When you think in terms of rank and pack behavior it’s easy to understand how ineffective obedience training results in dominance issues with mature dogs.When you think in terms of rank and pack behavior it’s easy to understand how ineffective obedience training results in dominance issues with mature dogs.The correct way to obedience train a dog involves several stages of training.
In the Learning Phase the dog is taught the meaning of a command in a distraction free environment (I.E. Your kitchen) through motivational methods. This means we guide and help the dog through different exercises by giving them food or a toy rewards when they do what we want.
It’s our job to determine what motivator works best for our individual dog. Once the dog has learned the command in the first location we then “generalize” the behavior by teaching that behavior in more and more environments and under more and more distractions.
In the Correction Phase, we teach a dog that it will be corrected if it does not follow a command that it has learned in the LEARNING PHASE. We never correct a dog unless we are 100% sure it knows and understands what we are asking him to do. To get 100% consistency of behavior we must have a correction phase of some sort.
While corrections for many dogs may simply mean withholding the reward, for others it’s going to mean a physical correction of some kind. In the end, our dogs must learn to mind in every situation.
Many obedience classes do a decent job teaching owners the LEARNING PHASE. Unfortunately, many classes leave out the correction pause of training.
That’s OK with puppy classes because puppies should not receive physical corrections. But adult dogs need to go through a correction phase of training.
Almost all of the large pet warehouse classes skip the correction phase. In doing so these type of classes are one of the leading causes of dominant dog problems.