Did you get a new dog? Is this your first pup?
The first thing you want to do is train your dog.
I know, this sounds VERY overwhelming! And the truth is that it can also be very frustrating. However, once mastered, can be extremely rewarding!
Dogs, like humans, need and appreciate structure.
The training process will also help strengthen the bond between you and your furry friend!
Weather your trying to potty train your puppy, get her to stop barking or teach her a few tricks, these 10 tips will:
- help speed up the training process
- make the training more effective
- enable you to get the best results
So lets turn this training into a fun and positive experience that you both can enjoy!
With these 10 great tips, you will be on your way to having the best behaved dog in the park!!
1. Go wild over positive behaviors; ignore negative behaviors.
It’s important to understand how the minds of animals (and humans) work.
When you make a big deal of a particular behavior that your pet does he will want to do that act again.
By giving your pet extra attention when he completes a task you are reinforcing that behavior and increasing the chances of that act being repeated.
Therefore, it is critically important that you shower your dog with attention, love, and heaps of praise when he listens to your command.
Let your pup know when he is getting it right!
Also, it is equally as important to ignore your dog when he engages in a behavior that is unwanted.
Show no attention towards it at all.
Any kind of attention you show will only reinforce that behavior.
2. Never punish your furry friend.
Studies show that punishing a pet increases the risk of anxiety and will only have a negative effect down the road.
Dog’s that were punished in their youth tend to grow up to become more aggressive and harsh.
Punishment can really break your pup’s trust in you.
So, instead of punishing your dog’s bad behavior, simply ignore it and after a brief pause, draw his attention to doing something more acceptable.
Then, when he completes that task, reward him with something he enjoys.
Maybe he enjoys when you play with him or pet him.
Or maybe he’ll enjoy a yummy treat.
Only you know what your dog loves.
Now would be a good time to reward him.
3. Slow and steady wins the race.
Dogs (especially puppies) have a short attention span.
They can only focus for a short period of time before getting distracted.
You will be much more productive if you keep your training sessions short and sweet.
In order for your training to be most effective, you will have to allow breaks between sessions for your pup to rest his mind before training again.
Arrange for training sessions to be in small increments throughout the day; every day.
Consistency is key.
4. Your dog is talking to you; listen!
Learn to pick up on your dog’s behavior.
They are trying to communicate to you.
For instance, if your dog seems to be uncomfortable meeting another dog or person, don’t insist that he say hello.
He’s telling you that he’s not feeling up to greeting others right now.
Don’t force him to.
Forcing a dog to do something that he clearly doesn’t want to do will only result in bigger problems down the road.
5. Sprinkle training throughout the day.
It’s a good idea to make training part of your daily routine.
Ask your pup to sit after entering a different room or while you’re watching TV, and so on.
By training your pup these behaviors throughout the day as part of “regular life”, he will learn to do these behaviors even without you asking.
6. Shower your pup with love.
Dogs perform better when they feel loved.
We all do.
They are more readily willing to listen to you if you have developed a strong relationship with them.
So, shower your fluff baby with love.
Make sure you give him lots of attention when he does the right thing.
Let them know when he’s a good boy.
And don’t worry – you can never overdo loving your pet!
7. Train in places without distractions.
Try to avoid training outdoors.
Training sessions should be initially in areas that have little or no distractions.
An empty, quiet room indoors would be a perfect environment for dog training. Once your pup is doing well, you can slowly add in distractions.
However, keep in mind that you may have to go back to square one after adding in the distractions.
But that’s ok.
8. Communicate with other household members.
It is very important to tell all other people in your house what behavior you are currently training your dog and how you are training him.
Be sure to let them know which words and which hand signals you use so that they can use the same.
If other members in the house attempt to get your pup to do a particular act by using a different hand motion, it will only confuse him.
Being completely consistent will help your dog learn faster.
9. Let your fur prince gradually earn territory throughout your home.
So many people make the same mistake when they get a new pet – they give them full rights to everywhere in the house right away.
This can easily lead to destructive behavior such as chewing on or breaking furniture, and not being obedient.
So, at the very start, be sure to close off doors to rooms that are off limits to your pup.
Also, use baby gates to section off parts of the house, if necessary.
Then, gradually give your pup rights to enter other areas of your home until he’ll have eventually earned his right to your entire lovely home.
10. Don’t trust the package!
It is important to identify which treats your pet really enjoys.
Don’t trust the package.
Just because it says on the package “your puppy will love it”, it doesn’t mean he will.
Every pup is different.
Only you know what your puppy loves; nobody else!
If you are using treats in your training lessons, be sure that your dog enjoys them.
If it isn’t his favorite treat he may not be motivated to learn what you are trying to teach him.
Now it's your turn...
Which tip are you going to implement first? Are you going to start with showering your pup with love, or communicating with your family members?