Dogs are constantly studying us looking for cues into what we are trying to convey. When you face your dog with your shoulders square to him standing tall, you are saying back off, and he will tend to stay put. Conversely, when you turn your back to your dog, he will have a tendency to want to follow you. This is how we “show” dogs with body language what to do using their language until and while we teach them OUR language!
Eye contact is also an important component in communicating our requests, approval and even reassurance in more distracting situations. We will be teaching your dog to look at you.
Look at your dog while training so that you can reward wins, and prevent or correct mistakes quickly. We call these Positive and Negative Markers.
Remember, each time your pet performs old or undesirable behaviors, you are delaying the formation of permanent new behaviors.
Everyone wants their dog to be responsive to their name. Therefore, always associate your dog’s name with positives. Teach your dog to LOVE their name by teaching him or her that all good stuff comes with their name. If your dog doesn’t know his name, associate his name with a few treats! Have your dog on leash so he stays close to you. Wander around your yard and occasionally say his name and provide the treat. Also important: never call your dog’s name in association with punishment, perceived or otherwise such as to put him or her away in his crate.
Once your dog has learned to love his name, don’t wear it out with over-use! We are NOT of the camp that suggests you use your dogs name before every command! The danger with overuse is that your dog can very easily stop responding to it if it becomes irrelevant.
Did you know that a dog’s name is typically a motivator and tends to get him ready to move? Therefore try using your dog’s name ahead of the movement words such as “come”, “heel” or “let’s go”. And then, try not to use it ahead of stationary word cues such as “sit”, “stay”, or “down”. During the teaching stage, it will help you both succeed because he will be less likely to move if you just simply say “stay” rather than “Fluffy, stay” for example.