One Blog at a Time
graduating from the Seattle School of Canine Studies, I was given a
chance to assist teaching public classes at Dogworks Studio in
Seattle, and became immediately hooked. I love it because it gives me
the opportunity to work with up to 12 different families and their
dogs in one hour sessions. As you can imagine this allows me to rack
up a lot of instructional experience in a short amount of time and
the constant barrage of questions really helps keep me on my toes.
This is a list of the most common advice that I give to people who
are new to training.
training is messy. Expect
to get dirty and don’t wear your best clothes. Pack hand sanitizer
or wipes when training outside your home.
be stingy with treats. Pay
your dog off well for correct behavior. Worry about getting your
dog's attention to train first, and phase treats out later.
your dog is not responding to the treat in your hand, try a handful.
More treats = more
smelly = more interesting to your dog.
environments may require higher value treats. Try
a variety of treats to find out which your dog responds best to in
distracting environments. Penny for pound home cooked meats can
often be cheaper than commercially made training treats.
mark desired behavior with “YES”. Don’t
worry if you don’t have the reward ready, capturing the moment is
essential. If you say “YES” by mistake still pay the dog off.
LOTS of praise to reinforce correct behaviors. “GOOD
JOB! GOOD DOG! THANK YOU! GOOD BOY! GOOD GIRL!” etc.
takes time, some dogs learn faster or slower than others and some
behaviors are harder to train than others.
calm. If you are
tense or frustrated your dog will be too. Take a break from training
if you feel tense. Be clear and firm in your direction, but don't
bark orders or be aggressive.
rush your training. The
most common mistake people make when training is trying to achieve
too much too fast. If you find your dog suddenly not obeying your
command, back up a few steps to a point where you know your dog will
succeed and start over from there.
feed your dog before training. A
hungry dog is more focused and ready to work. Keep the size of your
training treats small (pea sized) so your dog doesn't fill up and
your sessions short or break up long sessions with play. Several
3-5 minute training sessions can be more effective and fun for your
dog than one long one.
end on a positive note! Make
the last exercise something you know your dog will succeed at. I
like to have a few minutes of playtime after every training session
as an added incentive.
FUN TRAINING! - August Henrich, CCS
One Dog at a Time does not
currently offer group classes though we are exploring our options to
do so. If you have any questions about this blog or anything else dog
related please don't hesitate to contact us.