Encourage More

Than You Discourage Learning to Speak Doglish chapters

Think back to a team or group you've been involved with. Did you like your instructor or team leader? Did this person criticize you or make you feel good about your efforts? As your dog's team captain, always be the kind of leader you would want to follow.

Use the 5:1 Ratio

Consider your life from your dog's perspective, and be patient as you train her. She doesn't understand the difference between a stick and a wooden chair leg. She may think that it is her job to protect against intruders, even when the "intruder" is a visiting relative. She may be genuinely excited when she sees another dog approaching, although she's pulling you off your feet. Think about how she might be seeing things and use the exercises in this book to train her toward a better way of reacting.

A good team leader encourages more than discourages. Aim for a 5:1 ratio—say GOOD DOG five times for each NO you say. By focusing on good behavior, you make your dog feel good about herself, and she will cooperate more. Throughout this book's lessons, you will use food and toys to motivate your dog early on, but never let these rewards take the place of praise, both verbal and physical!

It is important to say your commands once, not repetitively: Repeating a command to your dog is confusing and delays understanding. Repeating a direction like COME or SIT would be like hearing someone ask you, "PLEASE PASS THE KETCHUP, KETCHUP, KETCHUP."

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