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Monday, July 16, 2012

Training Tips - General Training

Training every dog is a different challenge, but some general guidelines apply to just about any pup.

1. Always keep treats on hand
      This is probably one of the most, if not the most, important rule of training. Just about every training i've spoken to has recommended this to ease and accelerate training, especially with stubborn or independent breeds such as the Shiba Inu. You should keep a high value treat (something that your pup really enjoys) on hand when doing any kind of training. This works extremely well with potty training, as your pup will be a lot more inclined to do the action correctly when treats are involved.
     There are literally over one hundred different brands, flavors, and types of training treats. I won't recommend any specific brand here, as we've had success with multiple brands and flavors, but be sure to check the ingredients of any treat before you buy to verify that all of the ingredients are pet safe and your pet's stomach can handle them all.

2. Be Consistent
     Another important rule that, if followed correctly, can greatly ease the process of training. This point was proven by Ivan Pavlov's classical conditioning experiments in the early 1900's. Consistency is key in any form of training, as consistency implants the behavior/reward cycle into your dog's memory, which is exactly what you are working toward with any type of training. Consistency will prevent your pooch from getting confused about the importance and your opinion of the action.

Learning to Sit

3. Catch 'Em Early
     Starting with training early on can mean the difference between training your pooch and struggling for what seems like an eternity to hopefully teach your dog a lesson. As puppies, canines are far more impressionable, so they are much easier to train and condition. Catching them early means that you have many more options for training your pup and much more time to reinforce these lessons.
     The other side to this is that if taught improperly or if taught the wrong lessons at this stage, your pooch can become a danger to themselves or other pets or people. At this stage, a training mistake can be corrected if caught early enough with little to no impact on your pup's life.

These short but important guidelines can make training your dog at least a little easier on you and on your pooch as well.

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