Knowing how to effectively train your dog is not an intuitive process. Many times, we fail to remember that dogs simply don’t speak English, and they often don’t know what we want them to do. This article details some easy-to-implement things that you can do as a pet owner to have a better behaved, happier dog.
Make training a part of your dog’s daily routine. Ten minutes of obedience training every day gives much better results than an hour of training once a week. The dog has less time to forget the lessons learned and it is much easier to keep a dog’s attention for a few minutes at a time. Also, the dog will not end up eating so many treats in a single session that hunger is no longer a good motivator to learn new commands.
A clicker and a few treats can be a very effective method of training your dog. Because a clicker can be easier for a dog to understand than a voice command, lessons can be quick and productive. Training sessions should not be longer than about fifteen minutes, since dogs do have short attention spans.
Make training fun for you and your dog. Choose treats that your dog loves, and give lots of excited praise for good results and even good efforts. Keep sessions short and lively. Give your dog plenty of chances to succeed by practicing commands that he or she knows well, but also add variations and new lessons to keep training interesting.
It is a good idea to teach your dog basic commands by using hand signals in addition to voice commands. This can be done either at the beginning of training or added after he already knows the command. Hand signals can be beneficial in situations where your dog might not be able to hear your voice and if you decide to continue on and compete in dog obedience classes.
Crate-training is an excellent way to curb bad potty habits. Your puppy or dog will benefit from a sanctuary fitted to his size. Dogs are evolutionarily designed to stay away from where they ‘go’, so a crate uses this fact to your advantage. This also makes it more likely that your dog will hold it until you get home, however, never use the crate as a form of punishment.
To help you begin training your dog you should understand that having patience is very important. All dogs are different and do not learn at the same pace. Some learn quickly while others at a slower pace. Having patience is a key first step as you set out to train your dog.
Try to command dogs with one word or a small phrase rather than a lengthy phrase. Smaller commands are easier to remember and recognize from other people, whereas longer phrases can be confusing to a dog. Make sure everyone uses the same phrase to command a dog to avoid confusion.
Part of a successful dog training program is to keep the dog healthy. Your pet cannot respond to you well if it is feeling poorly. Make sure to take your dog to the veterinarian for regular checkups or for any illnesses that might arise. While you are there, get a microchip implanted in case you ever lose track of your precious pet.
Learning to listen to your dog will make you a better trainer of him. Animals are not robots that can be programmed and your dog has a personality with preferences and quirks, just like you. Understanding the nuances of your dogs expressions will help you decipher more in training and therefore, expand your ability to teach him.
Never use physical force when training your dog. If you forced him, it turns a normally happy dog into one who is skittish and fearful. Dogs can learn very well without physical force. You can use positive reinforcement instead, to teach your dog. Reward your dog when he correctly performs a desired behavior.
One tip to keep in mind when training your dog is to be sure that you establish clear goals before starting any sort of routine. This will ensure that you and your dog have a clear focus on the intended task or behavior. Direct action is essential to proper training.
Does your dog bark excessively? If he does, do not give him treat to quiet him, or raise your voice to quiet him. If he is quiet, offer him treats then, and a lot of attention and praise. By doing this you are encouraging the silent behavior you are after.
If you want your dog to stop digging, play with him in the yard. Many dogs who dig do so out of boredom and the desire to get back at their owner. Playing in the yard with your pet offers him the socialization and exercise he needs, and it is also a fun way to bond with your favorite pooch.
Any time that you are training one of your dogs, whether for behavior or simply to learn a new trick, it is essential that you ensure you have their attention first. This will help them to learn that you are the one in control and it also helps establish respect.
Remember that you must respect your dog’s boundaries. The fact is that you cannot change a dog from being a dog. Your dog does not speak English, and you cannot rationalize his behavior with him. Some dogs will have issues so severe that you can only minimize the impact of the issue on their lives. Consult with a trainer about your dog’s specific limitations, and what you can reasonably expect.
One of the very first commands you should teach a new puppy is the “leave it” command, which tells them to drop an item and step back from it. This simple command will get them to stop chewing on household items or furniture, and can keep them away from dirty or potentially dangerous items outside the home.
Most people find that, with a little bit of dog training, their relationship with their dog improves tremendously. And as you can see, training your dog, while not an intuitive process, IS a much easier process than most people think. So put some of our suggestions into practice, and you’ll see for yourself!