How to improve your dog's obedience

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It is possible to make a dog more obedient , but that is not done without education

The opinion of the canine educator

There are not fifty ways to learn something has a dog. Let's say we can reward him for doing something good, punish him for wrongdoing, or in this second case ignore him . Today, more and more trainers are using positive methods that rely almost entirely on rewards, dog motivation and "soft" techniques (lure, game, clicker...).

Others are still at home. the old fashion and punish as much if it is more than reason. We know today that this is not the most pleasant way to proceed (ask the dogs what they think!) But especially not the most effective. Reject the punishment to 100% me seems a permissive error fraught with consequences but a proportion of 90/10 in favor of rewards and other incentives to the detriment of the sanctions seems to me a good average.

Many people are rather on a base of 5% of rewards, 10% of punishment and 85% of non-reaction. Not terrible ! Because if to stop a bad behavior (jumps, barking, pilfering...), we can resort to extinction (which consists of not reacting), do not react when the dog has well worked is counterproductive. That said, it's typically human!

How many times did your boss scold you for a foul? Often and it was deserved... and how many times did he congratulate you on a job well done? Never, too bad! Of course, you are paid to do this work but an encouragement or a congratulation are still fun, right? Dogs also like it.

Some concrete examples

Ideally you have to associate a good behavior with a reward, it's as simple as that. Your dog comes back, he is rewarded. He does not come back: ask yourself why and try not to put him in situation of failure .

An excellent colleague often says that we should not create a bad scenario, I think that 'he is right. Reduce the distance between you, use a lanyard, work in a less disturbing (tempting) place for your dog. Gradually increase the difficulties and you will see that they will flatto themselves.

Your dog jumps on the visitors: hold him on a leash to control him and then work him sitting, so that he calms down and do not forget to get him rewarded by your friends when he is wise so that he understands where his interest is. He barks, offer him a market: do you want a treat? If he accepts, he will not be able to (both physically) eat his treat and bark at the same time. So if he takes the croquette, he is silent. Once, the silence obtained, occupy his mind with another command, "lying down" for example. You will see, very few dogs can bark while lying down.

If your dog is a coward or a vacuum cleaner, work the refusal of bait, "spit" and rather than punish him because he has caught something forbidden, reward him for having obeyed your orders; "Not touch" or "leaves"

Your dog destroys everything in your absence? Start by asking yourself why he is doing this: is it boredom, stress or some other reason? Work on causes rather than consequences . Whether your dog rides on armchairs or sofas, that he enters your room, or that it goes up on your bed does not seem to me necessarily so serious.

Yes, even between professionals we do not have always the same approaches! Attention it is not so serious to 3 conditions :
- your dog is not a terror and is not aggressive
- it is your choice to allow him the l access to these places
- you can forbid them, get them out or get out of a simple verbal order

If these 3 conditions are met, go ahead, you have my blessing. If you miss even one, pay attention and seek help from a professional. One of the bases of a good relationship with his dog is: "to be able to control the space and movements of his companion."

Since we are talking about dominance, I would simply like to remind those who think they are leaders this maxim: "in good dominance, know how to dominate yourself."


Dogs are not born obedient (not even guide dogs or service dogs) disabled), they become so. It is up to humans, breeders, owners, educators, veterinarians, behaviorists to help them. Good obedience is based on the notions of understanding and respect.

The master will be firm, fair, consistent and above all not shy about rewards. His dog will be content to be a happy dog, faithful and always ready to please his master to find his own account. As for children, there will always be well-behaved children who will fit into society without worries and those who will have to fend for themselves and for whom it will be more difficult.

Be really the master of your dog for his good, the one around you, and you can be justifiably proud of him and you.