Repetition in Training
When training a dog to achieve a desired response by us, we must make it clear from the start by taking small steps with them to eventually meet the goal. By repeating these steps until each one is proven and then putting them all together is what will then enable the dog to consistently give the desired response to each command.
If you repeatedly rush the learning process and skip stages because you are keen to see the end game you will allow errors to creep in which for the dog will then become the learned response to your command.
Always teach the dog allowing them to become relaxed in the position first and have a good association with it. For example when teaching the down stay make sure you have a solid down first by repeating the action and rewarding by dropping food between their feet while the dog is in a relaxed mind set. Repeat the words DOWN and STAY while the dog is in the position. Moving away from the dog should be done in small steps PROVING each step by repeating it until the dog remains relaxed no matter how far away you move. This must not be rushed. If you repeatedly make a mistake your dog will do the same and the process then takes much longer.
We covered this exercise at class on Sunday and so I hope that our down stays have made good progress for us all to see next week.