Going Back to Basics


Image credit: Lauren Langman

We are going back to basics for this week’s Tips and Treats blog! Sometimes we can get bogged down by all the bells and whistles that can come along with dog training and it is important to get the essentials right. Here are some general top tips for dog training that can get lost along the way!

1. Reward what you want to see. Catch your dog doing something that you like. In this way you can build up behaviours that you do want rather than focusing on what you don’t.

2. Be consistent. If it’s OK for your dog to be on the sofa with one member of your family but not with you it’s a confusing message for your dog! It probably won’t have the outcome you want either…

3. Make sure your expectations are realistic – it is unlikely that your dog will be able to run a whole agility course with no faults the first time he sees one! Break your bigger goals down into tiny ones and all the pieces of the puzzle will come together eventually.

4. Work with the dog in front of you. Every dog is different and just because something worked with your Jack Russell doesn’t necessarily mean it will work with your new Border Collie puppy!

5. Find out what your dog really likes. If he doesn’t like to tug, don’t force him! He might get much more reinforcement from something else and this is much more important to focus on than whether he will tug.

lauren langmanAbout the Author: Lauren Langman is responsible for the design and development of all Devon Dogs classes, events and workshops. She competes in Agility at Grade 7, the highest rank of competition in the British agility arena. She regularly competes and wins at top agility events in the UK including Crufts and Olympia, and has represented the UK at World Agility Championship level on many occasions.

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