We called in the professionals last week to help us train Oscar better and get rid of his “bad” behaviour. By bad behaviour I mean running away with socks, getting up on couch, jumping and his many pee episodes. By the end of the one hour session, we were convinced that nothing was a bad behavior and that Oscar is just being his normal self i.e. a little puppy. A puppy from whom we expect a lot. Even though he is only a dog, we want him to understand the human language and behave like a human being. We were getting frustrated about it being so hard to train him. But for the first time, we realised that Oscar must be equally frustrated because he is just not understanding what the heck these human wants him to do. If we don’t train him well and consistently, he will never learn. So basically, we had to train ourselves to train him.
Besides learning to use the few basic commands for Sit, Down, Come & calling his name for attention, a few things other things we’ve got to remember:
- Positive reinforcement – reward good behaviors & ignore the bad – INCREDIBLY hard to do.
- Repetition, Repetition, Repetition – be consistent with the training – few minutes everyday.
- He is a puppy. He will get over this stage and be a really good companion dog. [Note to SS: Don’t think about re-homing]
- Don’t repeat the commands or have too many version of the command. Be clear. Just saying “go potty” repeatedly isn’t going to make him poo. “Sit Oscar”, “Oscar Sit”, “Cmon Oscar, sit down”, “SSSiiiiiTTT” – they mean different things.
- Treat him as much as you can. We realised his love for poached chicken. He goes nuts over it.
- Have patience. Also INCREDIBLY hard to put into practice.
Trainers we used were Jodi & Trudi from DogLOGIC. They were pretty good.
See you in the next post – hopefully as better puppy parents. x