Education and training is a necessary process for every dog owner. Without proper socialization and training, a comfortable existence of a man–dog pack is impossible.
Why do I need training and where to start
A puppy in the house is a long-awaited joyful event. But not every owner understands that the behavior of a dog can be very different from the rosy ideas of cohabitation. Animals live according to the laws of the pack, behave as their instincts tell them.
So that the days spent side by side with the dog do not become unbearable – classes with a puppy should be held daily. A poorly behaved pet, even the smallest size, can turn into a real tyrant, terrorizing the whole family and the immediate environment.
A dog not trained in commands chases cats, jumps on strangers, scaring them. The dog can break off the leash at any time and get run over by a car.
When to start classes with a puppy
Many people are sure that you need to start training not earlier than the puppy turns 6 months old. In many military dog training bases, dogs that have reached the age of one and a half years are still brought to the training ground. This is due solely to the method of education, military specialists mostly work through coercion, which is really not suitable for small puppies.
- Along with the general training course, army dogs are trained in special skills:
- Search for a person on the trail;
- Selecting a thing;
- Search and Rescue Service;
- Protection of the territory;
- Frontal attack;
- Detention of a criminal;
- Protection of the owner (and abandoned items);
- Search for explosives and narcotic substances.
Very small puppies are not yet suitable for special training. But a dog living in a family as a companion should begin to master the basics of parenting from the first days of appearance in the house.
A puppy aged from 3 to 7 months is trained perfectly and quickly. This period in cynology is called “the time of deep memory”. The commands that the dog has mastered at this time are remembered for a long time, without long repetitions.
Preparation for training
Before starting the study of commands, the instructor should get to know the puppy, gain confidence – to stroke, play or treat a treat. The first lesson should be held in a well-known room or a permanent place for walking.
Previously, the dog needs to be walked to meet natural needs. If the dog wants to go to the toilet, it will be difficult for him to concentrate on the trainer.
There should be no strangers and animals at the venue of the first lesson, so as not to frighten and distract the puppy. At the initial stage of training, it is very important that the pet’s attention is completely carried away by the instructor.
Before starting classes, you need to purchase the appropriate ammunition:
- Soft leather or nylon collar;
- The leash is 1 – 1.5 meters long;
- The leash is 5 – 15 meters long;
- A motivating treat or toy.
The entire inventory should fit the size of the dog and be strong enough not to break during the training.
Basic training methods
In total , there are 11 methods of skill formation in cynology:
- Guidance method – the instructor encourages the dog to perform the necessary action, following the motivation (treat or toy);
- The method of pushing – the trainer pushes the dog to the desired activity with the help of a leash or hands, creating unpleasant sensations that immediately stop after executing the command;
- The method of passive inflection – the method is similar to modeling, if the animal does not resist, it is given the desired pose simultaneously with a voice command;
- The method of behavior selection is the command is given when the dog performs an arbitrary action. For example, the pet wanted to lie down – the instructor gives the command “lie down” and encourages the dog;
- A way to enhance a behavioral trait – suitable for animals that have already formed skills, but not quite correctly – is backed up by a better performance than the previous one;
- A method of reducing a behavioral act to a single element, by reinforcing only one element from the chain of actions;
- The method of alternative behavior – with the help of certain auxiliary props, such conditions are created for the dog, in which the desired behavior becomes the only possible;
- The method of game behavior – the dog’s need for play and the hunter’s instinct are used as motivation;
- Imitation method – used with the help of a previously trained dog, puppies are able to learn by looking at others;
- The method of defensive behavior consists in avoiding pain sensations by the dog, leading it to the position necessary for the trainer;
- The method of aggressive and defensive behavior is used in special training courses, the effects are so strong that the dog is forced to defend himself.
It is impossible to say that any of the above methods is worse or better. Each trainer uses certain methods based on the age, breed of the dog and his own intuition.
Classes with an instructor
There are several options for dog handlers:
- Training with content is not a cheap pleasure, but it is effective. The specialist works with the dog daily, as a result of which the owner receives an already educated dog
- Independent training under the supervision of a zoopsychologist is the best option, a professional trains the owner to manage the pet, individually or in a group
- Working out skills by a dog handler – in the presence of the owner, the trainer works independently
Choosing a specialist
The choice of a teacher should be taken seriously. It is necessary to find out from experienced dog owners who it is better to contact, and not to be bribed by advertising on the Internet.
Dog handlers who have their own blogs and channels on the Internet, as a rule, are not the most qualified specialists. All the material filmed about the wonderful training in 5 minutes is pure attention-getting for earning money on advertising. Good professionals don’t have time for such nonsense.
Training on the playground
Classes at the training ground can be held both individually and in a group:
- Group classes are cheaper, but have less efficiency. The dog handler may be distracted by another dog, and not notice the mistakes of other students.
- Individual trainings have a very high efficiency, but they are more expensive, sometimes even twice. But the instructor’s attention is completely carried away by one animal and mistakes in training are not allowed.
There is no need to visit sites where owners or trainers beat dogs for not following commands. A pet can remember that the playground is scary and subsequently refuse to even go there.
Duration of classes
The average duration of classes with an instructor is from 40 minutes to 1 hour. As a rule, training takes place once a week.
A good trainer shows owners how to properly handle a pet, how the skill is formed. The rest of the time he watches how the owners get independent training and corrects mistakes. During a week break, the formation of the skill is practiced independently.
The role of socialization in training
In the process of socialization, the puppy learns to calmly respond to extraneous stimuli. This plays a huge role in the upbringing of a controlled dog.
Animals with an insufficient level of socialization become nervous, insecure, and may behave inappropriately in urban conditions. The pet is in a state of constant stress in a new environment and refuses to follow commands.
Dogs raised in conditions of social deprivation behave extremely unbalanced and aggressive towards people and other animals.
General rules of independent training
The main rules for raising a dog without the help of an instructor are:
- Good motivation – the reward should be very welcome.
- Timely reinforcement – Dogs associate reinforcement only with the last action.
- Always seek to fulfill an order – if the pet understands that it is possible to disobey at least once, he will definitely repeat it.
- A huge reserve of patience – a nervous state does not allow you to think sensibly, commands are not given correctly, encouragement does not happen at the right time.
The main thing to understand is that a dog is a living being, it is not a robot always ready to work. They may also have something to hurt or “not be in the mood”. If it is obvious that the dog is not in the mood to work, then it is necessary to reconsider the motivation or postpone the lesson for another time.
Dog training at home
It is recommended to teach a small puppy exclusively through positive. A tasty morsel or a favorite toy as a reward is an ideal option. Thanks to such training, the dog begins to trust the owner more, becomes more confident, executes commands with pleasure.
- The active duration of classes with a pet should be about an hour a day, divided into 3-4 times.
- Puppies up to 6 months have a very mobile nervous system, even a 15-minute lesson is a big load for them.
Young dogs, especially choleric ones, do not have to wait for perfect endurance. Reinforcements must follow immediately after the execution of the order. Only after the formation of a stable reflex should you begin to work out the exposure.
Introduction to ammunition
Before starting training, a four-legged companion needs to learn that ammunition is an integral part of life. As a rule, there are no problems with the collar, it does not interfere with moving and playing in any way.
In most cases, young dogs perceive a leash as a toy. The dog can bite the hated rope, kick, break free. All unnecessary actions should be ignored, and distract the pet from the leash with a toy. Gradually, the baby will get used to the presence of a leash in his life.
Things are much more complicated with a muzzle, this is the most hated ammunition. To facilitate the process, it is necessary to begin to accustom to the muzzle from early childhood. To put a muzzle on a dog, you need to take a piece of a treat and put it inside. The puppy will be interested in the smell and he will push his muzzle inside.
For this action it is necessary to praise. This exercise should be done at home every day, gradually increasing the period of time the muzzle is in the muzzle.
The ammunition must be properly selected, fully fit the size of the dog. After all, no one wears shoes that are rubbed, the motivation to take them off faster prevails over all other desires.
Getting used to a place or an aviary
The “place” command is a mandatory skill for every dog. A dog’s place is a warm cozy corner in which a pet is resting. You can not send a dog to a place as punishment or show cruelty when she is resting there – there will be bad associations, the puppy will be afraid of its litter.
To teach a dog to enter the aviary on the first command, you need to lure her there with a treat. Feed, saying “good place”, “well done place” and release. Then, without entering the aviary, you can throw a toy inside and command “place”. When the dog runs into the aviary, be sure to praise.
Commands for initial review
All orders are secondary, the first thing a puppy should learn is his nickname. If the dog does not hear the owner, it will not execute commands.
After the nickname , they teach elementary control commands:
- “To me”;
- “Sit, lie, stand (in the complex)”;
- “Ugh (you can’t)””
This is the most minimal dog management base in society.
Features of adult dog training
There is an opinion that adult dogs are poorly trained or do not give in at all. This is a myth, a competent approach to the pet helps to establish contact with the owner and makes it possible to discipline even an elderly animal.
A dog with an established behavior really needs more time to understand what is wanted from her than a puppy. But this does not mean that an adult dog does not need to be brought up. A little more patience and time, and even an inveterate marauder in dog skin will become an obedient, loyal friend.
Necessary commands to control a dog in the city
Constantly in contact with social society, it is necessary to be confident in the dog’s skills, especially for owners of “potentially dangerous breeds”. At the moment there is a special cynological course called UGC (controlled urban dog), it is often confused with OKD (general training course), but these are two completely different standards. The training of the UGC course is divided into two stages – at the training ground and in the city.
The first stage (on the site):
- Movement next to the conductor on a leash;
- Movement next to the trainer without ammunition;
- Landing a dog out of Traffic;
- Laying a pet with endurance and a call;
- Laying in the presence of distractions.
The second stage (in the city):
- Meeting dogs with people;
- Meeting with a bicycle;
- The animal’s reaction to the car;
- Behavior when meeting runners (roller skaters);
- Actions at the sight of other dogs;
- The reaction of a pet left on a leash in relation to others.
The main part of the skills is connected with the socialization of the animal, which suggests that it is social adaptation in the city that is even more important than the execution of commands.
Carrot or stick – which method to choose
A rhetorical question. Even 10 -15 years ago, all dog handlers in chorus repeated about “dominance” and that the dog should respect the owner. To date, the situation has changed dramatically, an increasing number of zoopsychologists are sure that it is necessary to raise a dog through a positive.
Well-chosen motivation makes the dog perform commands with joy, which even looks more spectacular. When a pet is raised without the use of a “whip”, he is absolutely confident in himself and trusts the owner infinitely. Having changed the “carrot” to cruelty, there is a great chance to get a terrified, nervous creature that tries to escape from the owner at any opportunity.
Useful tips from professionals
A list of useful tips from a dog handler:
- You only need to say the command 1 time (the only repeating command is “next”).
- Every action performed correctly should be rewarded (at the training stage).
- Never punish the dog after calling “to me” (no matter how long you had to wait for her).
- Classes should be short-term, but daily.
- It is strictly forbidden to use corrective ammunition for puppies under a year old.
- The role of socialization in training should not be underestimated.
Raising a real companion is long and time-consuming, but it’s worth it. A well-trained pet will not bring discomfort to others, and will not be exposed to urban danger (shoots, cars). An obedient dog is the pride of a worthy owner.