Dog training is an area that different people will be approaching very differently. Some people may be confident trainers, whose dogs appear regularly in shows, while others might be new pet owners, struggling with a dog that is showing the effects of his troubled past. However, there are some key ideas everyone can benefit from learning and trying out. You can use the following tips to learn a few things that may help both you and your dog to have more fun and to build a closer bond.
Training a dog is easier if the pet is neutered or spayed. Unless you are breeding the animal, taking the hormones out of the equation will greatly calm your pet. Without the constant rush of hormones, a dog is much more docile and receptive to a leader. This will also help control the pet population which is a win-win situation.
Treats are not the mainstay for rewarding your pet when training. Dogs will learn that if you give them a treat for a response they should expect it always. This is not necessary and should be reserved for occasional rewards. Dogs see loving, physical contact as a reward as well and will enjoy it much more than a treat that is gone in a split second.
To help potty train puppies, consider using a crate. Crate training may sound unpleasant, but it’s actually one of the most natural ways to train puppies. A crate is considered their home or den, and puppies have an instinct not to soil in this space. Just be sure to limit the time spent in the crate, so your pup can spend time with you too.
Prepare to administer lessons to your dog repeatedly. Most dogs will not pick up a new command with just one or two tries. Sometimes it is helpful to focus on one or two commands a day so that through your sessions you are repeating enough times to fix the commands solidly in your dog’s memory.
It is important to understand that training your dog will require a lot of patience and repetition. It often takes a dog between 25 and 50 repetitions before they are able to learn a new command. Getting frustrated will only delay your results and may hurt your relationship with your pet.
To keep your dog from barking while you aren’t home, you need to make him think you can appear at any moment. This will take some time on your part. Pretend to leave the house, but stay outside until the barking starts. Then open the door and deliver a stern “No!” This will make your dog think you are all-seeing and all-hearing. A few sessions of this technique, and you’ll train your dog to keep it quiet.
Whatever your skill level and the behavior of your dog, education is key to good dog training. Understanding dog psychology, particularly what influences and motivates dogs and the impact your behavior, body language and ‘body tells’ can have on that is vital. This article has given you some methods and suggestions for doing just that, which should be fun for both you and your dog to try.