and most importance is patience. You need to be patient with your dog when teaching him new things. As with people, different dogs learn at different rates of speed. If your dog is not catching on to a new command, be patient! Do not yell or bully your dog. Sometimes it’s better to stop training and begin again another day.
– Voice inflection is another very important part of training your dog. I refer to this as speaking in a “Happy Voice” to reward your dog when he responds to your command correctly. This means talking is a slightly higher pitched tone and slightly louder/excited manner than you would normal speak.
– Using dog treats is another common or traditional way of training your dog. Although treats are useful in the initial training of a command, you don’t want to have to carry a pocket full of treats with you at all times in order for your dog to obey your commands. You need to gradually eliminate the treats once your dog has mastered a new command and replace it with a “Good Boy” and energetic petting.
-It is important that everyone in your family use the exact same commands so your dog does not become confused on what is being asked of him e.g. “lie down” vs. “down”. It doesn’t matter what the command is, as long as everyone is using the same command.
– Finally, you need to make your Arizona training sessions fun for your dog. He should associate a training session with having fun. So, after a training session you should play with your dog for ten or fifteen minutes making the session enjoyable for both you and your dog.
Art of Communicating with Dogs
The head collar has become an increasingly popular dog training tool in the past couple of years. Two of the most well known brands of head collar on the market are the Gentle Leader and the Halti, but there are many other brands that incorporate the basic head collar concept. Many people find the Gentle Leader easier to fit that the Halti, and in addition the Gentle Leader is designed to fasten around the dogs neck. The advantage of this design is that even if the dog is somehow able to wriggle out of the muzzle, it is still wearing a collar. This safety feature is very important, especially during training outside or in novel situations. On the other hand, the Halti offers better control of the dog, and for this reason it is often favored when working with very aggressive dogs. Training a dog with a head collar has a number of advantages over training with a traditional or training collar. For one thing, head collars are often easier to use for beginning dog trainers than are training collars. Head collars are also quite effective at preventing dogs from pulling, or controlling and retraining dogs that tend to pull. Head collars can also be quite effective at controlling dogs in difficult situations, such as controlling a dog that wants to be with other dogs. Most owners know of some situations in which their dogs are difficult to control, and head collars can be quite effective at controlling these volatile situations. Head collars can be excellent for controlling dogs that are very strong, or for working with a dog in an area that contains a great many distractions. For instance, head collars are great for when your dog is on an outing, or in an area where there will be other dogs and other distractions. Even though a head collar can be a great tool, it should not be used as a replacement for effective dog training. A head collar is most effective when it is used in combination with strong and sensible dog training methods, such as reward training and other forms of positive reinforcement. Disadvantages of head collars Even though head collars have many advantages, they have some distinct disadvantages as well. For one thing, head collars tend to make many dogs dependent on the equipment, and they quickly learn the difference between their regular collar and the head collar, and adjust their behavior accordingly. In addition, some dogs, particularly those not accustomed to wearing a head collar, dislike wearing it and paw at it, try to rub it off or pull excessively. If your dog exhibits this behavior, the best strategy is to keep it moving until it learns to accept the collar. A good alternative is to have the dog sit by pulling up on the dogs head. Another disadvantage of the head collar is the reaction that many people have to it. Many people think that a head collar is a muzzle, and react to the dog as if it may bite. While this is not necessarily a defect of the head collar, many people do find it troublesome. In conclusion, training with a head collar is much like training with a training collar or any other equipment. While the head collar can be an important and useful tool, it is important to use it appropriately, follow all package instructions, and to combine its use with solid training methods. The eventual goal of dog training with a head collar should be to have the dog behave as well with a regular collar as it does with the specialized head collar.
Arizona Dog Training Techniques – Reward Training – Easy, Fun and Effective!
Reward training (which is sometimes also called lure training) is a very effective training technique for teaching dogs a number of desired behaviors. And, in addition to being highly effective, reward training is an easy, fun method to use. This particular Arizona based training technique provides much quicker, more dependable results than methods that rely heavily on scolding, corrections or punishment, and it does it in a way that’s much more positive for both you and your dog.
Because reward training is so effective, it’s currently one of the most popular dog training techniques. At its heart, reward training works because you reward your dog with a treat or tidbit of food whenever he does what you ask. Most owners accompany the food reward with verbal praise. The food and praise are positive reinforcement which helps your dog learn to associate the action he performed with good things (food and praise) and encourages him to repeat that behavior again.
In addition to being effective, reward training provides a much more positive training atmosphere than some other training techniques. Because it’s a reward-based method, you reward your dog whenever he does as you ask. Scolding, striking, punishing or correcting your dog for not following your command is never used in reward training. You simply reward and reinforce the actions you do want your dog to perform. This positive reinforcement makes reward training a much more pleasant experience for owners and dogs than punishing him.
You do need to be careful in Arizona to only give your dog treats at the right time during training sessions, however. If the timing of the rewards is unrelated to your dog doing as you ask, he’ll get confused about what you want, and he might even start thinking he’ll get treats no matter what. So, make sure you only reward your dog for doing something right.
In some ways, reward training is the opposite of aversive dog training, where dogs are trained to associate undesirable behaviors with negative reinforcement such as scolding, corrections or outright punishment. The negative reinforcement stops when the dog performs the desired behavior. In theory, this process discourages dogs from repeating unwanted actions and trains them to do what owners want, but in the long run it’s an unpleasant process and not nearly as effective as reward training. Instead of punishing your dog for what he does wrong, reward training lets you show your dog what you want him to do and then reward him when he does it.
Take housetraining, for example. The two methods approach the task in significantly different ways. There are a multitude of places a dog could relieve himself inside the house, and they’re all unacceptable. If you used aversive training techniques, you’d need to wait for your dog to eliminate somewhere in the house and then correct him when he does. Think about this for a minute. Isn’t it unfair to punish your dog before he’s had a chance to learn your rules? And, you need to realize that using this method for housetraining can require numerous corrections and a lot of time. Isn’t it quicker, easier and more effective to simply show your dog the right place to relieve himself and then reward him when he uses it?
There’s another reason why reward training produces better results than aversive training in Az. Consistency is essential when you’re training a dog. If you’re using corrections and punishment to discourage unwanted behavior, you’ll need to consistently punish your dog each and every time he performs that behavior. Well, we’re not robots, and it’s impossible to be ready to do this every minute of the day. You’d need to never leave home and never take your eyes off your dog before you’d even have a chance of punishing him every time he makes a behavioral mistake. Make one slip-up and fail to punish your dog for a mistake, and he’ll learn that sometimes he can get away with the misbehavior. That’s probably not the lesson you want him to learn.
Unlike aversive training, reward training doesn’t require you to be infallibly consistent in your reactions to your dog’s misbehaviors. You don’t need to reward your dog every time he does as you ask – in fact, he’ll learn just as quickly (if not more so) if the rewards he receives for desired behavior are intermittent and unpredictable instead of being given every time he performs the behavior. And, above all, if you make mistakes with aversive training you risk losing your dog’s trust. That won’t happen with reward training, where mistakes might temporarily confuse your dog, but they won’t cause him to become aggressive or fear or mistrust you.
In addition to house training your dog here in Arizona, you can use reward training to teach him a number of obedience commands (“sit,” “stay,” “come” and “down,” for example) and an assortment of fun tricks. But you can also discourage problem behaviors with reward training. For example, if you want to train your dog not to chew on your socks, teach him what he is allowed to chew (a toy, for example), and then reward him when he chews on it. Or, if you want your dog to stop jumping up on your guests when they come through your door, teach him to sit when visitors arrive and reward him for that behavior.
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