Training Your Silky Terrier

murphy's lawTraining your silky terrier requires consistency and kindness. Silkys respond wonderfully to encouragement and rewards. My experience is that punishment and yelling do not get good results with silkys...they can become stubborn or fearful and learning does not happen with dogs (or people either) under these circumstances.
Obedience classes can be extremely helpful in training your Silky Terrier. In many areas, puppy classes are available for young dogs in which the dogs begin to be socialized to be around other dogs and people, and limited training takes place. Many people do not recommend beginning formal obedience training until the dog is at least 6 months old. A dog is never too old to benefit from training. The old cliche "you can't teach an old dog new tricks" could not be more incorrect.

Be careful in selecting an obedience class for your Silky Terrier. It can be very helpful to observe the instructor before signing up to see whether the approach is one that is comfortable for you and your Silky. My personal recommendation is to avoid obedience training which relies on punishment. I believe that the use of the choke collar "jerk and pull" method of training that is often taught in obedience classes can be dangerous, especially to small dogs whose tracheas may be damaged by this method.

Next, you'll find information about books and materials on training. I'm recommending these books because, of all of the dog books in my personal collection, these have been the most helpful to me. Some of the books are recommended by other folks who are experienced with silkys and have found them useful. If you purchase any of these books by clicking on the links on this page, Silky Terrier Rescue will receive a percentage of your purchase amount. These funds are used to help cover veterinary costs for our rescued silky terriers.

What is your Silky Terrier thinking?
Why is he behaving as he does?

Culture Clash helps to answer these questions. The author helps us to see how the dog understands the world, and how that is different from the way that we humans understand it. When we understand how the dog thinks, we can be much more effective in training, and learn to avoid much of the frustration to the dog and the human that often accompanies dog training.

This book is absolutely outstanding...every dog owner should read it!

Click here to order from Dogwise
Click here to order
Culture Clash from Dogwise.
Clicker Training is a method of dog training which relies entirely on rewards or positive reinforcement. Most dogs love Clicker Training and it is easy for the owner to learn. As a behavioral psychologist, I know that this approach to training is based on very sound principles of learning. There are several authors who write about Clicker Training, but one of the most well-known is Karen Pryor.
The Clicker Training kit includes a Clicker Training for Dogs booklet which explains how dolphin training and dog training use the same scientific principles, clicker training instructions for basic obedience, 2 clickers and a copy of Don't Shoot The Dog News.
Click here to order
Karen Pryor's
Clicker Training Kit
If you want to get started on Clicker Training, or just learn more about it, here are a couple of marvelous resources. Clicker Magic is a videotape which shows Karen Pryor using Clicker Training with several dogs and other animals. You'll see how easy and fun this method can be.
Click here to order
Clicker Magic
Don't Shoot the Dog is Karen Pryor's original book on using positive methods to train animals. This book explains the principles behind clicker training in easy to understand language and shows how these principles apply to everyday life, including training dogs and other animals. You don't have to read this book to learn basic clicker training, but if you want to go beyond the basics, this is a great book for you.
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Don't Shoot the Dog from Dogwise.

Here are links to some web sites that feature information about clicker training:
Click and Treat. This is Gary Wilkes' site -- another clicker training maven.
The Well Mannered Dog ~ Keeper Pages. Here are articles on many training topics.
Clickertraining.com/Sunshine Books. This is Karen Pryor's site.


How To Teach a New Dog Old Tricks by Ian Dunbar explains how to train your dog to prevent problems, solve problems and teach positive behaviors. Dunbar's methods are fun and easy to apply for all family members.
Click here to order
How to Teach a New Dog Old Tricks.
Smart Trainers, Brilliant Dogs by Janet Lewis is recommended by Bruce, trainer and groomer of the wonderful silky, Sydney.. This book is very good although focused more on obedience training. It explains step-by-step how dogs perceive our commands and respond to them... to help improve your training skills and strengthen your bond with your dog. Click here to order
Smart Trainers, Brilliant Dogs.
How to Raise a Puppy You Can Live With by Rutherford and Neil is a very popular book on puppies. It covers planning for the new puppy, selecting a breeder, house training, where to sleep at night, bonding with your new puppy, socialization, discipline, simple commands and leash training. The book also describes the stages of development and what to expect as the puppy grows. Heather, from the silkydog list, says this book helped her with Austin, her silky puppy and with her Golden Retrievers when they were pups.
Click here to order
How to Raise a Puppy You Can Live With
Clicker Training for Obedience by Morgan Spector explains how to apply clicker training techniques to obedience training for competition. It is highly recommended by Bonnie, who has had great success with competing in obedience with her silkys.
Click here to order
Clicker Training for Obedience.


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