I thought I’d save you the trouble of paying for my dog training course. Instead I want to share my many years experience with you, for free, in the hope we can have a much more obedient dog population in Australia!
The knowledge and advice in this, shall we say, “ultimate guide”, should give you the best methods to train your dog – no matter their obedience levels, breed, temperament, or age.
I’ve grouped the dog training guide into the following sections:
How to Understand Obedience Training Your Dog
Your Dog’s Terrible Manners
When your pup misbehaves it’s super annoying for you, especially if it’s in public or around others. Thankfully, with a little obedience training it’s easy to get results with your dog, building a stronger bond with them at the same time. Why wouldn’t you?
An untrained dog can become really wild, not recognising you as his master. Or in other words, free to do whatever he wants.
Most of the time when our dogs misbehave it’s not a calculated action but the result of a lack of guidance. It’s actually very easy to train our dogs to behave themselves, and pretty soon they’ll start following the rules you set them.
Begging is one of the most annoying habits our dogs pick up. They’re food driven, and as we’re driven with a desire to please and keep them happy it’s easy for us to head down the wrong path.
If your dog begs, then the reason is you.
As dog lovers we fail to realise our dog is begging constantly simply because he can, and this can lead to your dog becoming so overweight you need to put him on a diet. That’s another hard thing for us to do, because we feel guilty about it.
It’s likely your dog picked up the habit of begging when they were a puppy, and they’ve never been given the impression (by you) that it’s the wrong thing to do. For them it’s acceptable behaviour.
That means they’ll also consider it acceptable behaviour when your friends come over, or when you’re in the local cafe and the people next to you get their food.
The worst beggars will even jump up on a table in a cafe because at home they’re used to being pampered by their owners whenever they jump up.
How your dogs manners can worsen over time if you don’t train them right now!
- Begging or barking until you feed him.
- Barking while tied up.
- Refusing to get off the couch (or your bed).
- Failing to tell the difference between toys and your slippers.
- Jumping on people (often where it hurts).
- Constantly digging up your lawn and flower beds.
Correcting your dogs manners
Simple: Start training your puppy from day one.
Manners are best learned when your dog is still a puppy. Even experts agree training a pup is much easier than training an older dog (although you can still teach old dogs new tricks).
Keep your dog in a different room when you are eating, and when he barks or seeks your attention walk up and ask him to sit down and stay quiet.
Praise your dog for staying quiet. Do not give it any food from your plate as a reward.
Try to keep your dog outside the house or in a different room while you are inside. This will help him become accustomed to spending quiet time alone. Don’t consider this cruel – it means he’ll be far happier at times when you need to go out. Separation anxiety is one of the most common, and hardest traits to train out of your dog.
Start keeping your dog in another room before you sit at your table. You will also want your dog to stay in another room when you have visitors or guests, at least for a while. Praise your dog after your guests leave.
Manners are extremely important for every dog. No matter how much you love your dog, if he begs at parties or misbehaves while entertaining guests, it can get very annoying. Sadly when this happens we often blame our dogs rather than take accountability ourselves.
If your dog drools then the best remedy is to get him out of the habit of begging, which at least keep drooling to a minimum.
Dog Obedience Training
This form of dog obedience training is very popular amongst Aussie dog trainers, and when you do it right it’s a great way of telling your dog they’ve done a good job. Clicker training is also known as “operant conditioning”, which is when your dog intentionally does a behaviour to get something he wants.
Clicker training is very humane, safe, and effective.
If you don’t know what clicker training is then here’s a short explanation – it’s a small device that “clicks” when you squeeze it. The key is to squeeze it “precisely” when the dog does the RIGHT behavior.
When your dog hears the click he will learn over time he’s doing the right thing. The “click” sound becomes a positive reinforcement.
The most important aspect of clicker training is timing. There’s definitely a knack to it, but don’t worry as you’ll pick it up easily enough.
It’s worth understanding the mindset of our dogs with any form of training, so let’s spend a minute considering that. Did you know dogs don’t understand “guilt”, which is why telling them off can be so unproductive and frustrating.
Dogs associate places, people, things, actions, events, and objects with either a good or not so good consequence. So following that line of reasoning, the more a certain “thing” is coupled with a good consequence, the stronger the association becomes.
Dog obedience like this is called “classical conditioning” meaning it reinforces an automatic behaviour rather than one that is intentional.
Confused? Let’s take a step back here.
Clicker training starts out as classical conditioning, but turns into operant conditioning.
How is that you ask?
Classical behavior becomes operant the minute your dog repeats an action to get rewarded.
Without getting too technical, the dog that learns through operant conditioning acts with purpose. They retain what they learn longer, and have confidence. And wonder of wonders, they have a boundless enthusiasm because they expect good things to happen when they perform.
Now that’s the kind of dog obedience training you want to have for your dog!
So you might be wondering how clickers are any better than offering your dog a liver yummy as a motivation to learn – Good question!
Answer is: the clicker tells the dog exactly which behavior earned it the reward. This is why timing is critical when clicker training. You HAVE to click at the right moment when your dog is doing what you asked. Not before and not after.
What you want to do is “mark” the precise event to let your dog know he’s doing the right thing. Once they understand that, they also come to know the clicker bridges their behavior with their reward.
Clicker training is a really fun method to use, which is why it’s the first thing I talk about on my dog training course. Give it a go yourself – clickers are cheap so you have nothing to lose and everything to gain!
DogZone can offer you a “one off” reinforcement training session or a package to suit your needs.
Our training staff work daily at DogZone, so have experience not only with dogs in a training environment but also with socialising, acceptable group behaviour and individual problems. All dogs in any training program will be exposed to three different training areas ie one-on one training with instructor, street training whilst going for a walk and off lead dog groups in DogZone day care.
As every dog is an individual and every situation is different, we will discuss then plan an effective training program to suit your needs. Please feel free to speak to us to see if our programs can help you.
Other dog training programs
Command Dog Training School
Command Dog Training School provides dog training programs weeknights & Saturday mornings. All programs are designed by Nationally Accredited Trainer and Assessor, Basil Theofanides. This ensures a high standard of training is achieved for pups, dogs & their owners through simple yet effective means.
- Basic Obedience Programs (min age 16 weeks )
- Kindergarten Puppy Training Programs (8-14 weeks)
- Daycare + Training Basic Obedience Program (10 Sessions)
- Good Manners Program (5 Sessions)
Contact Command Dog Training School
K9 NOSE FUN at DogZone
Are you looking for something to keep your dog entertained on a cold, wet, or stinking hot afternoon? Something you can do indoors or outdoors, and uses very little equipment, and doesn’t take up too much time? Does your dog like to sniff? Have you considered K9 Nose Work®? K9 Nose Work® is the FUN new search and scenting activity for you and your dog.
It is suitable for nearly all dogs and their people. It is easy to learn, and helps build confidence and focus in many dogs. It is a safe way to keep dogs mentally and physically fit, and is ideal for shy or reactive dogs. Only one dog works at a time, while the other dogs are kept out of the working area, which minimises interaction with other dogs.
K9 Nose Fun regularly runs classes at DogZone. Your instructor, Angela, is a Certified Nose Work Instructor, has 10 years experience as a professional detector dog handler, and has a Cert IV in Companion Animal Services.