Steps For A Successful Dog Training Session
Have you ever felt that in spite of spending considerable time training your dog, you have not accomplished anything?Successful training sessions for your dog are a mixture of various factors and let us look at some methods to ensure that the said factors are effected upon during the training sessions
Nine Methods to Effect a Successful Training Session
- Advance Planning
- Assigning Consistent Timeslots
- Get rid of distractions
- Observation of your dog
- Practising better timing
- Reflection of your session
- Keeping accurate records
- Considering your dog
1. Advance Planning
Effective planning in advance of your session helps you to usefully avail every minute you spend with your dog during the session.Prepare notes on what you have accomplished in the last session and what you wish to accomplish in the coming session. Also make a list of essentials like dummies, marker, treats, etc. that have to be used during the session.Keep a notepad in hand to write down any ideas you would like to try for the next session and also about those areas that you feel require more work.
- Assigning Consistent Timeslots
People who were successful in training their dogs mostly became so because they turned up for the training sessions.Spending time with your dog regularly will bring more progress than intermittent training sessions with the proper equipment.Set a regular timetable so that dog training becomes a daily habit rather than a chore.
- Get Rid of Distractions
Dogs are easily distracted and cannot focus on learning something new when they are surrounded by distractions like people or other dogs.Dogs have to be taught the basics in a quiet, undisturbed place. Once, they have been trained do not expect them to perform in front of a crowd immediately.Dogs have to be trained in stages to focus on performing a task, even when they are surrounded by distractions.
Before leaving for the sessions, take a few minutes to prepare for the session. Prepare a bag or basket that would contain all essential items to be used during the training session like
- A lead
- A whistle
- A clicker
- A toy
- A notebook
- A video camera
- A flask
- A bag of treats
What is to be put in the training bag depends on the trainer and the type of dogs that are being trained. Always remember to load your bag in the car before letting the dogs in.
- Observing your Dog
Observation skills are very essential when doing dog training.During training, you will have to observe your surroundings for impending or approaching distractions and remove the distractions or restrain your dog before your dog is affected by it.You will also have to observe your dog closely to reward him/her promptly and effectively when they achieve something.When your dog does not obey you and walks away, it is not only because you asked him/her to do something for a long time, but also because you did not notice that he/she was becoming restless.
- Practising Better Timing
It is the consequences of their behaviour that help dogs learn new things. When the consequences are delayed, the behaviour is not affected in any way at all.If you expect your dog to repeat the behaviour he/she has just learned, there is only a couple of seconds for you to deliver the reward before it is rendered inconsequential.To buy some time, you can use a clicker as an event marker. Link a clicker to receiving an award wherein you get some time to deliver the reward.But, good timing is essential even when using an event marker as the marker has to be used immediately as good behaviour is displayed.
- Reflection of your Session
This is the time for you to look back at your session that day and think about what has been achieved. Has your dog made any progress or do they require more training in any areas? Do you need to brush up on the information you have or do you require the help of a third person?
- Keeping Records
Keep a record of each training session in a training diary. This helps you to maintain a record of what were your aims, what you have achieved, where you need to work more and what you are yet to achieve and also what you plan to do for your next session.
- Considering your Dog
A successful training session is one where the trainer takes into consideration the capabilities as well as the needs of the dog. At times, the needs of the dog may conflict with what you need out of the training.Taking into consideration the dogs abilities while training will help to train your dog to become a winner faster. Keeping in mind the dog’s needs will keep you from pushing your dog too far. Wanting to feel proud of our dog is a natural emotion, but we should not let our judgement to be clouded because of this desire. Considering your dog when you go into training will produce more results as well as be a fun session for both of you.