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Be Specific! B-E Specific!

This minute and a half with David the Dog Trainer encapsulates the five-minute conversation we had about Danny this morning, in a convenient cheerleader format.

Danny’s training has gotten him to pretty well behaved. We’d like to make him really well behaved, but how do you do that? “Behave well” is a pretty useless command. “Behave well, Danny, behave well!”

So we’re being specific and starting with “heel,” a basic command that he doesn’t know yet. He’s just learning what the word means now, with few to zero distractions and lots of rewards. We’ve got the rest of his life to perfect it.


2 responses »

  1. “We’ve got the rest of his life to perfect it.”

    That’s a brilliant thought. So often I get frustrated or stressed, worried we’re never going to get something right. In fact, “heel” is one of the commands we’ve barely begun, let alone mastered. Being specific with lots of rewards is the only place to start. What am I rushing for, anyway?

    • I know what you mean. It’s frustrating when Danny throws a tantrum on his leash or ignores me at the park or does whatever other charming behaviors he occasionally exhibits. I figured the answer is to ask him to behave better, and train him that good behavior gets him treats, and balls thrown, and butt scratches.

      Though sometimes I want to scream, “Aaagh! Just stop whatever you’re doing! Stop it! You are so annoying!” Bad owner. Go to time out.


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