Neurophysiology: How do dogs learn?

Everything you want to teach your dog, every new task should be built out of several small exercises and trained separately. They should only be put (partially) together when the dog is solid of the individual tasks.

Due to the neurological processes, every exercise needs – and this counts for any kind of dog training – a system of repetition, because this increases the conductivity in the brain.

In my last blog I wrote about operant conditioning. But you can also capture wanted behavior: If the dog shows wanted behavior without a command received – praise him. If he follows a command – reward him. When you do this each and every time you are using Positive Reinforcement. The dog is an opportunist, and learns that his success coincides with your desires until he reflexively and habitually does what you ask for.

A new command should be repeated a couple of times, than the dog should have a 5-minute break. Repeat the command again. If he performs well, reward, and give him a 20-minute break. Repeat the command again. If he performs well, reward, and do something different.

24 hours later, and at the same spot, repeat the command. If he performs well, reward, and do something different.
You repeat this cue for the next three days only once and at the same place. Then you start making it more difficult: Change the place, add distraction, etc., but always stick to the system.
If the dog at any point does not execute the command, one of the neurological processes did not work – the dog did not understand you – you have to go back to step 1!