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Training Your Canine That Nothing in Life is Free

29 11:49:33

Training Your Canine That Nothing in Life is Free

     Imagine this scenario: you and your family are watching television when your dog enters the room. He immediately walks to you, and places his front paws on your leg. He obviously craves your attention. Because you are engrossed in the television show, you give your pet a stern look, and move your leg. However, he is determined. He places his head on your lap, and stares at you. Before long, you feel compelled to pet him, and scratch him behind the ears. Your canine has trained you.

This is a common dynamic between owners and their dogs. The former ends up doing the bidding of the latter. A method called "nothing in life is free" (NILIF) can correct the situation. Below, you'll learn what it is, the benefits it offers, and how to implement the strategy to resume your role as leader of the pack.

"Nothing In Life Is Free" Explained

This technique requires your canine to earn everything he considers desirable. This can include his favorite toys, food treats, or a walk around the block. It can also include your petting him or playing a game with him.

The concept behind the method is a simple one. By making your pet earn the things he desires, you train him to recognize that you control the resources. Rather than perceiving you as his peer, he understands your role as the leader of his pack. This presents a few notable benefits.

Advantages Of The NILIF Training Strategy

Dogs that are uncertain about who leads their pack (in this case, your household) often try to usurp the leadership role. This may start mildly, but can eventually lead to aggressive behavior. By restricting access to resources, NILIF curbs this tendency, forcing your canine to recognize your authority over him.

Another benefit is that your pet will be less likely to "force" you to do something (e.g. petting him while watching television). Teaching him that "nothing in life is free" will train him to wait for you rather than trying to influence your actions.

Steps To Making Your Pet Earn Rewards

The NILIF training strategy requires that your dog knows how to respond to basic commands, such as sit, come, and stay. If he has yet to master these commands, train him.

Next, implement a rule whereby you and your family withhold things from your canine that you once provided "for free." This includes walks, treats, petting, praise, and playing games. Use basic commands to require him to earn these rewards. For example, suppose you are preparing to take your dog for a walk. Prior to attaching his leash, tell him to sit. After ten seconds have passed, put the leash on.

Also, it is important that you are consistent when teaching your canine that "nothing in life is free." Dogs learn by repetition and consistency. There will be times when he becomes so excited - or stubborn - that he fails to comply with your command. Wait for him to do so before giving him the reward he desires.

Examples For Practical Application

There are myriad opportunities throughout the day to use the NILIF method with your canine. For instance, make him sit patiently while you prepare his meals; make him lie down for ten seconds before petting him; and make him sit still for a short period when he wants to play. If you are training him, and want to avoid giving him too many treats, provide his preferred toy when he performs properly.

Growing accustomed to making your dog earn rewards you once gave freely may take time. Many owners find the habit difficult to adopt during the beginning stages. But it is worth the effort if you are having trouble establishing yourself as the "pack leader" in your home. The NILIF method not only helps define your role, and that of your canine, but it does so in a way that improves the bond you share together.