TL;DR: Five-week dog fundamentals training program.
- Reinforcement is a stimulus that increases the immediately preceding
behavior so that it’s more likely to occur in the future. This is
the training thesis.
- Corollary (negative): Punishment is a stimulus that reduces the immediately preceding behavior so that it’s less likely to occur in the future.
- Reward is a stimulus that uses positive reinforcement to increase your dog’s immediately preceding behavior by trying to tell him “YES! DO THAT AGAIN!” in the future.
2: Preparing for Dog Training
- Leash tethering: clip carabiner onto belt and go everywhere with dog.
- Training logs
- Start filling out Niko’s once ready to begin training.
3: Feeding, Potty Training, and Crating
- Crate should be a safe, happy place for your dog!
- Teach your dog that he gets something really great in the crate when you leave (not when you return)
- Return to crate exercise if dog backslides during training. Home base.
4: Week One: Fundamentals Training Program
- 10 skills:
- Leash walking
- Off/take it
- Boundary training
- Spiriting: unlocking dog’s personality
- Ground rules:
- Have fun
- Do the homework
- You’re always training
- Four A’s of learning:
- Stage 1: Acquired: first success ever
- Stage 2: Automatic: 80 percent success
- Stage 3: Application: generalized skill to variety of places and situations
- Stage 4: Always: skill melds into everyday life
- Three P’s of relationship:
- Natural canine orientation is visual, not verbal
- Treat techniques:
- Slot machine: random treats
- Jackpot: give 5-7 treats for one good success, none for other successes
- Recall: lure at a distance. Add verbal cue.
- Add name to any positive cue, never to negative cue
- Release: drop leash and point to play area
- Which hand game to engage pupper
- Be a tree on walks to help with leash walking
5: Week Two: Training in Everyday Life
- What gets rewarded, gets reinforced. What gets ignored, disappears
- Off/take it: Just let him take treats from your hand and mark it
with “good take it”
- Give up what he has with “off”
- Make sure to pair “off” with at least an equal value “take it”
- Informal heel: walk-stop-sit sequence over and over, small walks in between.
6: Week Three: Advancing to Verbal Cues
- Start adding verbal cues for your commands
7: Week Four: Completing the Foundation
- Door boundary training
- Whenever I open a door, dog must wait for me to go through before he does
- Start interior, make him sit at doorway, then cue “let’s go” to go through
- Doorbells: if you ignore, dog will ignore. Make sure he doesn’t jump on visitors. Ignore if he jumps.
- Chill: once dog is down, has to stay there
- Keep treating as he stays inn down
8: Week Five: Reviewing the Basic Skills
- Has a quick guide to all the skills
- Stand: Start with sit. Lure to standing, treat. Then add verbal cue
9: Training Games and Activities
- Retrieve: go fetch and bring back. Can try training verbal cue “fetch” as well.
10: Clicker Training and Dog Tricks
- Replace the word “good” with a “click” sound.
- Advantage: clearer, more distinct noise than voice. Doesn’t change. Marks exact moment.
- Tricks to target:
- Roll over
- Sit pretty
- Toy cleanup