Feedback is information that lets your dog know whether they are on the right track or not, depending on what you are doing with them. It is important that feedback is given at a well timed point to let them know in that moment if they are performing or working in the direction or task that you want. Ideally you want this feedback to be able to be given with some space in between you once you get going. Rewards and corrections are a type of feedback that is close up. Instead in this article, I am going to talk about equipment, the clicker, and verbal, your voice.
Molding is the process of teaching your dog what you want them to do, while at the same time:
1. Getting them used to close handling
2. Teaching them to relax under your touch
3. Being able to have them start to get the position each time from the beginning
4. Build trust in your relationship with them
5. Gentle way to build motion memory into your dog
6. Beginning leash training and not pulling on the leash, believe it or not
Calming or relaxation exercises benefit all dogs, unless you have the rare very relaxed dog in any situation. In the majority of dog or puppies though, learning to relax is a very important skill. It helps those dogs of sound temperament, it helps dogs with behavioral problems, it helps young puppies, and it helps those older adults not exposed to the concept of self chilling.
I always hope to influence very young puppies with these exercises, but you don't always get that lucky. Many years ago, I myself had not discovered the very value benefit to my dogs of doing these. I discovered the value, when trying to figure out how to calm my dog, Jackie, before we got into the ring to do obedience and earn his Companion Dog title. This was the key to his success in that area, but this is also the key to a well rounded, confident dog, who has been exposed to many stimulus's that get most dogs all riled up, and cause dog owners many unneeded problems. These exercises are worth the time and the effort. Some may be very boring, but they are enormously valuable. I would not do them myself it they were not.
My first female dog puppy is my current 7 year adult dog, Shana. My two other female dogs before Shana, were both spayed and well into adulthood when I got them. The decision, therefore, was up to me whether to spay her and when to spay her. Originally, I was planning on the two or three year mark so her hormones would be intact during her development years. Then I could not find a compelling reason why to have such a surgery on her. She was not going to be out and about around males that could impregnate her or out of my sight, and the mammary tumor concerns did not seem to warrant it or guarantee this would not be a problem later. I had not heard out Pyrometra until our vacation this last week. This is something you really want to avoid, is dangerous, and pretty common occurrence, as I was about to find out.
Author, Robin Rubin
Owner and Head Dog Trainer in Maine, Robin Katherine Rubin, started her Maine dog training business in September 2004. Our dog training facility is located in Southern Maine in York Beach and we help families enjoy their dogs more, making sure they listen reliably and resolving unwanted behaviors.