At what age should you start with obedience training for your dog? What technique works best? Should you use a shock collar on your dog? Mr Pitbull answers these questions and more. This little sweetheart is only 5 weeks old and she is already getting a lesson in obedience training. On this page I answer some fundamental questions that many dog owners have regarding training. PUPPIES FOR SALE PAGES CLICK HERE
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO TRAIN A DOG
If you were to ask a hundred different experts, what is the best way to train a dog, you would get a hundred different answers. Clearly, if you have studied anything in detail you know that experts tend to disagree. For example: If you were to go down to a book store and look for a book on child rearing, you would find perhaps hundreds of books on the subject. If you were to read them all, you would be one confused person. The books would range in thinking from the far right to the far left. That is because man's thinking is flawed and is based upon preconceived biases. Now of course, the one who created us, knows exactly the best way to train a child, and he has a written a book too. Unfortunately, that book doesn't deal with dog training. If it did, we would have an unbiased, surefire, and effective method of training our dogs. Therefore, what I relate is based upon my personal experience of what works and what doesn't.
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DON'T MAKE THE MISTAKE OF THINKING YOUR DOG IS A PERSON
As much as we love our dogs and want them to be a valuable member of our family, they are still a dog. Many dog owners, treat their dog just exactly like they would a child or a person. This is a big mistake. Dogs are not people, and they view things differently than we do. They will never be able to see things from a human perspective. They were not created with such insight. That means that for us to be an effective trainer, we have to be able to see things from the dog's point of view. As long as people have owned dogs, experts (let's just pretend for a minute that someone is an expert) have scientifically researched how a dog responds to given situations, and what drives a dog's behavior. You can research and read some of these studies. From these studies, we can conclude certain basic truths that can help us to become an effective dog trainer.
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YOU MUST BE THE LEADER OF THE PACK
Dogs are pack animals. They are born with an ingrained sense to determine a pack hierarchy and where their place is in the pack. The pack hierarchy is determined by fighting it out. This test of will, starts when they are puppies. With every litter of puppies I have ever had, by the time they are six or seven weeks of age, they have already fought it out and determined pack rankings. Some of these fights can be vicious. Some puppies are content to have a submissive role in the pack, where as others are driven to dominate. If you have two strong willed puppies in a litter, they will have a number of battles until one gives way. Now when you take a puppy home, they become members in your pack, and immediately begin to test you and every family member to determine who is in charge. If your puppy was one that was submissive, they may not challenge you too much for position (they will challenge, just not as much). A puppy however that has a strong drive to be a leader, may be very challenging. In both cases, you have to establish yourself as the leader. ARTICLE ON PACK TRAINING
WHEN SHOULD YOU START OBEDIENCE TRAINING
The day you take the puppy home is the time to start training a puppy. A puppy that has a drive to be the Alpha will test you for position, with all the same elements they did with their litter-mates. For example, when food was put out, puppies would growl to warn lesser ranked puppies to back off. When your puppy is hungry, set some food down before him and let them begin eating. Then reach down and take the food away. They may growl. If they do, they will need to be corrected. If after two or three times, they still growl when you take the food away, your form of correction is flawed. Remember, they understand aggression. Talking to them like you would a child, is not going to have an affect. So what can you do? You certainly don't want to beat the dog and do something that could injure it. That is not needed. Instead, when they growl, show them who is boss by grasping them firmly and holding them down, until they understand you are in control. If you do it firmly, but lovingly, they will respond quickly. For lasting results, you must be quick and consistent in your action.
... DOG TRAINING EXERCISE THAT WORKS
HOW MUCH TRAINING CAN YOU DO WITH A PUPPY
Up until a dog is about five or six months, I do very little training. Until this point, I concentrate almost entirely on pack training, as I teach the dog the rules of my pack. One rule that a dog has to learn in those formative first few months, is that all humans are above him or her in the pack structure. Now if you are going to have your dog trained as a guard dog, then your training here would be adjusted accordingly. And in fact be with professional assistance. Yet for the vast majority of dog owners, you are better off, making sure that your dog understands, that all humans out-rank them. This is especially important with Pit Bulls.
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HOUSE TRAINING YOUR DOG
As mentioned, most behavioral problems with a dog, can be easily avoided when a dog understands that all humans out-rank him or her. When this occurs, your dog will be one that is under control at all times. If a dog believes that it is up to them to determine if a person at the door or a person you have invited over, is someone they need to challenge for position in the pack, your dog will be unruly. A dog that understands your house rules, understands there is no need for them to challenge anyone. A dog that has been properly trained, in this way, will be able to be in the yard and will not bark at people passing by.
READ HERE: DO BARK COLLARS WORK
SHOULD A SHOCK COLLAR BE USED
I absolutely believe that a shock collar is the easiest and best way to train a dog. Despite what some may think, it is very humane. Some experts say to wait until a dog is about ten weeks before using a shock collar. Myself, I usually wait until the dog is about 5 months before I start using one. At about five months a dog is generally beginning to mature in understanding to the point where e-collar training is very effective. I have written extensively on how to train with a training collar and encourage you to go to my training section in the Menu at the top of the page to learn more.
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