I am often asked what methods I use to teach my students to train their dogs. I am a firm believer of early socialization and positive training. It is important to establish a good working relationship with your dog. Teaching the dog simple house manners and rules is a good start.  Just like children, you need to teach your dog to take a responsibility on each task as he grows older  


"Motivator (payroll)"
 Helps dogs optimize their training experience. They learn quickly and with enthusiasm if you train with what they want and not what YOU think they want. Motivator can be any thing from a broom stick to a piece of cloth that makes the particular dog want to play/work.
Here is motivators with one of my own dogs.
Dry dog food to human grade food
Toys usually any toy
Me! Me! and Me!

I use food treats to put an initial behavior such as a sit. Given generous amount at the beginning to keep Fido focused and happy with a game of sit. As he progresses I might ask him to sit longer with less treats until he would work for no food treats. 

"Keep each session short"
Most dogs do better at a short session that ends with a good note. With my young puppy I spend about 5minutes per training session including a warm up, mental game, lots of stress relief play, then cool down. 

"Thinking dog"
I like to use a clicker training to help Fido optimize his brain capacity. I want Fido to offer me a few behaviors as soon as I pull out what he wants. The point is to have him think he’s in control of getting what he wants. In fact You are in control by choosing and rewarding specific behavior. 

Before you say "No work, no pay!"...
Should Fido ignore more than twice of what you ask him to do. The chances are you have not taught Fido throughly of the particular behavior. Instead holding onto the payroll and go back a few steps in training.  Fido to do something he is good at and pay him a little. Then revisit the behavior Fido failed and make it easy (break up into small steps) for him. For instance if Fido failed to come when called from a 6 ft distance. Shorten the distance till you know for sure he will come. Then start increasing the distance gradually. Keep it positive and fun. The more success sessions Fido has the more confident and happy dog he will be. 

"Consistency, consistency and consistency!"
Plan training session, stick with your criteria and have fun! 

I have found this combination of training methods to be very successful and have been thrilled to see my students dogs increase their respect, trust and confidence in their handlers.

- Noriko


Association of Pet Dog Trainers - Dog Training Professionals


Noriko is the coordinator and an agility training counselor for overseas students of Kanku Pet Dog Training School in Osaka, Japan www.pet-school
Misha is an ambassador for Probio Health.