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Developing A Standard In Your Dog Training
When you begin training your dog whether it is for obedience, retrieving or hunting, one thing remains the same, if you give, he will take. Developing a standard for each command will make all the difference. There is nothing quite as frustrating as having a dog who won’t listen or having a dog who won’t obey the training on which you have spent countless hours. Actually setting your standard is the easy part, sticking to it is where it becomes difficult. It is much like setting a standard for your kids, it is tempting to let them slide and break the rules. But, with dogs, they can’t necessarily understand the reasoning. They can’t differentiate between when the rules apply and when they don’t. For example, If you let him get away with being vocal on the line and push it off for later, you have yourself a problem in no time at all.
Setting Your Standard
It is always best to set your standard before you ever start training, while your dog is still a puppy. Going backwards isn’t usually fun but, it can be done, it just takes much more time. Before you begin training of any kind, decide what you will allow and what you will not allow. Having a clear, precise plan will help you get a step ahead before you start. Once you have your plan, stick to it. Don’t let him get away with a behavior that you deem unworthy. If you start with your boundaries too large it only wastes your time and energy training and retraining. Set your standards high and you will not be disappointed!
Persistence Is Key
Once you have your standard in place and begin training, stick to it. Persistence always pays off in the end. If for example, you are training him to retrieve and he breaks the line before he’s supposed to then stop him, don’t let him get the bird. Don’t let him think that breaking the line was acceptable behavior. Stop him right where he is. If using a training collar to train then now is the time to offer him a little correction. Keep doing this over and over until he understands that he will not get the bird until he listens and obeys. However, when he holds the standard and is right on the money then praise him. One thing to keep in mind while training and maintaining your standard is that he is going to make mistakes, he’s going to do the wrong thing at the wrong time and it’s ok. Don’t give up on him and put him up, that just confuses him and it makes it more difficult next time. Some training can be done in short intervals but, the more complex training will take longer and require you to have longer sessions so he’s progressing each time.
Always End On A Good Note
It’s always important to put your dog up or end the training session on a good note. If you or your dog become frustrated don’t get lax in your training and dismiss your previous set standards, just switch to something he already knows and end on a positive note. Your patience and attitude can make all the difference in how trainable your dog will be. I’ve had many trainers tell me that one mistake they make early on with a young dog is quitting a training session too early and ending badly forcing them to start over from the beginning the next time.
Don’t Give in To Change
Your dog will develop expectations based on your previous training sessions. You might want to change environment, time of day and the overall routine in order to give him a challenge and to set him up for different hunting situations but, don’t change your standards just because the situation or environment is different.