?A dog’s behavior results from three critical and key components – Management of the dog and their environment, training the dog and the relationship that an owner and their pet dog share. It would be pointless to invest in dog obedience classes with a pet dog if the dog is then left unsupervised to pick up bad habits from its environment (such as getting into the kitchen trash). Alternatively, it is not possible to train and manage a dog’s environment correctly if the relationship between dog and owner is lacking trust and mutual respect.

When training dogs we need to ensure that they are actively involved in the learning process. When the dog is actively participating, rather than passively observing, greater learning takes place. This applies to both the dog and its owner.  Newly acquired skills need to be repeated frequently in a variety of contexts to ensure they are fully learned. This means the skills you and your dog learn will be effective in and around your home and out and about town.  When practicing new behaviors frequent repetition in various scenarios ensures the skill is truly ‘owned’ so the dog can not only generalize its behaviors in new situations but can also discriminate when appropriate.

Most importantly when training your dog remember to positively reinforce correct behaviors. Rewards for accomplishing skills successfully are an effective method to ensure learning takes place. Rewards used when you begin training, such as food and toys, can be quickly replaced by life rewards, such as attention and petting.


Contact your local DogSmith and learn more about our MTR approach or visit our website to download a FREE copy of the MTR DogSmith cards