How Dogs Learn

how dogs learn principles Jan 13, 2020

Many years ago, in an attempt to better communicate with my students; I developed a flow chart of training principles that guide me. These principles apply to all venues of dog training. The complete flowchart is at the conclusion of this article. 

Dogs Have the Ability to Solve Problems

Have you ever had or seen a dog who could open the latch on his kennel run? How did he learn to do it? First, he believed he had a problem: he was locked in and could not get out. Second, he was determined to solve his problem.

Pretend that you have just rescued a 60-pound mix-breed. You brought him home and put him in a pen in your yard while you made the necessary adjustments to bring him into your home. Unhappy with his confinement, he begins to bark. There is no one around that his barking can bother, so you decide to ignore him. Sure enough, the barking stops, and on a trip by the window, you notice he is digging around the doghouse, and near the gate. “You are wasting your...

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A Simple Rule to Train By

basics principles Jan 06, 2020

A Simple Rule to Train By

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.”

Tell Him He’s Wrong

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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