If you’ve never trained a dog before, then this article is a good place to start your own training. Preparation is key to being a positive and effective trainer. Thankfully, the article which follows has a ton of information you can use.
You will want to use your pet’s name to get his or her attention. Use your dog’s name when calling to go for a walk, for meal times, and for play. This will teach your dog to pay attention when you say their name. Never punish a dog for coming to you when you call them.
Swatting or hitting your dog is not a good training method. If you attempt to train your dog in this manner, all you are teaching them is to be scared of you. Eventually, the dog will stop listening to voice commands, and will only respond to you raising your hand. Getting a dog’s loyalty through fear is a mistake on the owner’s part.
One of the most important things to remember when training your dog is that it is a lifelong process. Many owners think that once their pet has the basics down, the training process is over. Dogs, much like people, learn throughout their lives, and consistent training will help them to be well-behaved and friendly.
Sometimes it may be necessary to physically establish yourself as the Alpha in the pack. If your animal is being aggressive to another animal or a person, hold them by the scruff of the neck and put them in a prone position on the ground firmly, not violently. This lets your dog know you are in charge and exhibits behavior they would expect from another dog.
Reinforcement is a key element in dog training. Reinforcement only works, however, when it is executed with the proper timing. Excitedly saying, “Good girl!” just a few seconds too late has little positive impact on the dog’s future performance in terms of the desired act. Reinforcement for desired behavior should be immediate.
When you are working on commands with your dog, work only on one command at a time, and only say the command one time. Do not say the command word more than once. Your goal is for your dog to obey the command immediately. You don’t want to have to say the same thing over and over.
When you are training your dog, remember to take frequent breaks and not try to teach too much all at once. Your dog will quickly become overwhelmed and refuse to follow directions if the training period is too long. So ensure your sanity and your dogs by teaching in small increments.
When doing a training session with your dog, set a specific goal for that session. When you reach that goal, end the session, even if you were planning on going longer. This helps keep both you and your dog focused on the results, as well as ensuring that each session ends on a positive note.
Not all dog training needs to involve food based treats. Some dog breeds respond better to non-edible rewards. These rewards could very well include stuffed toys, rawhide bones, or rope toys. They will also have the added benefit of giving you and your dog a new activity to enjoy together.
If your dog suffers from separation anxiety, an easy way to train them out of it is to avoid giving them attention immediately before and after you leave. It may seem mean to the dog if you don’t say goodbye before you leave, but those long goodbye cuddles just give the dog a chance to get worked up.
When training your dog, it helps to understand the unique hygiene and grooming requirements of his breed. Attention to your dogs grooming needs, whether it’s a weekly thing, as some breeds require or less frequently, gives you time to build a good relationship with your dog. Grooming is a good way to keep a clean, happy dog which can also provide health benefits.
Build your dog’s attention span by increasing challenges. If your dog knows a command well at home try it outside on a quiet sidewalk. If he succeeds at these tasks consistently bring him to a more noisy area like the park. This builds up his attention span and increases his likelihood of listening to you around chaos.
A dog with hobbies is a happy dog. Make your dog work on walks. Many large breed dogs enjoy carrying items during walks such as tennis balls, sticks, or even dog-sized backpacks. This gives a dog a sense of purpose and gives him something to concentrate on. This way his attention span will be less likely to stray from your walk.
Good behavior should be reinforced and bad behavior should be discouraged. Your dog will benefit from consistency. This consistency will allow your dog to understand your message clearly. If there’s no reward to performing a behavior, your dog will be less likely to try it.
It might be hard but you have to be patient when you are training your dog. Dogs don’t understand English and he isn’t a person. Your dog only picks up on gestures and tones while not understand why you are acting a certain way. Stay calm, step back and take a breather when you become frustrated.
Leaders should always go first, and you should teach that to your dog. If you walk through doors and your dog rushes past you through the opening, it means you do not have control and your dog believes he is leader. Blocking the door so he can’t get through first, or teaching him to sit or stay while you walk ahead, helps him understand he needs to stop and follow your lead.
Remember that your dog training is going on 24 hours a day. Do not make the mistake of thinking that you are only training your dog during your obedience classes and practice sessions. Your dog is watching and learning from you during every interaction you have with it, so be sure you are always reinforcing good behavior.
Dog training, through tips like these, is a fun and helpful hobby. You do not have to pay for long and expensive training classes. Don’t put it off. Get started today to develop a well-behaved, happy pet.