Why is it important to be flexible in training my dog?

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It’s very important to be flexible in training a dog because dogs don’t immediately understand the words that we are saying to them, and how we expect them to act. Many tricks and commands go against a dog’s instincts, or are just plain weird. The words “come,” “stay,” “lay down,” and “shake” mean nothing to a dog, even though we understand clearly what they mean. For this reason, it’s important to understand that a dog can’t communicate as humans do, and to be flexible with training.

Some dogs are naturally more curious than others, or more eager to please their owners than others, and will pick up on tricks and commands easily. Other dogs will take longer to learn new commands or tricks, and may never pick up on some of the more advanced tricks you try to teach them. The most effective way to get a dog to learn a new trick or command is to use positive reinforcement. A dog will always respond better to food rewards or praise than a negative reaction.

You should also give your dog plenty of time to learn a new trick or command. Dogs get distracted easily, or may just not be in the mood to listen and obey. Never yell at a dog or punish him for not completing a command or a trick. Simply step away from the activity for a short period of time and return to the training when you and your dog are ready to proceed in a calm, attentive, patient manner.

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