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Service Dog Training

22 October, 2014
Training service dogs
Training service dogs

Training service dogs

Service Dog Training

A service dog, unlike other dogs is one that is trained to help people with physical, psychological, and hearing impairment. Please remember that there are many psychological disabilities that can be hidden from plain sight.

The tricks for good service dog training

Training your dog the basics among the various distractions and in new environments is part of being a good handler. This will most definitely help you evade future behavioral issues. The best training will strengthen your bond with your service dog. When you are training your dog, you are actually teaching the dog to share a common language of words accompanied by signals. Training your dog obedience commands provides you with a vocabulary for communicating with him/her effectively.

What you should do in a training session

Every service dog training session should begin with a quick warm-up, despite your dog’s proficiency level. Make sure to continue with past repetitions with your dog before engaging in any new steps. Always ensure that your dog training sessions are fairly short, such as five to thirty minutes. It is advisable to always end each session at a positive point, since this will help your dog remember the session even better. However, it is convenient not to agonize about which exact repetition you end on, and work on what you want to work on. Nevertheless, ensure that you are faithful to the push-drop-stick rule, and have your dog do the steps in order.

Training Session

The four basic behaviors that constitute obedience include: sit, watch, down, come, and stay. Sitting along with lying down can replace jumping on people or begging at the table. Asking your dog to sit and watch can get you out of countless jams while you are out on walks. Your dog will not strain at or bark at people on the street if he is sitting and watching. If your dog comes to you when called, he can be granted off-leash access, which in turn mentally as well as physically tires him. Sits and downs are prerequisites for stays.

There is no rush for verbal commands. One of the biggest errors you can do as a trainer of a service dog is chat commands. You are not to introduce verbal commands, not until a behavior is far along. Therefore, once your dog performs reliably for a hand signal, you can thereafter start placing the verbal commands. Remember, always before, and never during or after the hand signal. By following this, the verbal predicts the learned signal, leading to a Pavlov’s dog effect over time. Your dog will start responding to the verbal cue as he did to the hand signal. You will realize that when you train more advanced behaviors in future, a great deal of training takes place before you give it a name.

Use of Dog Shock Collar

There are many handlers that use shock collars, but I am not a proponent of using punishment for negative behaviors. Negative reinforcement can work, but there have been studies that suggest this type of behavior correction can be stressful for dogs.

Basic rewards for training

To effectively install obedience on your dog; you will need to crank out many repetitions, rewarding your dog after each one of them. The more you train your dog the stronger the behavior gets. Whatever motivates your dog should be something that he or she is willing to work for. The most basic motivator is food; your dog will be motivated by and will work for food. Apart from the normal training, a shock collar will install the behaviors you need most your dog to possess.

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