PACK INSTINCT: If you have studied the basic psychology of the dog, you will have seen that the primary instinct that we must work with when training our dog, is the pack instinct. The dog becomes a member of the family pack and you become the pack leader. The trainer/handler and other members of the “family” must also fulfil the function of pack companions.
BE THE PACK LEADER: Some dogs, especially those who have been acquired at a more mature age, rather than as puppies, and particularly if they are a breed with a natural or genetic predisposition to being aggressive or dominant, will almost certainly challenge the owner or handler for the right to lead the pack.  Remember this, and it is very important…. that should a dog issue such a challenge, then that challenge needs to be met head on, and the animal left in no doubt as to who is the leader.  If the dog issues challenges that are not met, then it will become both uncontrollable, a liability and at the very least, a pest.
INTELLECT: As we can never expect the dog to come up to our intellectual standards, we must try to reduce ours to the dog. Therefore, the nearest approach we can embrace, is the same as that of dealing with a small child, always remembering that whilst the child will acquire the power of reasoning in time, the dog never will.  So not only must we adopt this philosophy at the onset of training, but apply it throughout the dog’s life.
OBTAINING CONFIDENCE: Initially we must obtain the dogs confidence, in the manner of a pack companion, often via fun interaction and play.  Never attempt “serious” training until the dog has fully accepted you. During many training exercises however, ones role changes and one becomes the “pack leader” coaching and enticing the dog to do what is required of it and putting the dog in its place when your authority is questioned.
DISOBEDIENCE: It is important to realise that a dog only disobeys for two reasons. Firstly, because it does not know or understand what is required of it, and secondly, because it does not accept your leadership.  The infliction of any form of correction or chastisement is only effective in the latter case.  It serves only to confuse the dog further in the former. By the same token, the dog has zero human moral values, neither has it any guilt complex, therefore, unlike a child who has disobeyed, we can never assume that the dog “knew” it had done wrong, and punish the crime after the event.
EXAMPLE OF INCORRECT ACTION: You go out for the day leaving the puppy behind in the house. Returning, you open the door and see a puddle on the floor or canine coil neatly parked on the carpet. You immediately get angry and start looking for the puppy in order to punish it.  The puppy senses your anger and cowers under a table or chair to escape your wrath. When you see this you will say to everyone, “I could see that the puppy knew it had done wrong” and then proceed to punish it by rubbing its nose in the offending mess. However, tragically, the dog does not realise that you are angry and it is being punished for relieving itself inside the house. In the dogs eyes you arrived home in a foul temper so he hid from you and received a very unpleasant chastisement into the bargain. To the person who understands dog psychology, this is cruelty, plain and simple.
Remember when dealing with a dog, retribution must accompany the crime and not follow it.  The bad association must be formed with what the dog did wrong, at the exact time of the offence, so that in future, it will soon recall that a similar act will result in some discomfort or unpleasantness. If this principle is not applied “consistently” we could risk ending up with the dog forming a bad association with the handler/master and consequently find that training wise, we have returned to square one.
ALWAYS BE CONSISTENT; IF YOU ARE NOT, YOU WILL FAIL:  or, at the very least, make painfully slow progress!  A dog is trained or conditioned by the timely and applicable use of two approaches: Compulsion (creation of bad or negative associations) and Encouragement (creation of positive reinforcers or associations: i.e. rewards or pleasant memories.) The aim being to get the animal to react the way we want it to, by the use of the relevant stimulant (i.e. sound or signal). So it is logical therefore, that especially during the early stages of training,  the same sound and/ or signal is used to illicit the same response.  Sit one day and Bonzo sit or sit down the next, will not cut it.  Similarly a consistent tone for each sound is important. Use “Come” in an encouraging tone one moment and shouting “Bonzo Come” harshly, if the dog disobeys, is a cardinal error.
THE GOOD AND BAD SOUNDS:  One will invariably find that handlers and their dogs who make the most judicious use of these magic sounds TOGETHER WITH THEIR COMMAND SOUNDS will surge ahead of all other handlers and their dogs who do not. This of course makes complete sense when one remembers that dogs are trained by using a mixture of compulsion and encouragement.
COMMON SOUNDS USED IN TRG:  There are literally dozens and dozens of “sounds or commands” used in dog training. One can use any language one wishes, but as a general rule, the shorter and more distinct each sound is from the rest, the quicker the dog will learn. “Come along”, “come here”, “lie down”, “ Bonzo go fetch it” etc. are examples of sounds that serve only to complicate the conditioning process.
Some of the more common sounds used in obedience and agility; in English are:
HEEL(sharp sound); SIT(sharp sound); DOWN(harsh sound); STAY(soothing sound); COME( sharp encouraging higher pitched sound); STAND (gentle drawn out sound); FORWARD/GO/AWAY; UP; OVER; THROUGH; FETCH; BRING; SEEK; CARRY/HOLD (all sharpish sounds); GO FREE; PLAY(happy sounds); LEAVE (harsh sound);
GOOD SOUND: GOOD DOG, GIRL, BOY ETC. (happy pleasant loving sound)
BAD SOUND (NO, BAD, NAUGHTY, AGHHH, ETC. (very harsh gruff sound)
DOGS NAME: Keep your dog’s names as simple as possible. Only use them sparingly during training to get the animals attention and interest level up BUT of course as often as you like during moments of play and affection; (very pleasant, loving unique sound).
Never train when in a bad mood or when you are angry with your dog.  For example, never shout and scream if the dog fails to come when called. Try bending down, running backwards, lying down etc. etc. and when dog returns, reward, put on lead and do 20 on lead recalls before you attempt the recall off lead again.. Clearly you jumped a few training stages in your recall training programme.  Anger serves only to confuse the animal further. If angry, pause, take a breath and go back a few stages to where you know your dog will succeed at whatever you have been doing and then lavish praise and play a bit.
Every training exercise should be broken down into simple progressive steps (the more the better) and NEVER advance to the next step until such time as you are almost 100% confident of success in the previous step. At the first sign of uncertainty…go back one or more steps, so you ALWAYS FINISH THE TRAINING SESSION ON A HIGH NOTE!! Keep session short.  Six x 10min sessions in a day are 6 times better than 1 x 60 minute session.
It is always preferable, although not cast in stone, to try to acquire a puppy rather than a more mature dog, because a puppy is far more malleable than a dog that may already have acquired bad habits that you may not be aware of. 8 weeks of age is ideal.  Bruce Sessions, a world authority on  emotional development within puppies (you can google Bruce Sessions and the Five Critical Periods) points out that it is during the 4th (8-12weeks) and 5th(13th-16th weeks) critical development periods in a puppies life, that that their character and desired behaviour can be most easily influenced.

John Robert Cox