It is important to always remember that just like people, not all dogs learn in the same way. I'm sure there are millions of people that never reach their full potential simply because their learning environment was not conducive to their way of learning. Keeping this in mind, there are so many different ways to teach dogs the things we need and want them to understand. It is important that if something is not working that you are able to change tact. So many people just keep doing the same thing and expecting that eventually they will get the result they are trying to achieve. If you identify anything that your dog or puppy is doing that you think may need attention, you must address it as quickly as possible. Time is condensed for dogs, so what may seem like only a short period of time for us as humans, is actually an incredibly long time for dogs, particularly during certain periods in the first three years of age. 


The best training tip, is to learn as much as you possibly can about how dogs communicate, so that you are able to recognise and understand what they're doing and why. Understanding is the first step, the next is knowing how to communicate with them so they understand you. There are certain things that we need to be able to use their way of communicating and not ours.  For example, if you are trying to gain the trust of a person who is frightened you will generally make direct eye contact and attempt to encourage them to trust you with the words you say and the tone that you say them in. If you want to gain the trust of a frightened or timid adult dog you must do the opposite and completely ignore them. You must have no eye contact and remain disconnected even when they feel confident to get close enough to investigate you. The more aloof and disconnected you are from them, the more they will trust you. 


What we consider "problem or unwanted" behaviours in dogs, are almost always created by us and our lack of understanding of how dogs communicate and their needs from the moment they're born.

 It is easy for us to identify when a child is frightened or overwhelmed. We have spent our entire lives learning how to interpret and communicate with other people. Not just the spoken word, but we learn to recognise body language, facial expressions and a multitude of other aspects that allow us to understand each other. So we find it easy to recognise that a child is fearful, and it is quite natural for the majority of adults to know how to adress the fear in a child so they are no longer afraid, and how to make a child feel safe. Unfortunately more often than not people don't recognise that a dog's behaviour may be the result of fear, apprehension or nervousness.  If that is recognised most people are unsure of how to address the fear and communicate with them so that he/she feels safe and is no longer fearful.


One of the fundamentals of teaching a puppy or an adult dog is Differential Reinforcement, when he/she gets it right reward the behaviour, rewards can be verbal praise, play, treats and a multitude of other things that dogs love and enjoy, when they get it wrong redirect them. 

If you would like a greater understanding of this particular principle I highly recommend, 

                                       Doctor Ian Dunbar  ( Effective Dog Training - Ian Dunbar FORA.tv ) Differential Reinforcement.