Nothing is more critical to the success of your dog training efforts than your attitude as the trainer. Your mindset is more important than the equipment purchased, the type of system used, or the breed of your dog. The wrong outlook on the training process can destroy the likelihood of effective training more quickly than anything else.
Dogs naturally crave and enjoy human companionship. When their human companions approach them in the right way, they are particularly receptive to learning and develop a strong desire to act in a manner that will please their master. This is why a proper attitude is so important with respect to training dogs. When you are pleasant, your dog will be pleasant. When you are excited about teaching, your dog will most likely be excited about learning. Keep in mind that dogs can often reflect the attitudes and dispositions of their owners.
In addition, the proper outlook on dog training can make the experience infinitely more enjoyable for you and your dog. A pleasant training experience will naturally produce better instruction on your part resulting in easier training for your dog.
So, what is the right attitude when training your dog? You should strive to maintain a positive perspective at all times and maintain a mood that makes the process fun for both you and your dog. A positive outlook works in conjunction with any good quality training method.
Effective training requires positive reinforcement and appropriate rewards. Good training will be filled with compliments, encouragement and praise. Those rewards, which are the key component to training, are more likely to be appropriately and effectively administered by a trainer with a positive disposition. Rewards can take the form of tiny bits of food, lots of praise or play time with a favourite toy.
You should recognize that you can manage to be both firm and friendly at the same time. It is not necessary to affect an angry or severe tone during the training process. These caricatures of displeasure do not offer any more training value than utilization of a simple serious tone. A lower tone with a serious “bite” is more than enough. When praising and instructing, you must remember to use a very friendly and happy voice. The dog will thrive knowing you enjoy their interaction and will be very motivated to learn as a result.
Most importantly you must always remember that dog training is supposed to be fun. It should be fun for you and just as fun for your dog. Too often training becomes nothing more than a mandatory task. You find you do not relish the opportunity to spend time with your dog. The dog understands this and does not get excited at the prospect, either. In worse cases, training becomes an undesirable chore. Your negative disposition and attitude is sensed clearly by the dog and mirrored. Training progress stalls, frustration sets in, and the whole process becomes further crippled.
The cliché that ‘attitude is everything’ really does describe dog training. A negative or harsh attitude will crush hopes of success. By starting the training process with a solid positive attitude, you can get off to a flying start. The end result can be a training experience that is enjoyed by both you and your dog, which is sure to create amazing results.