Training

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How to keep your dog motivated

Keeping the attention of your dog during training is not always easy. Dogs can be easily distracted, and it is important to not allow the dog training sessions to be sabotaged by boredom. Making dog training fun for the dog and the human alike is essential to creating a happy, well adjusted and well trained dog.

You should provide random positive stimuli during the day in order to maintain the interest of your dog. Doing things the dog like, like walking in the park, riding in the car, and playing with other dogs, are good methods to keep the dog's attention, but you must give him rewards for his successes.

For instance, in order to reward the dog for coming to you when you call him, ask the dog to come to you, without giving any ideas about going for a walk, a car ride, or other treats.

After your dog has come over to you and obediently sat down, attach the lead and begin the treat. This can be either the afore-mentioned stroll in the park, ride in the car, or anything else the dog enjoys doing.

Providing some kind of reward, whether a treat, a special outing, or just a scratch behind the ears, every time the dog does something you want, is a great method to keep your dog motivated while you are dog training.

If your dog knows something great is going to occur every time he obeys your commands, he will be more motivated to do want you want every time.

Distraction training.

When training any dog, it is vital to not allow distractions spoil the training. The dog must be taught to ignore distractions, such as other people, other dogs, other animals and loud noises, and focus on what is being taught These types of distractions can even be used as rewards when training the dog to come when called.

For instance, if your dog like romping with other dogs, whether it be in the park or with the neighbour's dogs, let him play with those other dogs. Then go into the park or yard and call your dog.

When he comes to you, give him lots of praise, treats and other rewards, then immediately let the dog to return to playing with his friends. Repeat this several times and praise the dog each time he comes over to you.

Your dog will quickly learn that coming to your call results in good things (treats and praise) and not bad ones (being taken away from the park).

So-called distraction training is one of the most difficult things to teach, because dogs are naturally social animals, and breaking away from the pack is one of the most difficult things you can ask your dog to do. Most dogs will be understandably reluctant to leave their canine companions, but it is important to persist in dog training.

Training the dog to come to you may require some creativity on your part at first. For instance, waving a favourite toy, or a lure, is a great way to get your dog's attention and put the focus back on you. If your dog has been clicker trained, a quick click can be a good motivator as well when you are training your dog.

Once your dog starts to become used to coming when called, you can start to reduce and then stop the visual cues and focus on getting the dog to respond to your voice alone. It is important that the dog obeys voice commands alone, since you will not always have a toy or other lure to hand.

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