Training rules are essential as a foundation for training your dog. It is not just about issuing commands and your Springer following, there are rules to ensure the mindset of both you and your Springer are in the right place.
Your Mental State
Your mental state is vital when training your Springer. Dogs are incredibly intuitive and in tune with your emotional state so you must ensure that you are calm and assertive, and displaying signs that you are a leader.
Hold your head up high and stand tall to show that you are in charge, but not in an aggressive way, you still need to be calm. Ensure that there is no tension in your hand when holding the lead, if your hand is relaxed the dog will feel it.
Your Springers Mental State
If you have a highly strung and energetic Springer, as most are, you will need to take them for a long walk before you start any training, especially if you are working on lead work. This will mean that your Springer is more relaxed and compliant and therefore easier to train. You will achieve so much more if you do this.
As with behavior correction in children you must ensure that you are consistent in correcting your springer behavior, otherwise they will not know if they are coming or going. As a mother of a toddler I know how exhausting constant consistency can be but if you let the consistency slip your springer will become confused.
Set those boundaries and enforce them whenever your dogs steps over them. By being consistent in your reinforcement you are sending a message to your dog that you are the boss and at the same time your springer will be comfortable and confident in their environment.
Make them Work for Treats
Never give a treat to your dog without making them work for it, always ask something of them before you give them a biscuit, chew or even their dinner. Make them sit, lie down or stay. It reinforces the training program and your status as the leader.
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