Tuesday, November 18, 2014

How to Train Your Dog in Advanced Methods

Advanced Dog Training
It's time to teach your dog to be all that it can be. If your dog has learned basic commands and appears ready to tackle a few harder ones, it may be time to move on to advanced training methods and teach them fun, exciting tricks. You can teach your dog many of these methods at home or you can take advanced training classes. Learn the tips and tricks to teach your special friend. Even an old dog can learn new tricks.

DO: Take advanced training classes

If you feel that your dog has managed to master the fine art of regular training, do take the time to take the dog to advanced training. Advanced training classes can help a dog hold positions for longer periods and be more consistent. These classes can teach the dog tricks as well as obedience. Advanced training classes are available in most large cities, and you can find out more about these types of classes through your veterinarian.

DO: Fade away the treats

It is necessary to fade away the treat giving when you are training your dog. You do not want to have the dog expecting a treat each time they follow a command. This may lead to a behavior issue developing if the dog does not get the treat that they expect. By slowly taking away the treats, your dog will learn over time that following certain commands is a part of life that is expected and not a trick.

DO: Fade away the prompts

Once your dog has learned to follow a command, you can begin to fade away the prompt that went with the command. Start by saying the command and waiting a step before prompting with the gesture. Each time you practice, take longer between the command and the gesture. By fading away the hand or body gesture, your dog will learn to follow the command on their own by listening instead of watching.

DO: Watch for unintentional prompting

You will want to watch for unintentional prompting with your dog. Something as simple as having the dog face you when you tell it to lie down may be a prompt. Try facing away from the dog while saying the command to lie down. If the dog follows you, then you are on the right track.

DON'T: Cut treats too quickly

Taking treats away from the dog while training may cause the dog to quit performing the behavior. You will want to give treats randomly as this will still reward the dog for a behavior that deserves to be rewarded. For example, if at first you give your dog a treat for each and every success, after a week you could cut it down to a treat for every other success, then after another week you should give a treat for every three successes. Choose how you limit based on your individual dog and their learning.

DON'T: Use the prompt longer than necessary

Once your dog has learned to sit, you should be able to simply say sit and they will follow the command. If you are still pointing while saying sit, the dog may be only responding to the visual. Gradually fade the prompt away so that the dog responds to the word and not the gesture.

DON'T: Expect too much too fast

Don't expect your dog to learn too much too quickly. It takes time for a dog to learn a new trick or to relearn an old trick. Take it one step at a time, giving the dog plenty of time to learn the new behavior before trying to get it to do a new one. Most trainers prefer to focus on one trick at a time, allowing the dog time to master the trick or behavior before moving on to something new.

DON'T: Get frustrated with your dog

If your dog appears to be going backwards in the training, try not to get frustrated. Your dog is learning new things and may be relearning old ways of doing things. You must have patience with the dog and treat it with kindness. Getting frustrated or acting out in anger towards your dog can make your dog regress. By making the learning process a hostile one, your dog will no longer wish to be engaged in learning.

You can take your dog to advanced training classes or work with your dog one-on-one, teaching it the behaviors and tricks that you deem necessary. Teaching your dog is not only beneficial for your dog, but can strengthen your relationship and bond with your dog as well. Focus on fading out prompts and treats over time as well as keeping your cool during training, especially if your dog is being difficult.

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