The Power Of Repetitions In Training
For The Good & The Bad and Emotional Responses
Remember the old saying:
“Definition of insanity is repeating the same thing over and over and expecting a different result”
This very much applies to dog training.
If what you learn first you learn best it’s important that most of those first repetitions are going in the direction of the behaviour you are aiming for. It does not have to be perfect; it just needs to be going down the right path.
This is why foundation training, which is pieces of or steps toward an end behaviour, is so important. It gives the dog a solid understanding of what it is he needs to do when presented with the end behaviour.
In training remember you get what you repeat.
Your dog should not repeat a mistake more then 3 times. You, as the trainer / owner, must change how you are presenting the information to the dog to hopefully get a more appropriate response.
This would apply to how you “mark” or “reward” the dog’s emotional responses. If the dog is allowed to repeat a certain emotional response in a given situation that is what they will learn how to respond in that given place. Whether it is a negative or postivie emotional response.
It is just as important to reward or mark the emotional response you would like your dog to have in any given situtuation as it is for the mechanics of a behaviour. If they are allowed to practise inappropriate responses that is what they will learn,
Rewarding the dog for calm keeps the dog “in a place mentally” that he is able to learn and process the information that is coming at him. That also means the handler or trainer must also be in a state of calm for learning to take place.
· Handle your dog with calm, smooth motions. Dogs perceive small changes in our bodies and for them each tiny motion has meaning. Small movements can result in huge changes in dog’s behaviour.
What does calm look like? Relaxed, soft eye, lips are slack and slightly open, relaxed tail, muscles through the body are soft, not taut.