Although each behavior has its own set of steps to achieve results, there are some general rules to help you become a better trainer (and your dog a better behaved pup).
1. Patience — children don’t learn the first time, nor do elephants, dolphins, you nor I — so let’s be patient with our dogs when they don’t get it right away!
2. Practice, Practice, Practice!— This helps us all learn! This doesn’t mean repeating the same exercise until you want to scream, and it certainly doesn’t mean repeating training that isn’t working, but it does mean working with your dog every day for at least 15 minutes. Two or three five minute sessions are often more effective than one 30 minute session!
3. Be Generous — have a fast and generous hand with treats (rewards) when you get the behavior you want but be sure you know what you are rewarding!
4. Be consistent — especially when you practice, practice, practice!
5. Visualize the two of you successfully going through the routine — it will add to your confidence and the clarity of your training. That travels down the leash to your dog!
6. Be sincere when you praise — dogs generally know when we’re faking it. Let yourself rejoice in their success and yours — including — maybe especially — the small steps!