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Fixing Obedience Training Problems



 Dog Training – Fixing obedience dog training problems

Dog obedience can be frustrating when your dog is not listening to your command at home or in public. When I ask people, “What do you want out of dog training?” About 90% say they just want their dog just to listen to them.  As a dog trainer, I totally understand what they mean.  At one time that was all I wanted too.  However, that was easier said then done.

If you are trying to fix your dogs’ obedience problem it’s easiest if you know what phase of training your dog is in .  “What Phase” you ask? At Ridley K-9 Academy we rely on the 4 phases of dog training to help us train a dog from beginning to end.

By knowing what phase your dog you will know exactly how far you will need to go back into your training. You may just need to back up one phase and finish it. However, starting from scratch may be the best alternative.  When in doubt start over from scratch.

4 Dog Training Phases:

  1. Learning Phase – Teaching your dog to respond to positively conditioned and associated behaviors and cue’s on command. You will be using classical and operant conditioning during the learning phase. Dogs learn incredibly fast when they are rewarded when they give the correct behavior on their own. If something works for a dog they will keep repeating it. If it doesnt they will not keep repeating it. By being proactive during the learning phase you are making it easier for them to learn your way is the best way. It also eliminates confusion and the need to correct.
  2. Correction Phase –The correction phase helps your dog to understand there are real consequences for disobedience (willful act to not listen to a learned command). During the correction phase you are also using operant conditioning to teach the dog to listen and be disciplined and committed to your cue (command).  When your dog gives an undesired behavior it must be followed with an unpleasant outcome. When starting the correction phase it must be done without distractions present.
  3. Distraction Phase – Also known as the proofing phase of dog training. Now that you have gone through the correction phase your dog should be listening to your command without distractions. It is because your dog is now disciplined you can start expecting them to be paying attention to you much more. It is best to start off easy with light distractions in a controlled environment. When your dog can handle that, increase the amount and intensity of the distractions. When they can handle that it is time to move out into the real world.If you have problems when in the real world you must do more training with distractions. You must know what most distracts your dog and Work up to that.
  4. Maintenance Phase – Only after you have taken your dog through the previous phases can you start to maintain your dogs trained behaviors. Keeping your dogs behavior maintained is a lifetime commitment. We like to maintain our dogs training every day by using life rewards. This way I can see what I need to work on. This way I can go back to the distraction phase and deal with the problem right away.

Now you will know what to dog if you ever find yourself having issues with your dogs obedience commands. You will know how to go back and fix the problem by using the 4 training phases.

Visit our Training Tips Page to see a video on distractions!

If our are having problems fixing your dogs obedience training please contact me at or call me at 530-409-1879.  We offer basic through advanced obedience dog training programs. Visit

Happy Dog Training!!!