If you are in the market for a new puppy, whether it be your next obedience, agility, scent work, tracking or field partner, a puppy’s education is far more likely to be limited by your imagination, than it is by your puppy's ability. Here we discuss when to start training, how to select your obedience puppy, and of course how to train your puppy.
My parents bought me a golden retriever puppy when I was 14-years-old. In preparation, I had selected a dog training book, and the instructions were that each day I was to set my puppy down in a quiet room, just the two of us, and as he explored, I was to say his name, only once. The instructions said that the day he looked at me, he was ready to start his training. Six-weeks later I was devastated. He had yet to respond to me, and I believed it was due to both my inability to follow instructions and his lack of talent.
After that experience, it is no wonder that my initial belief about puppyhood was...
It is frustrating when your dog makes a mistake and you don’t know how to respond. Think about the errors that your dog makes. Much of the time, especially as you teach your dog the advanced exercises, he simply attempts to execute an exercise incorrectly. When that occurs, apply this simple rule; “Tell him he’s wrong, go get him, take him back to where he was last right and simplify the task.”
This is critical. Your dog deserves to know that he made a mistake. You should say something. Doing so at the moment that he makes the error helps your dog understand what he did wrong. Any noise of displeasure will do such as “no,” “uh-uh,” “yuck,” “stop.” You cannot expect the dog to know exactly when he made an error if you don’t tell him.
The tone of voice you use when you tell him he’s wrong depends on whether you think your dog is trying or not. If you...
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