Basics of Catahoula Training
It's essential for Catahoula parents like you to know certain basic factors that determine your relationship with your Catahoula and can go a long way in training him effectively.
Before you begin training your Catahoula, it is absolutely essential that you build a loving bond with him. This is important as it helps you to understand his needs and instincts and also allows your Catahoula to have complete trust in you.
Let us see how.......
How To Bond With Your Catahoula
Building a bond with your Catahoula is the first and the most crucial step involved in training him successfully. As soon as you bring your Catahoula home, you must first try to develop a caring and loving relationship with him in order to win his trust and confidence.
When Catahoulas are secure in the knowledge that they belong to the family, they are more likely to respond better to their owners' training commands. Just like with any relationship, there must be mutual trust and respect between you and your Catahoula.
Trust takes time to develop and respect comes from defining boundaries and treating any breach of those boundaries with firmness and fairness.
Without enforceable limitations, respect can’t be developed. And when there is no respect, building a bond with your Catahoula is almost impossible.
4 Golden Rules To Building A Relationship With Your Catahoula :
- Spend quality time together;
- Take him out in the world and experience life together;
- Establish and promote a level of mutual respect; and
- Develop a way of communicating to understand each other's needs.
Love Your Catahoula and He Will Love You back
Once you're succesful in building a bond with your Catahoula, you can rest assured that training him and teaching him new and clever tricks will be a cakewalk.
How Your Catahoula Learns...
Your Catahoula's learning period can be divided into five phases:
The Teaching Phase - This is the phase where you must physically demonstrate to your Catahoula exactly what you want him to do.
The Practicing Phase - Practice makes Perfect. Once a lesson is learnt, practice with your Catahoula what you have just taught him.
The Generalizing Phase - Here you must continue practicing with your Catahoula in different locations and in an environment with a few distractions. You can take your Catahoula out for a walk, or to a nearby park and command him to practice whatever you've taught him.
Practicing the learned lessons in multiple locations and in the presence of small distractions will help him learn and retain lessons better .
The Testing Phase - Once you're sure that your Catahoula has achieved almost 90% success....he responds correctly almost every time you give a command, you must start testing his accuracy in newer locations with a lot of distractions.
Example: Take him to the local shopping mall and ask him to obey your command. He may not come up with the correct response the very first time you do this, but you must not lose hope.
The idea is to test your Catahoula to see how he responds in an environment which is new to him. Set-up a situation where you are in control of the environment and your Catahoula.
There are only 2 possibilities:
- Your Catahoula succeeds!!! (Trumpets please!)
- In case your Catahoula fails, re-examine the situation. Review and/or change your training. Then try testing again.
Keep on testing until he succeeds. Follow the rule of the 3 Ps – patience, persistence, praise.
Internalizing Phase - Finally, comes the extremely rewarding phase where your Catahoula does everything he is taught to do even without your commands.
- Never scold your Catahoula if he fails. It's not his fault. You have failed as a trainer!
- You must be patient and persistent for your efforts to show rewards.
- Appreciate and love your Catahoula when he does it right! A little encouragement will work wonders for your Catahoula.
- Catahoula Training is easy when you do it right.
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