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Dog Training Techniques, The Fundamentals

We have trained our 2 hunting dogs with numerous dog training techniques. Our Vizslas Abby and Peaches hunt and are competitive in AKC sponsored events. These are the fundamentals with which we teach our dogs.  Flexibility, Consistency, Fairness or Positive attitude are all key to successful dog training.  To train any type of dog, you need a solid foundation. Apply these basics with any dog training method you use.  Remember to trust yourself and your dog while you train. The most important part of successful training is your partnership. 

Flexibility - Don't just repeat what has worked in the past with another dog. Each dog is unique. Be prepared to handle each unique training situation. 

Consistency - Dogs learn through repetition. If you send mixed signals or do not correct unwanted behavior every time, your dog will not learn. 

Positive attitude - Like people, dogs learn best from positive experiences. Focus on rewarding desired behaviors. Avoid working with your dog when you are frustrated or upset. 

Fairness - Never correct your dog out of anger. The correction will not help your dog learn. It will only damage your relationship. 

Confidence - Trust yourself!! Believe in your ability to train your dog well, and you will be successful in what ever dog training techniques you use. 

Know your dog - Giving dog training commands is not enough. You must also read your dog's body language and respond accordingly. 

React quickly - When you give immediate praise or correction, your dog can make the connection between the behavior and the consequence. That's how dog training works. But you must be alert so you can respond quickly. 

Training notes - Keep track of your progress. Note what works and what doesn't. List the dog training commands he still needs to practice. Having this information handy will be valuable as you continue learning how to train a dog better. 

Enjoy training - When you and your dog have fun, training is easier and more effective. Use games and activities to practice commands and skills with your dog. Be creative and try new things so training never gets boring for either of you. 

Training Tools - Your energy and attitude are important in dog training. But your dog training techniques must also include the right tools: leashes, collars, treats, etc. The wrong tools can make good training impossible. 

Start slowly - Do not expect your dog to learn "Stay" if he does not know "Sit." Do not expect your hunting dogs to follow commands if they do not know basic obedience. Training is a gradual process. Each step builds on the previous step. 

Socialization - Dog training commands are only part of obedience. You also need to socialize your dog. That means he needs positive encounters with new people, animals, and environments regularly starting as a puppy. 

Environment - Start with a distraction-free environment. You want the dogs to focus on you. As your dogs improve, train in new environments and with more distractions. 

Health - Your dog must be in good health during training. Make sure to feed him a high-quality diet, low in artificial products and fillers. 

Breaks - Don't push yourself or your dog too hard during training. Take time for a rest. Sit down together for a drink of water. Play a game of fetch. Go for a swim. Remember to enjoy your dog not just train your dog. 

About the Author:  Lizzie Novotny R.N has a researched and informative website about dogs, especially the sporting dog breeds. She raises, trains and shows dogs and horses, and is familiar with all aspects of their care. Find answers to your dog-related questions by visiting her website. http://www.the-hunting-dog.com
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