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Consistency & Persistence Pays Off
When Training Your Dog
If the rules change from day
to day, the dog becomes confused. He needs to know how to
consistently earn reward and avoid punishment or he will give up
responding. The good dog trainer is consistent and always uses
the same command for the same dog behavior corrections. When dog
training many owners teach the dog that the command "down" means to be
in a prone position.
Unfortunately, they then use the same command to mean, lie down, remove
yourself from the couch or bed, or stop jumping on people. When a
command has many different meanings, the word ceases to have an
important message and actually confuses a young dog.
Give each dog behavior its own command. The command "off" can be
used to mean paws on the floor, and "down" may remain to define the
prone position. After you decide on consistent commands, the next
step is to be persistent in using them. Dogs are naturally good
at persistent behavior, and even better if rewarded for it.
Many a dog owner has given up trying to correct the dog that barks all
day or jumps on people. Dog owners drop out of obedience classes
all the time because they are worn down by their dogs' seemingly
persistent stubborn dog behavior, and they give up trying to teach
their dogs new behaviors. The key is that the owners gave up, and
the dogs learned that persistence pays off.
When an owner gives in, the dog's persistent behavior is strengthened
and reinforced. Any determined dog owner can wear the dog
down. All the top dog behavior training information experts state
how extremely important it is that you be more persistent than the dog
about continuing the training process until the dog performs the
The dog must learn that the energy he spends engaging in undesirable
behavior is not worth the effort, because you will persist. If
you correct him for jumping up the first four times and don't correct
him for the fifth jump up you simply teach him to jump up five times
for the payoff. Similarly, if you correct the dog for barking at
the moon sometimes and not at other times, you teach him that sometimes
barking is acceptable and sometimes it is not. The dog will
continue to bark to determine when barking is acceptable and when it is
Consequently, correcting barking sometimes actually encourages even
more barking. If you don't correct the dog for barking in the
backyard because you are not at home, he will learn that barking is
acceptable when you're away. If you sneak out of the house so as
not to cue him that it is acceptable to bark, he only needs to bark
twice with no correction to figure out that you are not at home.
A behavior will be extinguished or changed only if you persist in
correcting the dog every time he misbehaves.
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Consistency & Persistence
Pays Off When Training Your Dog