The Johnson Treatment LBJ had dogs, and, as a country boy, knew how to train. He would lay it on thick, so thick, that everyone in the room was embarrassed by the way he flattered and petted, singing high praises in glowing phrases, till his dog just glowed with good feelings. Yes, everyone was embarrassed except the dog he was doing it to. BH Oct 2017
'Singing High-Pitch Praise Profusely' Training
Sweets for the Sweet.
The dog is mostly Eastern-Asian Gray Wolf, genetically.The sequencing of the the dog's and wolves' DNA, both now and from fossils, prove it. He was the first animal domesticated tens of thousands of years ago. The Sumerians recorded domesticated dogs in 5,000 B.C. The gray wolf was tamed by keeping him juvenile or subservient till after he was 12 weeks old. Then he would always be accepting of his master’s command and accept the master as leader of the pack. There are great studies in puppy behavior and how they develop their personalities. At 7 weeks they are fearless, at 9 weeks fearful. The rules of development in order of importance are 1) Fear, 2) First -Experience and 3) Repetition. For example, if the puppy’s first thunderstorm is full of fear at 9 weeks, he will be fearful of thunderstorms for life. Instead, you want the puppy to have a first experience of a happy, youthful time with you and then repeat it over and over.
The key to keeping a puppy young (or even bring an old dog back to his youth) is ‘singing high-pitch praise profusely’. He will love your affection and attention. You can’t lay it on too thick. It becomes his preferred reward. It is your sweet, cooing, baby talk praise that he will learn to crave till he will do anything for it. After a few weeks of it, he will start wagging his tail with just a word.
The ‘happy walk’ is the basis of your relationship with your dog. When you start taking him for a walk on a six foot leash, you keep talking sweetly to him so he is wagging his tail. He is watching you, waiting for your next praise. You keep it fun. You let him explore the world. For at least 15 minutes a day (or as often as you want), you walk and praise him.
At eight weeks old, his best reward has been his mother licking him and nurturing him and his litter mates playing, snuggling, squealing and nudging in a pile. Singing high pitch praise profusely becomes his new reward. It is not treats or clicker, not electric shock collar and certainly not beating him.
Now, when his mother didn’t want him to do something, she nipped him and he cried. She then licked and comforted him. So when you are doing the happy walk, you change directions and jiggling on his collar. When he follows, you sing him high-pitch praise profusely. It is an imitation of his mother but instead of nipping and licking, you are jiggling (a gentle jerk) and praising. This is a first experience and it is a repetition. He is learning commands by changing directions and learning corrections by jiggling his collar and learning reward by ‘singing high-pitch praise profusely’. It is the beginning of ‘command, jerk, praise’ and he is only eight weeks old.
This is the foundation, according to the German method, for training a dog to 1)Heel , 2)Sit, 3)Down, 4)Sit/stay, 5)Down/stay, 6)Recall or Come. If you find a trainer who uses praise instead of treats and works with a prong collar instead of electric collar, you can have you puppy trained to do all of these commands. It will also stop aggression and a multitude of bad habits.It is about having a great relationship with your dog.
More importantly, when you train your dog this way, it will teach you the personality or temperament of your dog. It is a joy to watch any happy animal learn and grow.
A happy girl leading a happy puppy on the happy walk.