Rules and Notions of Behavior
Motivation: The dog emulates the master’s moves and attitudes. Always remain positive and motivated; whether your feelings are positive or negative, the dog will sense them. If you are stressed and confused, the dog will follow suit. Your training sessions should focus on amusing moments, fun times; this way, the dog will integrate everything in an atmosphere of relaxation and pleasure.
All family members must use a uniform process. It is important that the “human pack” use the same procedure for establishing position within the hierarchy, that is, the same formulation delivered with assertiveness, and the same gestures each time you use a given command. This will facilitate comprehension of the commands on the dog’s part, and will shorten reaction time by not having to repeat the same command in order to obtain results. For example:
- Never allow your dog to understand that it’s ok to jump on you, but not on another person. Do not take for granted that the dog will make the difference.
- Do not confuse your dog with an ambiguous situation such as one person in the family saying “REX, STAY”, and another saying “REX, DON´T MOVE”. There is a good chance that the dog will not react to the command.
Establish with your family the working parameters for the training. That is, decide together which terminology you will adopt for the commands, as well as what you allow your dog to do in theand outside, and what is “off limits”.
The dog can read your emotions by looking at your facial expressions. If you are proud of your dog, let it show on your face. Dogs communicate through body language. Therefore, the dog must recognize your facial changes, should you have to show your dominance for the sake of behavior re-education. Dogs also construe changes in your tone of voice as emotional changes. In short, if you are satisfied with the behavior of your dog, your tone of voice should be mellow; if you are not satisfied; your tone of voice should reflect this reality by being lower and louder without shouting.
Hand Signs: Procedure requires that each command have its corresponding hand gesture. The dog learns to associate all the variations in your tone of voice and recognizes your commands. However, the task of your dog becomes easier if a gesture is associated to it. At the beginning of obedience training, your gesture is used as a lure, because you are holdingin your hand. This lure serves to help you obtain correct posture from your dog. When the dog demonstrates his capacity to position himself, the lure is removed, without stopping the use of the gesture. A command reinforced with a gesture consolidates the dog’s learning process. Multivet can guide you in the judicious use of gestures for all basic commands.