How can you better test your dog’s intelligence and learning capabilities during the dog training process? This is a question that gives trouble to many dog owners or dog trainers. What does it mean? Does it matter to efficiently proof your dog’s behaviors?
What is it?
A short definition of the “proofing behavior concept” means a way or method to strengthen and strongly imprint all the commands and techniques learned by the dog. This definition doesn’t say much to most dog owners and it could be somewhat known by dog trainers today.
Proofing behaviors during or after the dog training process is something simple and fun to achieve. Just imagine that the weather is bad (cold weather, snowing/raining), not appropriate for dog walking or exercising. This is a great opportunity to fine-tune your dog’s behavior and commands understanding in the comfort of your home.
How to do it?
You might say that your home isn’t a good environment to practice various training commands, for the simple fact that your dog might break stuff and make a mess on the floor etc. Not true.
Proofing your dog behaviors is simple enough: it’s a way to make sure that your dog understands the commands properly and doesn’t mistake or ignores certain actions. For the common understanding, making sure that your dog doesn’t jump when you voice the “sit” command.
To properly start this proofing behavior process, you must first assess all the dog training commands the dog has been familiarized with. Write them down on a list if you forget some of them. This list will be as a schedule for you, but remember not to overstress and overwork your dog with it. A short session produces more results than a long and exhausting one.
Examples of proof behaviors
The “sit”, “fetch”, “quiet”, “come here”, “help” are terms are common dog training commands, used especially to see the dog obedience training level achieved by the dog. The method to proof these command is to use a variation of words that differs phonetically from “sit” (examples: spit, slit, sleep) in order to observe the behavior of your dog. More precisely, to see if the dog becomes confused and even does a different action than sitting down or fetching a toy, etc.
In order to better see the behavior response of your dog, you can mix this words variation with confusing movement and actions. Voice a command by covering your mouth with a hand and see if your dog understands or ignores your words. Try turning to a side or with your back to the dog. Voice the command again and see if the dog acts upon it. Go in the other room and voice a command, while the TV is on. If you have some special hand signals that your dog was used to, try those too.
You must understand that this proof behaviors process isn’t successful right away. Your dog is familiarized with most training commands. He will be confused when hearing some but will achieve other command actions immediately. This is a continuous learning process, ment to increase the reliability and response of your dog. This proofing method will keep your dog from getting bored and you will enjoy it too.