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Behavior Training
Principles

Rewards and
Punishment

Introduction to
Aggression

 

 Dog Behavior Library

Menu of Corrections for the Dog

Page 2

Verbal Corrections

The short, sharp sound of "Aah-Aah!" is quite effective to interrupt most dogs. This is the quickest and least severe verbal correction. Saying "Aah or Acht!" grabs the pet's attention. and alerts him that you are not pleased with his behavior. Be sure to praise the dog the second he responds by stopping what he was doing wrong.

Right after you successfully interrupt the dog with a verbal correction, change your voice  to an emotionally neutral tone and with a friendly body posture, give the dog an instruction.  As soon as the dog responds correctly to the instruction, use the same word in a higher, happy tone and loose, friendly body posture as a reward (e.g., "Good Sit!"). 

When the dog ignores or responds incorrectly to your instruction, use the same word in a stronger, low tone voice raising your body to full height or towering over the dog. In this context, the verbal cue becomes an INSTRUCTIVE REPRIMAND.

The "Instructive Reprimand" not only corrects the current behavior, but communicates what the dog should be doing instead. The most common examples are, "Quiet!" and "Off!"  Almost any Instruction can be used with an urgent voice tone such as, "Sit!", "Down!", "Stay!" and "Come!"
 

While it's true that dogs can learn to recognize the meaning of some words, they pay attention not only to the sound of the word but also to your posture and your tone of voice.

"No!" is the classic verbal correction. The disadvantage of "No!" is that is not specific enough to clearly communicate to the dog exactly what he's done wrong. "No" does not provide any instruction on what to do instead.

"No!" may confuse the dog if he thinks he is being corrected for where or how he is sitting, or for simply being in a room, or for blinking an eye, or for doing anything that might be true at the moment you say it.

Does this mean you must never use "No!" to correct your dog? On the contrary; there is a place for "No!" as a non specific verbal correction. You can use "No!" to get your dog's attention and simply interrupt the undesirable behavior. Just don't confuse this word with a clear training lesson because it is not an effective training method.

Physical, Non-Painful Corrections
 

The use of a head halter such as Gentle Leader™ gives the dog a clear message and you gentle control over the dog's behavior. This head collar puts pressure both around the dog's muzzle and behind the head. Gentle leaders help control leash pulling, jumping up, and dominant behaviors.

Collar Corrections requires the dog to abstract what you want as your correct the dog. A proper collar correction simply gets the dog's attention so that you can give a clear instruction or praise the dog for stopping a behavior such as pulling on leash. The collar should never be or stay tight. A collar correction is a gentle, quick tug-release that does not cause pulling or discomfort or pain. The goal is to communicate, "Hey! Pay attention to me!"

Go to Page 3 - Verbal Corrections

Words your dog knows can be used to instruct, correct and praise your dog by varying your voice tone and body postures.

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