Dog Training - Timing Is Essential
Good timing for discipline is critical. If you react to a dog's behavior, he doesn’t learn appropriate behavior. Conversely, influencing a dog's decision process before he acts is proven training technique. When timing is correct, uncertainty is diminished and drive is rewarded.
Also, by affecting the internal emotional process, the dog "chooses" his behavior. A dog with this training will be consistent even if his handler isn't nearby.
The key to proper timing is not speed, although that does help. The key is anticipation. A skilled handler can anticipate what the dog will do next. It is a skill learned by paying close attention to each dog. Without appropriate timing, training becomes at test of will.
A focused handler will sense the dog's patterns and be able to anticipate the dog’s behavior. Then, the handler can take steps to counter what the dog will do. While the dog may think he is choosing to obey, the handler has controlled his emotional process and thereby the dog’s behavior.
For example, if you want your dog to heel, you should pay attention to his head. When you sense his attention shifting, yank on his collar and praise him concurrently. Additionally, speed up and throw him ball or give him a treat.
This does not correct the dog’s disobedience; rather, it eliminates the dog’s impending nervousness that will disrupt his focus on the task at hand. The praise, food, and the ball become stimulation. Because this positive energy comes from the handler, the dog's calm focus is renewed and reinforced.
To illustrate the importance of timing, consider the following. Suppose you were an expert helping someone recover from alcoholism. When should this person's pattern be influenced - before or after he decided to have a drink? This scenario is valid for the dog trainer: Is it better to react to a dog's behavior or to preempt negative actions and encourage the dog to behave appropriately? Why wait?