Training Tips

  1. When you want to reward using food, use part (or all) of your dog's daily ration instead of buying treats which can be expensive. Dogs love to work for their food so why not use that to your advantage rather than placing it all in a bowl and watching it disappear within seconds!

  2. Catch your dog doing something right. Take every opportunity to praise and reward your dog when they do something right and it's appropriate to the situation, even if you didn't ask for it. That moment when they look up at you briefly while walking on the lead? Praise and reward!

  3. Think about what to do want your dog to do, not what you don't. For example if he is chewing something inappropriate, think what you would like him to do instead and ask for that, such as coming to you for a nose/hand touch or to play with one of his own toys. Just saying 'no' without showing him what he should be doing instead won't get the results you are looking for.

  4. Working out why your dog does a particular behaviour is the first step towards changing it. It could be fear, excitement, or anxiety. Games-based training addresses the cause by developing skills such as confidence, calmness or optimism which will replace the fear etc and therefore change the dog's behaviour.

  5. Try this simple but effective game to boost your dog's self-control and calmness: hold a piece of food level with your dog's nose, about 60-90cm away, and slowly move it towards him. If he tries to reach for it, move it away quite quickly. When he is still, move the food towards him again, and only give it to him if he stays still without trying to snatch it. It may take a few tries, and if he finds it difficult, have him in a down position. The slower you can move it, the better!

  6. Remember that every dog is an individual with his or her own personality, and they all learn and develop at different speeds and in different ways. Avoid comparing your dog to somebody else's, or another dog you own, because no two dogs are the same. Train and love the dog in front of you!

  7. "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got".  If you're struggling with your dog's behaviour and want to get different results but don't know what to do other than what you have always done, try games-based training, it really works!

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