What would happen in your working life, if you provided a report one time with no errors, but the next time there were errors and you continued to have an inconsistent pattern? How did you learn how to type on a keyboard with accuracy? As a child, when you were instructed to do something, such as “please, clear the table” and you didn’t do it, what happened? What happens when someone asks you to do something, but you don’t understand their words because the phone bleeped out? How do you feel when you get reprimanded versus rewarded at work?
- For inconsistency, you probably get retraining and told that after a certain period of time, without improvement you will lose your job.
- Learning to type you had to repeatedly practice.
- If you did not do as asked, you were disciplined, and requested to follow the request.
- If a statement is unclear, you ask the person to repeat and then follow the request.
- When you are given rewards, you feel 100% better than when you are reprimanded. You might also feel embarrassed due to the reprimand or feel it was unjustified.
The best tip that can be offered to you—is to think about your puppy like you do other humans. Your puppy has emotions, but needs time to learn. You are given chances to be consistent, repeat, and follow requests. Your dog has to be given the same consideration.
To obtain consistency from your puppy, you must first be disciplined enough to provide the same consistency. If you work for one hour on the sit command and then go three weeks before you work for another hour on the same command, your dog will have forgotten everything they learned the first time. Providing a routine for your puppy is how they learn.
It is not just about training commands, toileting, and other aspects. Consistency is about the routine you provide for your puppy. Each day you get up at a certain time, your puppy gets up with you. What happens during that day?
1. Your puppy gets up
2. You let your puppy relieve himself/herself because it was a long night of sleeping
3. You feed your puppy at the same time each day
4. You prepare for work, and your puppy prepares for the day alone or perhaps with you
5. You come home, let your puppy out, give him/her lunch
6. You go back to work, and your puppy goes back to their daily routine of being alone
7. After work, you come home to let your puppy out, feed him/her
8. After your dinner, it is time for puppy play
Of course, somewhere in your busy daily routine, you have to train. Your puppy is going to listen better if he/she is not fully energized after a boring day. You do not want your puppy tired either, but you do want some of the energy to be run or played out.
Make sure you are consistent with the routine and training each day.
Repetition is not only done through consistency, but also in those training periods. You got your dog to sit after giving him/her a treat. Now, you will repeat the process. On the third attempt, you ask your dog to sit, but give him a different type of reward.
If your dog is not listening to the request or does not understand you, repeat the voice command once. Guide your puppy to show them the behavior you want. Ask your puppy for the behavior. When your puppy provides that behavior, give a reward, and repeat the command, until your puppy is no longer confused.
A common mistake among dog owners and voice commands is too many words. Your dog can understand one word and associate it with a behavior. Through repetition, you can give one command, praise, and follow it with a second command, such as sit and stay.
First your puppy has to learn to sit. After sit is known and always followed, then you can start training stay. Eventually, your puppy can learn a string of commands, but always start with simple, one word commands.
Rewards need to vary. If you give your dog a treat every time they follow a voice command, you are simply teaching your puppy that for the stimulus they need to provide a response and it will always be food. If they do not get food, then they will refuse the command. By rubbing down your puppy, saying well, or giving a treat, your puppy learns that he/she gets something it wants, but it will not always be food.
For example, if your puppy jumps up and down at the door, you can tell your puppy to sit. When the puppy sits and stays, then you open the door and reward them with what they already wanted.
Your mindset is just as important. If you lack patience you will have a tendency to yell, threaten, or physically punish your puppy. All of these are horrible because your puppy just lacks training and understanding. You are your puppy’s parent. You are responsible for keeping your emotional control and the appropriate patience.
If you cannot, then sit quietly. Be calm in your body language and facial expressions. Wait for your inner self to calm down, and start over. Your puppy can read your body language and facial expressions, just as much as the tone of your voice.
Have you ever noticed a dog tuck his tail and lay his ears back, when someone yells, but is not yelling at the dog? It is a natural instinct to tuck in, and feel empathy for another person.
As long as you can remember that your puppy is like a child and that consistency, patience, voice commands, repetition, and rewards all help you train him/her, you will succeed.