The 4 Stages of Learning Your Dog Needs To Go Through - Have Patience

There are four stages of learning that dogs encounter.

The first stage is:


During this stage the dog learns through prompting, and reinforcement, that the behavior being taught is valuable to him or her. This is the time that food or a favorite toy can be used as a reinforcer.

The second stage is:


The dog learns to automatically give the behavior without being prompted or lured first. In this stage the dog is rewarded on a continuous reinforcement schedule and later the treats are given for only the better and faster responses to your cue.

The third stage is:


The dog learns that even if different people give the command in different locations and even maybe not the exact same as you, the response should be the same. During this stage, the dog will come to understand that “sit” is “sit”, no matter where, when or how the command is given.

The last stage is:


When the dog is performing the behavior in a variety of situations 90 to 100% of the time, then he is considered to be in this stage. Keep in mind that training your dog is a lifelong commitment to him and at different stages of its life, you may have to remind him how to perform the command. Sometimes, as your dog goes through growth spurts, it seems like his brain has fallen out! He does remember the command, he just needs a gentle reminder of what is was. Be patient! He’ll have it mastered again in no time!

Puppy Development
History of Dogs in Our Lives
Breed Group Characteristics
Leadership Rules
Tools, Techniques, Treats and Toys - The 4 T's
Problem Solving
Basic Obedience Training Lessons