All dog training follows 3 phases. This goes for positive methods, force methods, or a combination of both, these three sentences apply to them all.
1. The Learning Phase.
2. The Correction Phase.
3. The Proofing (or distraction) Phase
Let's look at how these three items link together for a solid training process.
1. The learning phase. Before a dog can perform a behavior they must learn it. In this phase there are no corrections, no distractions, and the dogs are allowed to make mistakes while we teach them what we want them to do.
The learning phase is where most owners go wrong and start to hinder the training process by being strict and putting too much stress on the dog.
Imagine it like this, a kid is learning their ABC's for the first time. Each time the kid makes a mistake the teacher hits them with a ruler on the arm.
Is that a fair way to teach? No. Yet owners world wide think this is the right way. It is not and it only hinders your efforts.
2. Once the dog has a clear understanding of the behavior (Can perform it on cue at least 95% of the time) we add corrections.
Once again people misunderstand and think it's okay to go to town on their dogs and correct them for any minor infraction.
And once again they are wrong. In the correction phase you want to give your dog the chance to work and be successful but if they disobey we introduce corrections in order to show them their are consequences for their behavior.
3. To increase the dogs ability to perform the behavior we introduce distractions.
Starting out with mild distractions you want to gradually introduce distractions that are great enough to cause disobedience. The great the distraction the more likely the dog is going to disobey or not respond in a timely manner.
Distraction training never ends. You want to introduce new distractions and new situations to your dogs on a regular basis and help them learn how to be more reliable in every day situations.
If the training method you are using to does not have one or more of these phases then you should start looking for one that has them all. You will get better results as a result.