Posts Tagged ‘dog commands’

And in the comment section, tell me why.

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Do simple commands ... and no sound-alikes ... make for a better dog?

At Pheasant Fest, one part of my “Bird Hunting Boot Camp” talk by far generated the most discussion. Maybe it will spark some thoughts here, too.

I’m not a pro trainer (just ask my dogs!). So I look at things through a different set of eyes. Or in this case ears, because I’m talking about a different way to think about command words.

In my mind simple is better (please refrain from editorial commentary). According to the U.S. Army, your pup could conceivably understand over 200 different commands. But I still give my dogs easy to yell names . . . one or two syllables. (It may be a moot point, though, as all my dogs’ first names end up being “dammit” early in their careers.) (more…)

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Dogs, like armies march (and think) with their stomachs

A crusty old trainer told me a crustier, older trainer once told him: Never give away a bowl of food.

And as I approach crustiness, I follow that advice religiously, because it helps Buddy be a better hunter.

Short of birds, food is the strongest motivator … for an un-neutered dog. So I’ve learned to use food strategically.

It starts with dinnertime. Lucky for the neighbors, Buddy doesn’t have to sing for his supper. But he does whoa for it. Talk about temptation!

I also dole out food treats for coming when called or other jobs well done, and early in the training, they are awarded even when Buddy only got an “A” for effort. As he masters a command, the treats are reserved for excellent work.

I never give away treats for free. Like all praise, food is earned – phony “good dogs” only mislead a dog from the real work at hand.

If you have two dogs, it doesn’t take long for one to want what the other gets when he does a good job. So go ahead and use food envy when you have to.

If you remember that food is a training tool, like me with Buddy, you’ll get more than just a dog with a full belly. Urp!

– Scott

PS: Watch some great springers in action in this excerpt from my show: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zrsQWPHhsA

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