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Dog Training Tips: Throw me a bone, will you?

Posted Apr 06 2010 5:55am


It was a few years ago that I came across a television advertisement where the husband and wife play the role of dog and bitch (pun intended!) with the message being that when you pick a 'mate for life', one has to be careful as it will result in that 'marry at haste, repent at leisure' kind of situation, with which quite a few people are familiar with.

Relationships of all kind are under scrutiny these days with both parties looking to play the 'alpha' & 'beta' role. But no matter what you say, the relationship between men/ women and their 'man/woman Friday' has always been comforting to say the least.

Dog Psychology & Training them 'The Right Way'

While Ivan Pavlov used dogs to illustrate 'classical conditioning'… he wasn't trying to train them, as that is a cruel way to treat animals (like lab rats) but of course, all in the name of science! This is mentioned because the old-school form of training used fear and harsh training methods to train an animal to obey.

It's strange how we humans also respond much quicker to fear more than love…

As hard as it sounds but any relationships and especially with beasts, the feeling of mutual respect and trust are vital, no matter how sub-human (for lack of a better word!) people consider them to be.

With this kind of trust built, the master will begin to feel confidence in controlling their animal (especially if it is ferocious in nature).

A lot of experts believe that rather than suppressing a dog's natural instincts  and drives (which is the animal equivalent of 'lobotomizing' the poor beast), one must train them to use it in a manner that is useful to the animal and its surroundings – not detrimental. And as always, suppression has never known to yield good results either for man/ woman or beast.

If one ensures that the objective of his training is produce a dog that is happy and outgoing while being given the opportunity to socialize rather than being kept like a caged animal, the happiness this bring both to the owner and the dog are numerous. As bizarre as this might sound, the best results often come from training that are presented in a positive and NON VIOLENT manner.

In approaching training this way, you can easily teach a dog to respond to a 'command' for practically any purpose that you would see fit.

Basic Dog Training Tips

Although the use of an experienced dog trainer is recommended, there are some simple tips of training that we can use to train a puppy or dog which can span anything from obedience training to specialized areas such as protecting people and property, law enforcement, assistance to people with disabilities and so on and so forth. So, let's focus on 'obedience training' in assuming that most of us have nothing to do with the aforementioned specialized dog training types.

Normally, there are six behaviors associated with obedience training such as 'Sit', 'Down', 'Stay', 'Recall', 'Close' or 'Heel', which uses the approach where only desired behavior is rewarded while undesirable behavior is just IGNORED instead of punished.

However, there are a three others that can be of help to you personally as well the folks in the neighborhood:

How to train a dog:

1) Not to bite

One of the simplest methods is to divert the dog's attention by tugging his leash and directing his attention to something more productive.

2) To fetch the newspaper

Throw a tennis ball while having the dog retrieving it for you, while being on a leash. If it's not on a leash, pretend to walk away after the dog has retrieved the ball.

3) Not to bark at visitors

Barking at visitors can seem threatening, so the trick is to teach it to 'sit' as soon as the doorbell rings.


There's a big difference between persuasion and coercion, and perhaps in relationships if people did comprehend that the latter is always better than the former, perhaps things would be different today, but in any case, there are some folks who need others 'to throw them a bone' etc. And therein lies the 'catch'…

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