If you are completely new to the world of dog training, then you are probably thinking that some tips on the best ways to train your dog is going to help you immensely, so that you can teach your dog to obedience. Listed below are some tips to get you started with your dog training aspirations.
Try introducing a clicker to reinforce great behavior. To start using a clicker, all you need to do is make a positive association between the noise the clicker makes and great things happening. Try clicking and treating immediately, and doing this several times over a few days. Soon enough, your dog will recognize that this noise means “great,” turning the clicker into a useful tool for shaping desirable behavior.
Start your dog training with something that will be easy for your dog to learn. Not only will you get the instant gratification of your success, but also, your dog will gain the important foundation of what an acceptable trick or behavior is. This provides you with greater results throughout the training.
For dogs that bark unnecessarily, do not shout at your dog. Shouting to counteract barking can actually be a positive reinforcement for dogs, since they do not understand that you are not reacting at their barking. This feedback loop leads the dog to believe that whatever they’re barking at is actually a big deal, so stay calm and distract your dog to deter problem barking.
Every interaction, moment and situation is a learning experience for your dog. While you can’t control the environment around you, you can control how you react with your dog. Keep a composed demeanor when you’re working with your dog, and try not to intimidate him, even when you’re frustrated or upset.
If you wish your dog to respond to commands such as ‘sit’, you should spend up to ten minutes every day positioning your dog in the right position and repeating the command. Your dog will associate the word with the action of sitting. Be patient and reward your dog every time it obeys the command.
If you’re tired of the commands your dog already knows, try spicing up an old behavior. A fun trick is teaching your dog to give either paw when asked. You can teach this a few ways, but try picking up the corresponding paw to your hand and treating and praising. When your dog gets the idea, treat and praise for successful raising of the right paw!
If you have gotten a dog or puppy and you have crate trained them you should always try not to keep them in there for more than four or five hours at a time unless it’s overnight or it’s just a once-in-awhile thing. If you have to have them in the crate for longer periods of time, a dog probably wasn’t the best option for you.
When you are training your doggy friend, use what is known as primary reinforcement. Primary reinforcement uses something that is inherent for the dog to love as a reward for good behavior. Primary reinforcements include using food as treats and rubbing your dog’s belly. This will teach your dog how to get something he already wants.
If you are a dog owner, then you may think that it is impossible to train your dog, but this does not have to be true. Dog training is very simple, and can be done by even the most busy owners, once they have taken the time to understand what the dog needs.
Teach your puppy the “Leave it!” command. This command is very important in day-to-day situations. Use it if your dog tries to grab food off a table or eat rabbit poop when you are out for a walk. To get the dog to follow your command, hold a treat in your hand (have one in the other hand, also). Hold your hand open, and when he goes for the treat, close your hand as you say the command “Leave it!” Then offer him the other treat, and discard the one you told him to leave. Repeat this step a few times, and he will learn to “Leave it!” when you tell him to.
Do not generalize when telling your dog what not to do. It is okay to tell your dog “no” but that word does not give your dog the full picture of what he needs to understand. If you say no when your dog jumps on you to greet you, he may move to another side of you to jump, because he assumes the other side was wrong. Teach your dog to sit down to greet you, and he will have a better picture of what you want.
Make sure your dog knows right from wrong in all instances. This will require firm boundaries from everybody in your house. In other words, if your dog is not allowed on your couch when you’re home, don’t let your husband nap with Fido when you’re out grocery shopping. It undermines your efforts quickly!
If there is a behavior you’d like your dog to be able to do on command, make sure you praise him whenever he offers this behavior. This works well for tricks that you are actively teaching, as well as actions that he does naturally. For instance, if you think it would be fun to teach your dog to sneeze whenever you ask, simply say, “Sneeze,” and treat him whenever he does sneeze. Sooner or later, he will learn the association between the word “sneeze,” the action of sneezing, and the reward.
When it is time to leash train your new dog or puppy, you must let him know that you are boss. Punishment does nothing but make him afraid of you and it doesn’t actually correct the behavior. One thing that you should do, is make a short leash so that he has to stay right by your side. Do not let him lead you. You are the leader, not him.
As you can see from the above list of tips, dog training can be very useful in getting your dog to behave and to even do a few cool tricks. After following these tips, you will no longer be new to dog training, instead you will be on your way to becoming a dog training expert.