Ten tips for ultimate retriever training – Tip #1

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The next several weeks I will be writing about ten tips for ultimate retriever training.

Tip #1: Learn how to read your dog.

You, as your dog’s best friend, need to understand his body language. Dogs display many clues as to what they are thinking about and planning to do. Being aware of these cues and understanding them can give you a leg up on training.

There are many websites and books available that can educate you on this, but some simple observations can tell you a lot.

  • Where is his tail?

  • Where are his ears?

  • Are his hackles raised?

  • Where is he looking?

Using this data can help immensely in training. By paying attention you can increase the amount of learning per session by responding accurately and quickly to adverse behaviors and providing praise for good ones.

Short lessons, where you and your dog are working as a team, when done right can be a lot more productive then long sessions where you both are just going through the motions. Body clues given by your dog will help you keep your dog in balance (which was covered in a previous cornerstone article).

Not only will being able to read your dog help you with training, it will also help when you visit friends’ dogs. You will be able to recognize their body language and be able to read them and their intentions. This can reduce stress and possible dangerous situations for everyone involved.

Next week I will continue with another tip for ultimate retriever training, till then happy retrieving.

Steve Smith