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Dog Training Page - Promoting the fair training of sport and working dogs

Four Basic Principles:  Motivate - Clearly define the task - Give feed back - Train repeatedly

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Dog training - luring - imprinting - Menlo Park Schutzhund Club training with Michele Hansen

  Click on the links below for more dog training information

 Dog Training Links
 Clicker Training
 Clicker Myth
 Compulsion Defined
 Training with Rewards
 Living with a High Drive Dog
 Dog Training Books

High Scoring Female - 2008 Northwestern Regional Championships - Gjeter av Xazziam & Michele Hansen

Dog Training Foreword

A dog training page developed to share basic ideas for training dogs in various sporting & working activities, sport of Schutzhund (IPO) and for living with the high drive working dog

A solid working foundation will be the result of balanced and fair training methods that include well defined rules and clear feedback. Below are some simple ideas listed to help visitors understand some basic training concepts. Recommended dog training books (references) as well as dog training videos are available through out the site.

Although this is not a step by step, online dog training course, the following principals will be of great value when following any dog training course.

Dog training requires the same Basic Principals humans use to achieve skilled abilities (see chart below). They are as follows: (1) Motivate to perform the task, (2) clearly define the task, (3) give feed back and (4) train repeatedly.


 Dog Training Chart

Basic Principals

 Motivate to perform the task

The opportunity to perform a task is a form of motivation!
Positive Reinforcement

Reward based training

*The genetic working dog often shows self-motivation when given an opportunity to learn or perform a task. Rewards (toys/food) further enhance the dogs desire to perform.

Negative Reinforcement

Compulsion & Force Training

A dog showing lack of motivation to perform a specific task may require an alternative to reward based methods. The motivation of choice for this exercise may require a balanced use of compulsion 

Clearly define
the task

To vague of instruction for the dog is the underlying issue of most training problems
    • Keep things simple - Working dogs thrive on challenges, they are often more motivated to learn and perform when tasks are broken down into easy steps.

    Through specifically designed training challenges that do not require physical force or compulsion, the dog will usually require more time and practice to learn commanded tasks. However, this same dog will most likely require less maintenance training in the future and develop greater reliability for working tasks! 

    When corrections are used as a form of motivation to achieve desired behavior, dogs do best when Praise and/or rewards are used in combination to relieve pressure and let the dog know he or she is performing the task correctly

     Give feed back

    A dog's behavior is consistent when his trainer's behavior is consistent

    Define rules by using consistent verbal praise, cues and rewards

    • Use verbal praise, such as; "good dog" to help the dog know he is showing the correct behavior and is on course to correctly completing the job 

    • Cues, such as a clicker device or verbal "Yes", before rewarding the dog
      helps him understand exactly which behaviors are correct.

    Define rules by using consistent verbal warnings and cues

    Compulsion in the form of collar corrections may be necessary to guide the dog and/or maintain control.

    • Give the dog a chance - A verbal warning; such as, "no" when the dog's behavior is not correct reminds the dog to stay on task.

    Train repeatedly

    Things to ask yourself

     - Am I using the right motivation for this dog?

    - Am I clearly defining the task?

    - Am I giving the dog consistent feed back?
    Train repeatedly & in a variety of situations

    A training program using Positive Reinforcement will help the dog become proficient at performing tasks. 
    Train repeatedly & in a variety of situations

    Leash corrections maybe necessary  as a slight collar guide or a reminder for control.

    CAUTION: Compulsion used  repeatedly, is a likely indication, the dog is not clear on the task. In addition, it is common for the dog to develop artificial and unintended behaviors through the continuous use of compulsion ; i.e., cowardness, hardness or even a tendency to retaliate (fight the training).  

    When the dog shows training problems we should ask ourselves where we have gone wrong and not simply blame it on the dog!

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