We quickly started to think about that we had to start training/ dresser Nemi. This would do good for her own well-being and social skills. For our own part, it would be invaluable to teach us how to deal with her in the most "right" and good way. The natural question when the thoughts go in those paths is when can I start training for the puppy and how do I do it? Are there any special considerations I have to take?
Good advice, bad advice or no advice for exercise
It has not lacked good advice from other dog owners. Some advice was good, some were outright misleading and/or based on a lack of insight from the person who gave the advice. Some advice was further "off- track" if we had a puppy of just over two and a half months of age; "No you can't start training your dog until the earliest after one year," " ahh, you should have started a long time ago!".
Dog trainers are professional athletes, but as humans reflect an average of the Norwegian population in terms of personal characteristics and social behavior. In my enfoldness, I have assumed that this must be very reflected persons and as mentioned above, people with good social and educational characteristics. In my opinion, training dogs/people will not work well without such characteristics and in particular it applies if one is doing this on a professional basis.
Our experience has shown that this is not the case. Be careful to check instructors and dog schools well before choosing which one to buy courses at. One wants the best for his four-legged friend and value for money. Such courses are necessarily not cheap.
Basic training – the needs are controlled based on what the dog should do
Where do you start and what do you start with. In danger of repeating myself, the little dog needs to adopt important basic qualities that will give it confidence and confidence in all situations. The Canis Academy has a course for this which they call "Basic Training-Clicker ABC.".
Basic training can be defined as the behavior that the dog most easily does during exercise. Through this training on basic behavior, the dog learns important behaviors that make it easier to develop the dog's skills further.
Canis Academy has defined 19 basic skills that should be taught depending on the use intended for their dog. If you have a regular family dog like what we have, you don't need all these basic skills, but you can even settle for the consequences:
1. Focus on owner (command "See here")
4. Stay (Hold Position)
6. In place
The last two go under the term Summons
These commands were what we went through on the puppy course with Nemi. This is still nailed with her.
Norges Hundeskole also runs similar training, but has divided this into Puppy Courses, Beginner courses etc. But the courses address the same basic skills.
Principles of basic training – 100% obedience and Volunteering
There are 4 principles that should be followed during the training of the dog. The training and obedience should not be based on fear of dominance or yelling. It should follow the following principles that also recognize the training methodology "Click training".
- Focus on rewarding proper behavior (Positive Reinforcement)
- The dog should offer conduct voluntarily
- Using a Conditional Amplifier (Clicking)
- We focus on what we can see
Postive reinforcement means that you reward the dog when it naturally does something just right. Then you reinforce the good thing the dog has done and as the dog for reward for what it does right, the dog will also do this more.
The dog should offer good behavior voluntarily. This is done by the fact that as soon as the dog makes a behavior of himself as his, lie or be getting that reward (the treat). Eventually, the command itself is introduced when the dog does this.
Conditional reinforcement is carried out by notifying you that the reward is now on the way. The notification can be a "click" which is simply a plastic box with sharp sound when you squeeze it. After the clicker comes the treat. the ball or any other dog thinks is great fun. This makes the timing with behavior and reward more effective.
By focusing on the situation around the dog and seeing what it does during exercise, one can also understand what the dog's reaction pattern is. The Canis Academy explains this as follows:
- Situation: We see what goes on around us when we train
- Behavior: We can see the very behavior that the dog performs.
- Consequence: We can see what happens after the behavior, e.g. that "the dog gets a treat (when it sat down)" or "the dog arrived at the lamppost (when it pulled the ribbon)".
- Timing: We can also see how precisely we can reward. What did the dog do just as it heard the click?
- Criteria: We can see what the dog had to do in order for us to click.
- Gain rate: We can see how long it takes each time the dog receives the reward.
- Reinforcement quality: We can see how intense the dog is when it gets the reward.
By observing these factors and seeing what the dog is doing, one can adjust the training according to precisely what the dog is doing. You get a much more effective workout with this approach
Where can I find information about training dogs
There are many who offer training and courses for dogs and dog owners. We have only used the Norwegian School of Dogs since they had courses near us at the right time. I recommend doing some searches on the internet for these services I have found someone that I want to share here and who are serious players with good backmledings.
This is a small selection of offers in Norway. I only have experience with the Norwegian Dog School which was very good and can be recommended based on my own experience. When choosing a course provider for your four-legged friend, it is important to check in advance the seriousness of it or those who offer courses and/or other services to dogs. They should have formal education and training and/or very good references so that they can gain confidence that they know what they are doing.
Literature on dog training
If you want to read up on the subject, there are a lot of books to choose from. The books are general training tips and books about specialized training can be found. These are found in most well-known book chains such as Ark, Adlibris and Norli . We even have the books "100% Everyday Obedience"and "A Nose for Everything. Both books can be recommended".
So, when are you going to start training really?
When the dog is ready for it, but not before it has received all its vaccines and preferably as early as 8 – 12 weeks old. We started after about 12 weeks on puppy courses. It worked fine for Nemi and us.
Or there are a number of different courses you can sign up for. They range from puppy courses, agility courses to other types of dog courses. There are also dogs used for wine recognition because of their wonderful sense of smell. It is almost only the imagination that limits the possibilities, but there must be courses on the principles of the dog.