The most important thing in dog training is not to weigh everything on the gold scales, “says Luis Schnitzbauer.” Let your dog be a dog for once. The main thing is that he understands and obeys the basic commands: ‘Come here!’, ‘Sit!’, ‘Sit down!’ and ‘At your feet!’. If that works, you can take it with you wherever you go. “The dog trainer knows what he’s talking about. As a bloody dog lover, he got three-year-old husky Muschik from the shelter 14 years ago life difficult for him. But he learned from her and she from him. Over the years he turned his hobby “dogs” into a profession and developed the “dog balancing” method. “To be able to work with a dog, I have to be ready be responsive to him. So I have to be in balance, “he explains.” Dogs don’t make mistakes. They just ask for clear instructions. And here precise gestures and body signals are more important than spoken commands. “The Upper Bavarian therefore primarily relies on centuries-old rituals from the pack of dogs.
You can start as a puppy. Introduce your dog to the tasks in a playful way. Practice with the leash at first and later without the leash. If he has already mastered the basic lessons, refresh them regularly. Because just as we humans forget vocabulary when we no longer use a foreign language, a dog forgets what has already been learned. Make sure that a training unit never lasts longer than 15 minutes, even with an adult dog.
Dogs, especially when they are young, are often distracted and easily distracted from their surroundings. The first thing your dog has to do is learn to give you all of their attention. Before each training session, call your dog by name first. He pricks up his ears, is attentive and therefore ready for any command.
If the dog’s attention is drawn, the command “Come here!” Is given. You can also choose a different signal (“Come!”, “Here!” Etc.), but you have to use it consistently. While doing this, tap your thigh twice with the flat of your hand and praise the dog as it approaches: “He’s good like that!” Command and immediate praise during the reaction are positively linked by the dog, and he remembers the desired behavior. The body signal and the subsequent reinforcement with a reward are very important. If your four-legged friend is already conditioned to come up with his name, this can lead to dangerous situations (e.g. if there is a road between you two). Therefore, this behavior should be reconditioned. The name should just mean attention. If you call him, he should stop immediately and concentrate on you. Then you can immediately “sit” or “down” him from a distance and only let him come here when the dangerous situation is over. If possible, reprogramming should be done under professional guidance.
Once your dog has arrived, reward him with treats. Always use a body signal to show him that he has done everything right: Stroke him appreciatively to show him that he has done a good job. He will do everything in his power to be praised by you again in the future.
Once your dog has mastered this lesson, you can move on to the next. The command “Come here!” not necessarily another command, but at the beginning of the dog training it is the basis for the next step: the “sit!” You can practice it in a crouched position and later in a standing position. Let the dog come to you, praise him with a “So he is good!” and reinforce the praise with a treat. Raise your hand with an outstretched index finger and give the command “Sit!”. Here, too, the combination of language and gestures is very important. Your dog is watching you very closely. He connects the sounds with what he sees. The clearer your gestures, the easier it is for him to understand you. If your dog does not immediately understand what you want from him, take a treat between your thumb and middle finger and move your hand backwards from the muzzle over his head. He will sit down immediately. So that your dog becomes safe in the exercises, combine the commands “Come!” and “sit!” again: take a step back and repeat both lessons.
You can and should increase the praise initially by giving him a treat every time he does the command correctly. Because motivation is a very important element in education. This will allow your dog to learn what to expect from them much faster and act accordingly. However, the reinforcement must not take place later than half a second to two seconds after the executed command.
Does your dog also have the command “Sit!” learned and remains in this position, you should consolidate this command with him. Change your position slowly by a maximum of one or two steps backwards, to the right or to the left. Now go back to your dog and give him lots of praise for staying seated. After several repetitions, your dog has internalized the command. And both of you will have fun in the future. (Text: B. Jungbeck / S. Brixner)
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