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Getting Started

Dog Training is broken down into simple categories. The difficulties come about when a dog naturally wants to be higher ranking. If you have a dog that naturally wants to follow, your life will be pretty simple. If your dog naturally wants to be higher, you have a lot more reading and training to do.

Even with the bare minimum there are still quite a few things you need to know to get started with training. To get all the information about these please click on the highlighted links to get more information.

1. Dog Types - Is your dog an Alpha, Beta or Omega? The higher up they are naturally the more rules you need to follow to get your dog to listen, the lower down they are the less rules you need to follow. This is one of the reasons some people say there is no problem in letting a dog up on furniture and other people say no way!

2. Pack Structure - Your dog has to see you as the Alpha to listen to you. If they do not see you as the Alpha you will not get very far with training. Dogs are very intelligent. Many people mistakenly think their dog is dumb when in fact the dog may just not view them as the leader and have a bond with them. The problem is that the dog has learned how to train the people and actively ignores commands because they view their humans as lower ranking. In many cases the people have not done a sufficient job of teaching the dog what they want. This is referred to as University Professor Syndrome. Once pack structure is in effect it is much easier to train the dog.

3. Core Rules - Following these rules will simplify your life greatly. It is easy to get overwhelmed when training a dog. When you break it down into simple rules it takes the stress out of training.

4. Socialization - This is the biggest supporting role to having a dog be good in any distraction. If a puppy is socialized in a positive way towards a large spectrum of distractions and situations it will be much easier to train these dogs. If your dog has missed out on socialization and is reactive to dogs, people, things on wheels, loud noises, etc. you have a lot more work ahead of you. You will need to be applying the Premack Principle, the A to B Rule, ensuring clear rules and Pack Structure are in place.

5. Obedience - This is the easy part in training dogs. You must start in low distractions such as inside your home. Once your dog will do all of its core obedience you will then begin to practice in successively higher distractions and distance. If they have been properly socialized this will be a piece of cake, if they have not you should be prepared for a lot of work. I tell clients "A dog can sit inside the house but will that dog sit with 100 rabbits running around? It is the exact same behaviour the only thing that has changed is the distraction level."

6. Distaction Training - This is where most people struggle with training their dog. They may find their dog listens well at home but not outside or with dogs, people, squirrels or other distractions around. The premise of this is simple: Train in low distractions first. Increase distance from the dog in that low distraction area. Next increase distractions and come back close to your dog. Then increase distance at your present distraction level. Keep increasing in the same manner. The article on Distraction Training will go into further detail.