This is an exerpt from Bob’s Obedience Manual
Proper obedience training builds your dog’s mentality, the same way a body builder uses exercising to build a strong healthy body. Today top weight trainers have found that those people who are truly developing their physical bodies to peak performance, also are changing their mentality at the same time.
Daily obedience training keeps your dog’s mind, clear, focused, and in good operating condition. Obedience training teaches your dog how to receive, communicate, and respond to you, and your desires. It expands the dogs’ conscious ability to understand and perceive things the way the trainer desires. It is a fact that as people train their dogs that they, by using their brain, will actually develop undeveloped parts of their brain, (especially the conscious mind), and become more able to use their intelligence in ways that will help understand and respond to their trainers’ commands.
Yet, if done properly, obedience also becomes the key in teaching dogs how to get the things they want as well. (Dogs have five basic needs; attention, affection, discipline, play, and food.) By learning to use obedient performance in a positive way to get what they want, your dog will also learn not to use negative, destructive, or abusive behaviors in their efforts to focus and control their owners behavior. Obedience training can enhance your dogs’ position in the pack, give them added self-esteem, and build trust and confidence. It is a great source of stress release for dogs, and while establishing guidelines for behavior, it clarifies behavioral issues in the mind of the dog, and eliminates confusion and insecurities.
The dog in training will progress through several different levels of training. Many people will come a trainer feeling they have failed because they have gone successfully through the first beginning level or two of training with their dog, who was, as a pup, behaving very well, but is now out of control. This is because, when it came time for the next level of training, their trainer, or they themselves, were not educated, and mentally-emotionally ready to progress. Their short sighted, simple training agenda may have taught their dog to obey as a young pup, but is not geared to develop the behaviors desired in them as an adult.
Dog training is a living process where the dog receives instruction and processes it from the conscious to the sub-conscious mind. In the process, as the dog normalizes and personalizes the conditioning, the dogs’ behavior is changed, and their performance becomes somewhat stylized according to the trainers desires. There are no short cuts, no magic wands, or artificial “tricks” that will help anyone to skip from your starting point to where they desire to go with their dog. There are no gimmicks, artificial devices, or super methods that will circumvent the system and produce instant behavior, without causing a myriad of problems at the same time. Those that try are just going to have to turn around and redo their effects correctly tomorrow.
Dog training, when done properly, is intense, and very emotionally taxing. I come from sessions with dogs, emotionally worn out all the time. These, often, are life-changing lessons for the dog in training, where they make quantum leaps in decision-making, and as a result, performance.
Here are some guidelines for your personal training. You need to take things one step at a time. Proceed only at a pace that is right for your dog. Your training must be broken down into the most basic, simple elements; capable of being communicated and taught to your dog each time you instruct them. Teach and concentrate on one thing at a time. Allow the dog to digest each lesson individually.
Remember that each lesson is only a part of the whole process of instructional experiences you wish to imprint on your dogs’ mind, so use your dogs’ mistakes to teach, not to punish them. Each lesson is also an important step in reaching your end goal. If you are not giving your dog what they need, you are not training properly.
Allow your dog to make mistakes, respond, learn, and correct their own mistakes, as they will, without fear of trauma and either physical, mental, or verbal abuse. Remember that your introductory sessions with your dog are going to have the greatest impact upon them, so they are very important. You must understand that what you are really doing is imprinting conditioned responses into the subconscious mind of your dog.
Dog training is a living, evolutional mental process, which progresses naturally. Let the process occur step-by-step, naturally. Don’t rush it trying to force response from your dog. Give your dog time to think about each thing you teach it to do. The next time you train you will see the effectiveness of your last conditioning experience. That, in itself, will show you where you are, and how you need to progress. Realize that you are just a tool in the process of training, and God is using you to enrich and bless the life of your dog. As you reach out, do so in a loving, controlled, concerned manner, and let God reach out through you. You’ll be amazed what will happen.