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Dog Training: Getting Your Dogs Attention (Part 3)
On the fourth day, as you repeat the procedures of the first three days, youll discover that theres no more opposition and no games. This is simple enough, unless your dog happens to become momentarily distracted and forgetful.
And that is just exactly what you want to happen, so that he will learn to overcome momentary temptation and distraction and keep his attention focused on you. After all, obedience is needed particularly in time of emergency, and since you are going to build obedience as well as character into your dog, it is not too much to ask, that, at a time when other dogs would yield to distraction and temptation, your dog has his attention totally focused on you.
Your job from day four until your pet learns to ignore temptation is to use distraction and temptation during your fifteen-minute training sessions. The procedures will be nearly the same as the first three days, except that you will walk in the direction of the distraction or temptation and hope that your dog will rush recklessly toward it.
You will of course have chosen that precise moment to wish him goodbye on his journey, turn, and walk fast in the opposite direction. And, as you may expect, his journey will be short (fifteen to twenty feet) before he turns around and walks toward you. Your dog will not hate you for having to turn around because he wont associate his abrupt change of direction with you at all.
What Your Dog Will Know For Sure
The last four days have shown him that you will move whenever you choose, and in whatever direction you choose without first checking to see if its alright with him. Your dog knew this. What happened was his fault because he took his attention and eyes off you for a moment and gave in to temptation. It was just coincidental that you decided to move, at that same moment, and in the direction opposite to that in which he was heading.
You know that the move wasnt really a coincidence, but your dog doesnt know this, and will never know. What he will come to realize is that when a distraction or temptation appears, that is the exact moment that you will choose to reverse your direction of travel.
If you do your work well for the next few days, your dog will come to consider every temptation or distraction as a reminder and a cue to keep his eyes and attention on you. Distractions and temptations include people and things such as a skateboarder, a strange cat, another dog, a rolling ball, or a plate of food.
The list can go on and on, depending on your dogs personality. However, to have someone call your dog by name in an attempt to distract him must be considered unfair. You must stick to other situations and things.
To conclude this part of training, remember to always walk briskly in a straight line, with confidence in your movement. If you hesitate or walk slow, your dog will not develop the necessary confidence. Never give your dog verbal commands when working with him on the long-line. Youre not teaching him to heel yet.
For now, youre teaching him four things. First, when tied to a person, he must move with that person. Second, your determination, will, and status are such that you will walk anywhere and at any time without first checking to see if its alright with him. Third, in order for him to be aware of your movement, and in which direction youll be walking, he needs to pay attention to you because you wont let him know in advance. Fourth, when distraction or temptation appears, they are not excuses to be inattentive. On the contrary, that is when he must be the more attentive and focused on you.
BONUS : Dog Training Methods: How Dog Training Has Evolved Over The Last Few Decades
When you look down at your brand new, small and tender puppy peacefully sleeping in its little bed, it's hard to think that in just two to three months it may grow to be 40, 50, or even up to 100 pounds depending on the type of breed. And although its behaviors may cute at the moment, like jumping up and putting his front paws on your body, these actions will be far less enjoyable when your dog is all grown up and literally knocking you over.
Your best bet is to start training your puppy from day one so that he can learn proper manners as he grows into adulthood. Puppies that are not trained in this manner end up learning all of the wrong stuff and their owners wonder why they cannot seem to get their dogs to behave as they age.
Many years ago, when dog training methods used more punishment oriented (using harsh methods to train puppies), dog trainers typically required all puppy trainees to be at least six months old. The reason was partly due to the fact that such physical correction protocols used could not be done with dogs that were too small or too young.
What is ironic about dog training in the old days is that by the time most puppies are six months old they are big enough and mentally stubborn enough to ignore commands and are altogether tough to train.
New Times Bring Better Training Methods
Over the last 20 years or so, the dog training profession has embraced more friendly and loving training tactics for their puppy clients. Most trainers now except puppies that are as young as 8 to 10 weeks old. They are typically enrolled in socialization classes and puppy kindergarten.
Positive training is now used instead of the old-school methods of negative reinforcement. Puppies are taught to walk politely on the leash. They learn the basic commands of sit, stay, lie down, and come. In addition to these simple instructions, other useful techniques are learned by puppies such as how to relax, give and take their paw, and polite greeting.
Dog Owners Are More Involved With Training Nowadays
Another interesting aspect of raising dogs that has been noted over the last couple of decades is that more and more dog owners have taken it upon themselves to train their puppies.
This is partly due to the fact that so many dog training publications and manuals have been written. Modern dog training programs are based more and more on scientific principles and psychological studies of animal behavior and temperament.
Simple puppy training programs have taught dog owners to utilize techniques such as clicker training and luring.
Clicker training involves the use of a small mechanism that makes a clicking sound when pressed. When a dog hears the sound it will associate the click with whatever reward you give him. This tells the animal that something good is coming and he should repeat whatever behavior or action you have been teaching him.
Luring training is simply using food such as a dog treat, or even a toy, to induce the dog to display a specific behavior in order to follow the lure in hopes of getting the reward.