Helping Cockapoo’s in their hour of need
Positive Reinforcement Dog Training
Positive reinforcement dog training works by using praise and positive actions or rewards, rather than punishment or correctional actions, to teach your dog right from wrong. The key with this type of training is to determine what it is that motivates your dog, and use that motivator as a reward upon correct performance. In positive reinforcement dog training you can use treats, toys, physical affection, verbal praise or a combination of any of those, to reward your dog for correct behaviour.
Here’s how the method works…
First you must determine a set of commands, which will prompt your dog to perform specific actions. Some of the most basic command words for dog training include:
(Used to get your dog to walk by your side)
‘Down’ or ‘Flat’
(Use these words when you want the dog to lie down)
‘Stay’ or ‘Wait’
‘Leave’ (Use this word to get your dog to give you something they’ve got in their mouths)
‘Fetch’ (When you want your dog to retrieve something for you)
‘Off’ (Use this word when you want the dog to get “off” of the furniture or after having jumped on someone)
In positive reinforcement dog training it is important to reward the dog immediately upon responding correctly to the command. For example, if you command your dog to “sit” and he does so, you need to immediately let him know that he did a good thing by telling him “good boy”(these words can be replaced by a clicker). You then promptly give him the reward. Remember, the reward must be something that your dog gets great pleasure from. If your dog loves food, then reward him with a small tasty treat. If he really likes to play with a certain toy, then reward him by throwing the toy so that he can fetch it. Perhaps he is motivated by physical affection, then you can reward them with a belly rub or a nice ear scratch. Do not, however, wait too long to reward them for the action, otherwise it may end up just confusing the dog. For example, if you asked your dog to “sit” and then waited until he stood back up again before rewarding him, then he will associate the “sit” command with the action of standing up. After all, that is what you rewarded him for.
During the time in which you are training your dog to respond to new commands, you will want to reward him every time the correct action is performed. However, once they have successfully mastered the command and are performing consistently without hesitation it will no longer be necessary to provide rewards each time they perform the specific action. Simply reinforce to them verbally that they were correct by telling them “yes”, or “good”.
The two key issues with positive reinforcement dog training are consistency and timing. Be consistent in your training methods, ensuring that you use the same commands each and every time, and make sure that your timing in terms of rewarding correct behaviour is bang on. Last but not least and above all, this should be fun for both you and your dog. If either of you are not having fun then you’re doing something wrong. Accept the fact that training your dog will take time and patience but eventually your consistency and persistence will pay off.
SEND AWAY TRAINING
Begin your send away training when your dog is young. A young dog learns faster than an older dog and will be more willing to accept new behaviours and skills.
Teach your dog the basic commands before attempting the send away. Your dog should know how to perform a proper sit, down, come, heel, wait and stay before you move onto the send away.
Place your dog in the sit by your side. Give the dog the command Stay or Wait and step away from your dog.
Walk approximately 5 paces away from the send away table (this distance will be gradually increased as your dog becomes confident) and place their favourite toy or treat (reward) on the table. The reward will encourage the dog to run out with enthusiasm when you give them the out command.
Return to your dog and give the command for the send away. It can be something as simple as “out,” or “away’’ if you use “wait’’ as your stay command, as long as you use the same command each time.
Guide your dog to the reward if they cannot find it on their own. Encourage them to get their reward, giving the out command again so that they associate running out from you with the command.
Place the dog in to down position when he reaches the reward. The down position is an essential part of a proper send away, so be sure the dog lays down each and every time he performs the exercise.
Continue working with the dog, eventually phasing out the reward. Your dog needs to learn to run out to the Send Away Table and go in to the down position without a reward, so use the reward less and less until it’s only needed occasionally as you train.
I use a Send Away Table it could be a Cone or something similar I feel it just helps to focus the dog in the early part of the training for this exercise however, if you are thinking of competition obedience you will not have any object to send your dog to.