3. Be a clear communicator.Everyone hates a misunderstanding, keep your words consistent. Hubby and I are consistently checking in with one another regarding what vocab/signals we are using. When you say, "stay," mean it. Practice it, work it in different scenarios. Be consistent with your signals too, in agility I've noticed dogs get frustrated if their handler is not clearly signaling what is to be done, and then the handler gets frustrated because the dog isn't doing what is being asked! I've noticed the Australian shepherds seem to do it the most - they tend to jump, bark, whine, and mouth at their handlers clothing when frustrated during training sessions in our class.
3. Be a clear communicator.
4. Care about your dog's health.
www.DzDogs.com">Photo: DZDogs.com5. Don't get angry at your dog.Yes, your dog may know that the did something wrong. But maybe in the heat of the moment they were overwhelmed and that rug that they ate represented a mighty dragon they were fighting in a fierce battle over the house! Just kidding ... but seriously awesome relationships are not built on a foundation of yelling, screaming, and anger. Never hit your dog, or punish them just because your are mad - that is you taking your frustration out on your dog, you are not actually teaching them anything in this case.
6. Find out what drives your dog.Dante loves to tug, we've been revisiting his recall training because it was getting sloppy. We were spending so much time training, and working with our foster Jack, that poor Dante was getting playtime but no training himself.He started to ignore us when we called, and he quit checking in (giving frequent looks in our direction) be it on a walk or off-leash. Well this led to no more off-leash time; he could no longer be trusted. It isn't that your dog is bad though, they need practice. Our bond was clearly slipping. Your dog needs to find you to be the most fun thing around! Practicing re-call with Dante we would take his favorite tug toy, hide it in our jacket, let him sniff about but not get too far. Then yell, "Come!" And whip out his toy!He quickly figured out that sticking nearby was worth it if it meant he could play. Working with him several times a week has really helped his recall. We also hide pieces of hot dogs, and cheese in our pockets. When he comes when called, he is rewarded.
Photo: DZDogs.comWhen we're out on a walk, every time he looks at me I reward him for checking in, and in just two weeks we've noticed a huge difference in his attentiveness.Flyball has also really helped with Dante's attentiveness!7. Consider learning a sport!There is a sport for every dog, barn hunt, scent work, dock diving, lure coursing, agility, flyball ...I would highly recommend looking into classes in your area. Sports are a great way to strengthen your relationship, socialize, and get out and have fun with your dog! Not to mention you're surrounded typically by other awesome dog people.Remember, while training is important it isn't everything. Your dog should find you to be fun, they should desire to come back to you because they know you represent positive rewards as opposed to punishment.How do you build your relationship with your dog?To hear more, visit us at: www.DzDogs.com.