Q:

What is the best way to train a puppy that is a mix between an Australian Shepherd and a Labrador Retriever?

A:

Quick Answer

All dogs learn in similar ways, though some are smarter or more eager to please than others. The key to training any dog is to controlling the consequences of the dog's behavior.

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Full Answer

  1. Understand how dogs learn

    Dogs learn best when their behavior has immediate consequences. When desirable behavior gets an immediate reward or the immediate removal of something unpleasant, the dog is more likely to make the connection between the behavior and the reward. Likewise, correction needs to follow undesirable behavior immediately if the dog is to make that connection.

  2. Reward desirable behavior

    When your puppy does something that you want it to do, reward the puppy immediately with praise, a food treat, a pat or something else the puppy likes. The nature of the reward may vary according to your dog's individual likes and dislikes and what you are trying to teach. If the puppy seems unable to get the idea all at once, break the behavior down into steps or stages and reward the puppy for completing each step or stage that leads toward the goal behavior.

  3. Correct undesirable behavior quickly

    When your puppy does something that you don't want it to do, make the behavior less attractive to it the dog by either providing a mild aversive stimulus as a result (example: a snap on the leash to correct yanking or pulling) or by removing something that the dog finds rewarding, such as attention. If possible, redirect the dog to a positive activity for which it can be rewarded.

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