Date Published: July 14, 2014, Updated: July 14, 2014 at 11:12 pm, Author: admin
Does your dog know how to sit, stay, and roll over? How about fetch, shake paws, play dead, or other fun tricks and commands?
Whether you are just starting out with a puppy or have a more fully grown dog to work with, training your furry friend can be very rewarding and a lot of fun. Everyone loves a well-trained dog. Not only do you and your pet get to understand and work together better, but training also provides mental stimulation for your dog.
For many though, figuring out how training works can be a challenge. Here are some helpful tips to try when training your dog.
All Training Involves Influencing Behavior
There are tons of resources out there with different methods to train your dog. From library books to online materials, dog owners can also get help in the form of obedience training or puppy kindergarten classes. Many dog owners often have advice to share as well, however, what might seem to work for someone else’s pet might not be the best method for your dog.
Take time to your research and be informed. Whatever technique you decide on, just remember that proper training takes place over time. No matter if you are working on a new trick or trying to get rid of a bad habit, always remember to reinforce and reward the behaviors you want while making sure your dog’s unwanted behaviors aren’t rewarded.
Be Observant and Consistent
While English is a foreign language to dogs, they can be trained to behave a certain way towards particular words, like “sit” and “stay”. These phrases and sounds are basic, but too often owners don’t realize how easy it is to confuse their dog. While they are practically the same to us, the words “Sit!” and “Sit down!” are different to your dog and they might not know how to react. You have to be clear about what you want from your dog. Make sure you and your family members are consistent with both physical and verbal cues.
Especially if you’re working with a puppy, also remember that dogs are sort of like kids. They tend to have shorter attention spans. When teaching a new skill, about 10- 15 minute sessions that involve baby steps and consistent repetitions tend to work well. Keep things interesting during a session by alternating between newer skills and older skills so your dog can both learn and solidify their abilities.
Use Affection and Treats
Dogs are motivated by the things they want, whether it’s a tasty bully stick, head pat, belly rub, or attention from you, their much-loved owner. They also live in the present, so pay attention to what your dog likes and use them when training and reinforcing good behavior right when it happens. Likewise, withhold treats or attention when your dog is exhibiting behaviors that you don’t want.
Training takes patience, but if you are consistent with your rewards your dog will quickly learn that sitting will get them what they want where jumping on people won’t.