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Good Dog Behaviour

(also called
The Well Behaved Dog)

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Good Dog Behaviour/ The Well Behaved Dog
An owner's guide

  How and why dogs learn
 

A popular misconception is that, as the owner, you have the right to expect obedience from your dog. However, dogs do not come ready programmed to obey.

They are opportunistic individuals and will do whatever is to their advantage at any given moment.

If we want them to do as we ask, we not only need to teach them the commands for certain actions but must also make it worthwhile for them to comply with our requests.

   
  Why use rewards?

The fundamental principle behind learning in all animals is that behaviour and actions that are rewarded will happen more often.

A dog that has overturned a trash can and found something tasty inside, for example, is likely to do it again, or a dog that jumps up and is given attention is likely to do so whenever he greets someone he likes.

In a similar way, words associated with rewarding experiences are also remembered. Think how quickly a dog learns the word "walk!" or "cookie!"

 

 

If we can get that kind of enthusiasm associated with the words "down" or "come" by using rewards, training will be easy.

Once your dog knows the commands, he will often be happy to work for just your praise if he has a good relationship with you. However, in the early stages of training when he does not know what you want, he will have to work much harder in order to comply with your requests. During this time, a pet dog that gets praise for free most of the time is likely to need other inducements to encourage him to comply.

Once your dog knows your signals, there will be times when your requests are in direct conflict with what he wants to do (for example, if you have just called him when he is playing with another dog, or he wants to lie down and rest and you want him to do obedience exercises). At these times, the value of the reward you are offering needs to be higher than the rewards he would get if he did what he wanted to do.

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Training for Life - Puppy/Dog Training Classes in a box!
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The Perfect Puppy by Gwen Bailey
What is my dog thinking? by Gwen Bailey
What is my cat thinking? by Gwen Bailey
Good Dog Behaviour/The Well Behaved Dog by Gwen Bailey
The Puppy Handbook/ The Ideal Puppy by Gwen Bailey