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Training an Older Dog – Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks
If you have adopted an older dog only to learn it has some behavior problems, don’t worry-you can teach an old dog new tricks. It is a good idea to know something about a dog before you adopt it, but sometimes you just won’t know what you are in for. Adopting an older dog means he may come to you with some behavior issues. Common problems pet owners have with newly adopted older dogs, are aggression, barking too much or even soiling inside the house. Whatever the case may be, if you use the right techniques when training your new pet, you will be able to help him to behave properly, learn his place within your family, become a great addition to your household.
When you first adopt an older dog, be sure to really check it out for any behavior issues. If your dog has any aggression problems-maybe he is aggressive towards other dogs, people, or over his food. You will need to pay immediate attention to correcting aggression problems, as these could lead to someone getting bitten. Try to determine if he has any behavioral problems needing special attention and the level of his previous obedience training-if any at all. Try giving your new pet some basic obedience commands and see how he responds. If he doesn’t know the basic commands, you’ll know he hasn’t been given any training. If he responds fearfully to a command to come or sit, this may mean he was abused by a previous owner. Make sure he is totally house trained, too. Take a thorough look at his disposition and behavior so you can see where to begin training your older dog.
The best way to get started training an older dog is to follow the advice of the best professional dog trainers, and use a step by step program that takes you from basic obedience training exercises right through more advanced training. This takes all the guess work out of how to train your older dog, and also will enable you to avoid making the same mistakes everyone always makes when trying to train their dog without a good system in place. All the best professional trainers emphasize using positive training techniques. Using positive reinforcement, you will give praise and rewards to your dog for correct behaviors, and teach him how you want him to behave. You will also learn how to communicate with your dog in a way that dogs understand. Knowing how to use your voice and your body language has a lot to do with training your dog effectively.
You will learn how to be your dog’s leader-the Alpha dog. Once you have earned his respect, confidence and trust as the Alpha dog, he will be eager to follow your leads. It is a dog’s essential nature to try to please the superior members of his “pack”-that’s you and your family.
The whole family needs to learn to be consistent with the training, to avoid any conflicting and confusing training. With the right training methods your older dog quickly learns his place within his new “pack”.By establishing yourself as the Alpha leader, you will good results with solving behavior problems your dog may have brought with him.
Training an older dog to be the best addition to your family that he can be will provide you with a pet that you can be comfortable with in any social situation. Since you adopted the older dog to be a new part of your family, don’t allow him to be anything other than a joy to have. Be sure you take the time to train your older new best friend and have the best relationship with him you can have.
Training your dog with Mark
Recent years have seen an increase in popularity of dog training and obedience.
This is largely due to the popularity of dog professionals as Cesar Milan , Ivan Balabanov, and Ian Dunbar
The training a dog for obedience goes back as far as 3000BC where dogs with what appears to be collars on their necks appear in paintings on the walls of ancient civilizations.
Many many years after these painting in 1910 a German Colonel by the name of Kongrad Most published “The Dog Training Manual” thus becoming the father of modern dog training. The methods described in The Dog Training Manual use correction and punishment quite heavily. Something that would pretty much be looked down on by positive trains. But despite its apparent cruelty it is still in use by some military training facilities.
Ironically his principals will later give rise to “clicker training”.
The idea of clicker training was first introduced by Marian and Keller Breland in 1943 who teach animals of different kind for televisions, shows and commercials.
Clicker training is basically a mechanical object that signals to the dog that the action it has performed was correct and a reward can be expected. It does that by you guessed it a sound of a “click.
” This “click” sound is more technically referred to as a “bridge word” among dog trainers and of course can be replaced by any sound or human voice. (For example YES.
) Another major change clicker training has bought to the world of dog training was the evolution of what is now commonly referred to as “positive only training”.
“Positive only training” refers to a method of training where the dog is given total freedom of choice in relation to performing the task given and gets rewarded by the use of treats. (www. heavenlydogtreats. net ) when it performs correctly.
This method of training has grown in popularity over the years and of course caused quite a bit of controversy between advocates of positive and the more traditional trainers of dogs.
Let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons of both methods.
Positive Training. Pros: It looks good as the dog is given freedom of choice.
Cons: It is unreliable as shown by the relative scarcity of positive only trainers at the high level of obedience trails.
Traditional Training. Pros: Works well and reliable.
Cons: As the dog is forced to perform the action it can develop side effects such as fear, shutting down, or in the worst cases aggression.
Of course when you are a new dog owner this can cause quite a dilemma do I want reliability or do I want a dog that is happy and not afraid of training? Well luckily there is a third method of training one that has been pioneered and developed by people such as Ivan Balabanov.
It is a mixture of both traditional and positive training methods. The idea behind this third approach is to develop a reward system and other key words such as YES and NO that lets the dog know when it is doing right or when it is doing wrong. The “game “is used to reward the dog.
This way the dog gets rewarded when a task is performed correctly (positive training) and punished when the action is performed incorrectly. (Traditional training.
) The major difference between the previous two training methods and this one is that by the use of key words a trainer can clearly communicate to the dog weather the action is correct or not.
This is somewhat similar to the old children’s game of HOT/COLD. Whereas an object is hidden and the player knows where it is by listening to other players saying Hot, Hotter.. or alternatively Cold Colder.
Similarly when training the dog a trainer can signal a correct action by stating YES and rewarding the dog or alternatively can signal an incorrect action by stating NO and withholding the reward.
This way with small approximations and practice the dog trainer can create a happy environment for the dog to learn in as well as maintaining reliability.
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