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Basic Principles Of Training

by American Kennel Club

Like young children, dogs are curious and love to explore. They eagerly test their world in a variety of ways. Once your dog realizes you are the source of its needs and wants, it will experiment with different ways of attracting your attention until one or more brings results. The object is to channel these natural inclinations into paths that are socially acceptable, as well as useful and helpful.

          From the time a puppy enters your life it is learning and adapting its behavior to you and its environment. Thoroughly pragmatic, dogs use modes of behavior that yield maximum results with minimum discomfort. Thus, if your dog learns that whining or refusing to eat results in attention, it will continue to whine and turn its nose up at dinner. If eliminating indoors brings less comfort through discipline than the discomfort of waiting to go out, the dog will resist housebreaking. However, if your dog learns right from the start that your way of doing things results in praise and affection, while contrary ways result in firm, unvarying correction, it will choose the easier way. Making sure what you want is the easier and more desirable way is a fair definition of training.

          The key words in training are persistence, confidence and consistency. You should feel confident in yourself as a trainer, but your dog should also feel confident you will consistently respond to a particular action with the same reaction. In training, this means certain actions are always prohibited and certain others are always encouraged. Inconsistency is the deadliest enemy of good training, it destroys the secure world in which all dogs, at any age, seek to live. A well-trained dog knows what it can do and what it cannot do, and this is only established by consistent reinforcement. A dog that is praised every time it does right and corrected every time it does wrong will soon learn acceptable behavior.

Should you have a concern regarding the health of your Beagle(s), you should contact your veterinarian. All information on this site is presented solely for educational and informational purposes and should not, at any time, be considered a substitute for seeking or receiving veterinary care for your Beagle(s).