One of the most important things you can do as a pet parent is to train your dog well, but it is often difficult to know how to get started. Since January is your National Dog Training month, we thought we’d share some useful tips to help you and your puppy get going.
1. Use positive reinforcement techniques
Almost all veterinarians agree that positive improvement training is the most effective way to train dogs. Positive improvement training is primarily focused on rewarding your pet for good behavior, rather than punishing bad behavior.
When your dog shows good behavior and responds positively to your commands, reward him! By rewarding good behavior, you strengthen the connection between good behavior and good work.
It is also important that you do not reward unwarranted behavior in the unknown. For example, if your dog barks at you to play or jumps up to say hello, don’t accept it or give up, as it only reinforces bad behavior. Instead, wait until he calms down before paying attention to him.
2. Get the right rewards.
Some dogs are inspired by food, they will respond with great enthusiasm to any type of food eaten as a reward. There are other smarter: often, soft and chewy foods are preferred over hard and chewy ones.
However, some dogs are not interested in food at all. If this happens to your puppy, try trying other rewards, such as a quick play session with a favorite toy, or lots of love.
3. Consistency is key.
Consistency in your training is very important. This includes consistency in how you train your dog-for example, always using the same words, and even the same kind of emotion, when you ask him to do something.
It is also important that everyone in your home is on the same page. Dogs need consistency to learn new habits, so if you never let the dog on the sofa, but your partner does, the dog will get confused.
4. A little training and a lot of practice.
Short training sessions that are repeated throughout the day are more effective than long ones. The American Kennel Club recommends keeping Sessions a maximum of five minutes; long and your dog may wander or get frustrated.
Dogs often struggle to generalize commands to other places or situations (for example, understanding that saying “sit” at home is the same thing as “sitting” on a busy street), so it is useful to repeat your training sessions in several places, with different people and with different levels of attention so that the puppy learns to respond correctly to the same command all the time.
5. Prepare in stages.
Starting small can be beneficial, especially when it comes to more complex behaviors such as “avoidance” or behavior modification (when you’re trying to get rid of unwanted behavior).
Try to cut the dough into small portions. For example, first, if you are training to “come,” praise and reward your dog when he takes a step towards you. It is very easy to add steps and create the whole behavior as soon as the puppy starts to hang it.
6. Make it stronger.
Training should be fun, both for you and your dog! Always keep it positive, and try to mix things up to keep it interesting, such as adding short play sessions to your training between repetitions.
You can also consider training your dog to perform tricks in addition to regular obedience training. As humans, we naturally respond with more excitement by watching a dog roll over than we did on a regular old picket-our dogs pick up on this excitement and end up loving to cuddle for us!
It’s easy to get caught up in the ultimate goal of training, but remember to praise your dog for any minor improvements.
7. Congratulations on the little things.
Always remember to praise your dog for any improvement, no matter how small. It’s easy to get caught up in the ultimate goal of training, but celebrating Small Victories is no less important and will help keep both you and the dog motivated.
8. Training in everyday life.
By making training part of your pet’s regular routine, it’s much easier to fit in several short sessions. For example, ask your dog to sit down or respond to another command before giving him dinner, take him out for a walk, or play with him.
9. Use your hands.
We can do as much as we want, dogs cannot understand language the same way we do. Many dogs respond better to hand signals than verbal commands, so try to combine the two, or just start with hand signals and later include verbal commands.
10. Consult with a dog trainer or attend a training course.
If you are struggling, feel free to contact a professional dog trainer or attend a training class. Usually one of the fastest ways to get results, professional trainers have years of knowledge that can be used to help you and your puppy. They will have many different types of problems in their career, so they should consider how to solve any problems that may come up.
When choosing a coach, take the time to do a little research. Make sure they use positive radiance techniques, read lots of reviews or get quotes if you can.
We offer a wide range of training courses in a variety of locations-get in touch with our team for more information!