Good Family Dog

Life Changing Dog Behavior & Training Tips

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Very Quick Tips

Dogs learn to moderate behavior based on perceived consequences, not on morality. They have no concept of “right” and “wrong”.
Emotions Drive Behavior. Obedience is a learned response to a cue and does not normally override a strong emotional response. Example: A worried dog is not likely to listen to a command. They’re not stubborn. They’re anxiously trying to diffuse the situation.
Don’t try to train in the middle of a crisis. Create a mock situation and rehearse when it’s convenient for you.
Your dog may know how to sit but he doesn’t know WHEN to sit. Your job is to choose the behavior you’d like to see from the dog.
Dog behavior is contextual. If your dog is struggling with a cue, ask yourself what in the environment is distracting the dog. It may be a thing or an emotion.
Growling is a distance increasing behavior. It’s a signal dogs use to get something the dog thinks is threatening to move away.
Whatever their behavior, believe the dog. They are incapable of lying.
The behavior with the highest rate of valuable reinforcement is the one that will be repeated, sometimes without being asked.
Model the behavior you want to see from the dog. If you want to be calmly greeted at the door, habitually be calm when you come home.
If your dog is repeating a behavior you have been trying to eliminate, find out where and how the dog is being rewarded for that behavior.
Rewards are decided by the learner, not the trainer.
Highly engaging and valuable chew items need to be put away until you need them. That’s what makes them valuable.
Not all dogs enjoy petting from a non-family member. A good indicator of welcomed contact is to wait until the dog approaches and literally puts their body under your hand. Petting a dog who is tentatively smelling you could cause the dog to back off or worse, bite.