Practice Makes Perfect
Frequency Creates Reliability
For the dog to associate the specific commands with the desired behavior it is important to practice often.
The more frequent the practice lessons, the more reliable the performance; just as when we learned to drive a car we were very cautious and careful about turns or more complex driving skills like parallel parking, which were very difficult.
When we practice over and over we learn to maneuver the vehicle with greater ease until driving moves into the subconscious. Then driving becomes second nature.
It is the same with the dog when they practice on a regular basis in an ever increasingly complex set of commands. They become second nature and automatic.
Dogs are like people in that forgetting becomes worse as time moves on. Finally, the arousal of the dog is directly related to the memory.
When the dog is relaxed around the house, they are much easier to control than when we open the front door and their level of arousal increases in the anticipation of satisfying their curiosity.
Also, a dog who is moderately excited and anticipates a reward is a better learner than a dog who is dull, distracted and inattentive.
Then to make it even more interesting, their level of arousal is directly related to what is processed in their brain. A dog in a low level of arousal would process relevant as well as irrelevant cues; a dog in a high level would not process all cues.
Depending on the exercise, we would require a different level of arousal for each. So we strive for the optimal level for each exercise. We practice the exercises on a regular basis and keep our sessions short and fun.
This formula will keep the lessons fresh in your dog's mind.
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