Ten tips for ultimate retriever training- Tip #7

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Continuing with our theme of ten tips for ultimate retriever training, today’s tip is:

Tip #6: Timing and Economy.

Timing is very important while training your retriever. Dogs need praise and/or punishment words or gestures as close as possible to the behavior you are trying to repeat or stop.

For instance, scolding a puppy for peeing in the house two hours after the event happened is not an effective strategy. The dog will not understand why they are being punished.

Along with timing, your dog needs to be tuned into you. Your dog needs to be paying attention, receptive, and able to respond to you.

While I am training a dog, I am very cognizant of their attitude and health. Some days are just not good days. The dog is not “feeling it” and needs a break or the session needs to be cut short. Just like people, dogs need time to recharge.

Economy of words and gestures is also very important. As I have mentioned in previous blogs, less is more. An example of economy of words here at Otter Tail Kennels is how we do not use the STAY command. When I am teaching a dog to SIT, the SIT also means STAY. The dog learns that when I say SIT, it means do not move until you are given another command. Babbling several words together or making sentences can only confuse a dog or make them respond incorrectly.

If you have any questions about this blog or any past blog, don’t hesitate to email me or call me at: ottertailkennels@gmail.com, 651-303-6459.

Until next time, happy retrieving.

Steve Smith