Dog training takes time. We cannot expect our dog to learn everything immediately and then be perfect at it from then on. All dogs learn differently. By different methods, at different speeds, with different reinforcements, etc. If not reinforced regularly, they may start to back track on what they have learned later on. We set expectations for our dog but have to remember to communicate with them in a way they understand to reach success. We also have to make sure our expectations are realistic for the dog that we are working with. Training is a life long process, it just gets easier the more we work with our dogs.
In my years of dog training, I have realized that it is called dog training but the majority of training is actually spent on the humans. You are with your dog the majority of the time so it is important that you are actively participating in the training. I am here to give you skills to teach behaviors to your dog and then you are to use and expand on these skills through your daily lives with your dog, reinforcing them as often as possible. You will be given homework assignments between classes to help yours and your dog’s training progress.
The Lizzi & Rocco’s dog training program is a positive reinforcement program. We do not use shock collars, choke collars, prong collars, hitting, intimidating behaviors, or any other forms of negative reinforcement. While many of these were use in old school training methods, there are multiple studies that show increase success with positive reinforcement methods. With this we will use treats, praise, toys, etc. to teach our dogs obedience skills and manners.
Gain Trust & Build Relationship
One of the biggest steps in succeeding is having a strong relationship with your dog and their being trust between you both. Within the training that we do, we will work on strengthening this bond, even if you already feel a strong bond with your dog, and it will help you successfully get your dog to listen and perform the behaviors you are working on as well as make it easier to expand behaviors and can help if deciding to move forward into other types of training (ex. Agility, competition obedience, etc).
On Cue Training
There are many important skills that we would like our dog to know. With positive reinforcement training, we teach our dogs these skills by using cues. Cues can be a word, a sound, a whistle, and often certain behaviors or patterns that we do also end up developing in a cue for our dogs. On cue training, means that we use the cue right before we want them to perform a skill so that they perform the skill “on cue”. We use this term because it allows our dog to make their own choice on what to do. This is a better option than a command which usually means that the dog does not have a choice and we are forcing them to do something. Teaching our dogs these cues helps direct them to making the right choices in different situations. With this process it actually encourages learning by the dog since they realize that making the right choice and responding appropriately to the cue gets them rewards.
Dog training is not every man for himself. Dog training is a team effort. Trainers are constantly learning from each other and pet parents are constantly learning from each other as well. Like I mentioned all dogs learn differently so if one dog is having trouble with a certain skill then we can discuss and adjust it in ways that may make it easier for the dog. It is our job as humans to train our dogs by communicating with them in a way that we understand and in order for that to happen, it will take everyone in the dog’s life to be consistent in that. I promise by working as a team, we will find the success you are looking for.
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