Attitude and Philosophy
The first question that we have to ask ourselves is what or who is being trained? Our dog is a natural hunting animal and has all the physical and mental attributes that are required. We have few of these but we have a desire to work with our dog in a partnership. Therefore, most of the training is of ourselves.
How should we think of our dog? The best way that I have found is to think of it as a three to four year old child. This makes me want to think carefully and remain calm and kind in outlook. I can then think of the best way to achieve something or resolve a problem. Following, is a list of other things that can be usefully borne in mind.
The handler must accept that all faults are his.
Make training fun.
Aim to give ten items of praise to one of admonishment. You will soon find that you will naturally exceed this.
Never stop reading your dog’s body language and responding with your own.
Aim to be close to your dog physically and emotionally.
Reprimands are sometimes necessary but punishments achieve nothing and can have negative side effects.
Talk to your dog a lot and make a fuss of it whenever appropriate. Saying please and thankyou can be surprisingly helpful.
Be quiet and calm.
Normally, avoid pressurising your dog but demonstrate what you are trying to achieve instead.
Never use an electric collar that gives a shock: it does not build a partnership and has many undesirable side effects.