Why does the dog trainer have such an easy time training my pup to do things? What are the secrets of puppy training?
by Jeanine Renzoni
Or it looks so easy when she does it.
Sometimes as the trainer I have trouble getting people to understand and do all the things that help to get the pup to make the cooperative effort.
But here’s my list:
*quick, early rewards for effort (I have a clear picture in my head of the things the pup needs to do to carry out the behavior I’m aiming for and so can reward when they give me part of it)
*clear body language (I avoid pushing, pulling and fussing)
*if the pup doesn’t understand I go back to simpler and then rebuild the behavior (I don’t get frustrated easily and I am willing to let them figure it out [wait for them] instead of being pushy)
*pup’s attention is on trainer (because of the above three things) and this advantage is HUGE
*I am willing to be very obvious when happy and much more willing to give rewards (I will act the fool without embarrassment – running, hooting, getting down on all fours)
*I avoid fussing with the leash – almost no tight leash times and if it is tight it isn’t for long, I get the pup to release the pressure
*I have a variety of great treats, real cooked chicken, hot dog, string cheese or cheddar, puppy biscuits and any toy I notice they like
*I avoid aversive things that may be unintentionally part of your daily practices (for example: petting on pup’s head/body if they show they don’t like that, picking up pup, forcing pup into crate or car or kennel, ending fun…without doing something else fun with them, gagging them while trying to attach a leash)
Finally, I make it easy, especially at first, for them to be right and it’s easier to learn something new if it is presented in small obvious steps whereas it’s hard to want to learn something new if your trainer keeps acting frustrated or as if you aren’t getting it.
I think those are the secrets. Sounds easy, not so secret? Well, I can tell ya, it isn’t actually intuitive for most. But if you get it, good, have a fun and much easier time training your pup.