I recently had someone tell me that they thought I was a "Militant" dog trainer because of how my dog responded when I gave commands. If you ever see me working with my young pit-mix Dakota, she is amazing and snaps into commands in a split second!
After seeking advice on how to run a good dog training business, one piece of advice they offered was to pretend that you knew nothing about dog training and look at yourself, your information, and how other people see you. So, if I knew nothing about dog training and saw how my dog behaves during training, or if I saw some of the competition obedience dogs on TV, I would think that their trainer probably has to be really tough on those dogs to get them to respond like that.
I love working with my dogs, and I hope that when people see my girl Dakota demonstrating some awesome obedience that they don't think I'm hard on her, because I'm going to let you in on a little secret about getting your dog to perform well... they have to enjoy it!
Dakota, absolutely loves training. I use certain pieces of equipment when I train. I used to use a treat pouch, and now I have switched to a vest just becase I find it more comfortable, and has way more pockets for some of the other training tools I use.
To give you an idea of why Dakota loves training, let me describe just exactly what I carry in the multitude of pockets my training vest has...
Treats!!! Lots and Lots of Treats!
A Clicker - lets her know the treat is coming
A Ball - For rewarding!
A Tug - For more rewarding!
More High Value Treats! - For even more rewarding and Jackpotting!
So, whenever Dakota sees that training vest on me, she knows its time to get busy training and she gets crazy excited!!! She imediately will snap to my side and stare up at me because she knows that's what will get her rewards. If I as her to sit, she does it because she knows that is what will get her rewards. When the clicker comes out, usually I use that to learn something new, so she tries different things because something she does will likely get her a reward!
If you want your dogs to do what you ask them to do, the first time you ask them, and everytime you ask them, the first step is to reward them, and teach them that doing what you ask makes all the good stuff happen!