|There is also a wealth of information available online for resolving behavioural problems. Here are two libraries full of ideas: Wonderpuppy.net and Dr. P's Dog Training Library. As always, use your judgement in implementing other folks' suggestions. ;)
More training links (and other important stuff) on this "required canine reading" page.
Many miscellaneous dog problems can be solved by using basic principles of behaviour modification. As a general rule, you generously reward the behaviours you like, and ignore or interrupt and redirect the behaviours you don't. Sometimes a sharp distraction, such as an unpleasant noise (for example, the phasor blast gun from previous link, or one of the ultrasonic dog correction gizmos) or a leash pop, is very useful in breaking off the undesired behaviour *for an instant*--and this is the time to redirect to a more appropriate behaviour, or give him a command that is incompatible with the "bad" behaviour, or perhaps even reward the dog for his inactivity (i.e. for the moment, he is NOT barking, jumping, etc). Clicker training or operant conditioning sites will give you excellent instruction on how to shape the behaviours you want. :-)
A word on ethics:
Most dogs, like most humans, can be bullied into submission. The Koehlers, Katzes, and Frawleys of the world believe that every dog owes it to its master to be perfectly obedient, attentive, and eagerly awaiting (in fact, falling over himself to perform!) the next command from On High...and that any means to an end is justified for dogs who aren't. Harsh corrections for minor infractions or hesitations are the norm in these training programs. While these methods will get results in most dogs, it may damage your relationship and/or seriously reduce your dog's quality of life...and it could be argued that it is unethical to view dogs merely as unfeeling robots, or slaves who owe humans their servitude. Those who consider their dogs to be friends and companions, first and foremost, may do well to take a long, hard look at training ethics and methods. Strictly positive-only (no negative feedback) training is only half of the picture, in my opinion...but corrections/negative feedback can certainly be performed without stressing or overwhelming the dog, or causing pain. It's not all all-or-nothing affair.
Both Koehler and Katz have a broad knowledge base of canine behaviour and body language that allows them to better discern when a correction is appropriate, and how to time it effectively and convey the message they are intending. Unfortunately, many trainers who use these approaches nowadays are lacking skills on these finer points, and the methods *as applied by these trainers* are even more stressful, confusing, and damaging, especially to sensitive dogs.
Many of the "old school" trainers do have a practical background in canine psychology, that offers insight into teaching and controlling your dog--and there's no sense in throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Ideally, you can maintain your position as your dog's leader psychologically, by having his RESPECT--not by teaching him to fear your wrath. Naturally, some people will devise "socially acceptable" ways to psychologically abuse their dogs--keeping them locked in solitary confinement all day , except for the short time they are actually being worked, would be one such example. Witholding food or water for extended periods in order to increase their willingness to work for these basic necessities is another. (Nothing wrong with working your dog while he's "motivationally hungry", of course! But witholding food for days, or witholding water *at all*, is crossing the line, IMO.) While these extreme methods are quite effective in forcing the dog to cooperate, you may have to answer for them some day, so please bear that in mind. Training should be enjoyable and productive for BOTH members of the team! :)
|Good puppies Sit nice for their treats!|
|Training should be fun...|