Charting your dog

Being a beginner is difficult because you are not only training your dog but learning as well. Don't get under pressure but rather remember that dog training is a skill that needs lots of practice and repetition to master. To successfully train your dog, you must be able to break down the things you want him to learn into little steps, which he can easily learn in a training session. Training always takes time.

However there are several things you can do to make the process go quicker.
  • Keep a record of your training sessions.
  • Don't begin until you have planned out the steps necessary to teaching a command.
  • Your plan should be flexible, and you should be ready to help your dog understand what you want by adding in additional detailed steps if he is having problems understanding.
  • Stay fully stocked with the best rewards and snacks to help your dog stay motivated.
  • Don't go longer than five minutes on any one step. Use a timer.
  • Always use clicker training to consistently note and reinforce good behavior. Read up in depth about clicker training on this site and be sure you understand why and how it works, you will be saving yourself time and trouble.
  • Do your best to stick to what you are training your dog to do at the moment. Don't click your dog for lots of different behaviors in one training session.
  • Ask a friend, that also has a dog, to help you with ideas if your dog gets stuck while trying to learn something new.
  • As soon as your dog begins to get the hang of what you are teaching him, add in distractions.
  • Some times your dog's behavior will fall apart, so don't be afraid to go back and review earlier steps.

Overall your dog's disposition is probably the best measure of your success as a trainer. Keeping the training sessions upbeat and fun means it will be easier for your dog to succeed. Remember to always end on a positive note so your dog looks forward to his next training session with you. Before you know it, your dog will enjoy learning and working with you more than anything else in the world. Consistency is the key

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