Dog not responding to training? Try a simpler form of communication.
Have you ever tried to teach your dog something new but no matter how hard you try, she just doesn't seem to get it? Don't worry, you are not alone. The good news is, this very common scenario has nothing to do with how intelligent our dogs are. We just aren't communicating with them in the way they understand best.
Dogs are very eager to learn and please but we confuse them with all of our human verbiage and body language to the point that our original message gets lost in translation. In order to communicate effectively, successful dog trainers use a "marker" followed by treats. A marker is sound that is used to let your dog know when he/she does something you like the moment it happens. When used correctly, in conjunction with treats to reinforce the desired behavior, you will see the behaviors happening more frequently.
Some trainers use a clicker, a little plastic button that makes a clicking noise when you push it down. Trainers like clickers because the noise is short, easily recognizable to the dog and consistent. Clickers are great but in my experience it's not realistic to assume that my clients will remember to bring one every time they leave home with their dog, people, like me, lose them all the time, and some fearful dogs get scared of the noise. So, I find using a marker word, "Yes", just as effective.
Timing is critical because you want to make sure you aren't marking the wrong thing, but most people pick it up quickly. Try bouncing a tennis ball. Every time it hits the ground say "yes". At first, your timing will most likely be off. But as you practice, you will get better and better, especially if someone is giving you a dollar every time you get it right! Same goes for your dog but her paycheck is in the form of yummy treats!
For more info on how to use a marker with your dog, contact me to schedule a session.