Most Important Aspects of Being a Good Dog Owner Handler
Attributes of the handler -
Patience. Pleasant calm attitude. Understanding. Compassion.
Controlled You must have complete control
The dog must know you are in control
How is this Achieved?
Look at things from the dog's point of view
Concentrate on the dog
Read the dog's body language and signals
Apply suitable techniques and equipment
Use equipment correctly and humanely
Motivate and reward correct behaviours
Guide away from or block problem behaviours
Don't allow problem behaviours to reoccur
Don't blame the dog for errors
Train step by step
Train in many different environments
Anticipate the dog's reactions
Be adaptable ready to change when necessary
Be aware of your dog's response and its meaning
Communicate with the animal
General Do's and Don'ts
Don't worry if your dog does not get the idea of what you want straight away but, if he seems very confused, look to your teaching and timing rather than blaming the dog. It may be something as simple as your hand position that confuses him. If your training is sound, you shouldsee some improvement quite quickly.
Do train in differing environments. The dog will not necessarily know that you mean the same thing in different surroundings unless you teach him in a pleasant, positive manner.
Don't introduce a word for an action until you have perfected the training technique and can successfully get the dog into the required position, otherwise he will be learning to ignore the word rather than obey it!
Do have an open mind and learn as much as you can about your dog, this will help you and your dog to enjoy life together to the full.
Don't assume that once you have trained a few exercises, the training is done. To keep good control you should train on a regular basis, and apply at least some of your techniques as part of a daily routine. Little and often is the best way to learn.
Do groom your dog at least twice a week, (more if his coat needs it), even if he is a smooth coated dog. Grooming is an important social exercise and will help you to control your dog's behaviour as well as allow you to detect any problems that might need professional treatment.
Don't allow your dog to dictate what happens in your day-to-day life, or in your training. Remember who is controlling who!
Do use reward based training methods and reward while the dog is performing the task.
Don't reward or reprimand after the dog has performed, he will not connect your attention to the correct item of behaviour if you do.
Do enjoy your training, the task should be fun for you, your family, and the dog.
Don't loose your temper, anger shows lack of control. The dog, like a child will not learn readily or perform accurately under pressure.
Do keep calm and handle your animal with compassion. He has few free choices in his life of domesticy - you have many!
Met toestemming overgenomen © International Animal Behaviour Training Centre (IABTC), Angela White 1999
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