So are you bringing a new dog home? Do you want to make sure that your pet is well behaved? Is one of your goals to train your dog to serve your needs instead of vice versa? While going to a professional trainer is the best approach, it can be pretty expensive and not everyone can afford it.
The noteworthy news is that there are a number of approaches and philosophies for doing that you can use to train your dog yourself. Engage in some diligent research and learn the approach that works for you and your dog.
In the meantime, here is a look at some of the best tips to help you train your dog:
- Listen to your dog: First and foremost, you have to learn to listen to your dog. For instance, if your pet seems uncomfortable with another dog, person, or animal, do not force him to say hello. For some reason, he is not comfortable and is telling you that – you need to respect this. If you force the issue, it can often lead to bigger problems down the line.
- Be affectionate: A lot of people have no problem showing their dogs that they are unhappy, but they often do not show appreciation for the good things. This is one mistake you should not make. You should always give your dog lots of attention when he does something right. If he has been a good boy, let him know.
- Choose the right treats: When you reward your dog with treats, make sure that you give him a treat he likes. Many products say “a treat loved by all dogs” but it is not necessarily true. There are many dogs that are very particular about the food they eat. Keep a look out for what your dog enjoys and use that treat as rewards while you are training him.
- Tell him what you want him to do: When you tell your dog “no,” there is nothing inherently wrong but it does not give him enough information. Tell your dog what you want him to do. Keep in mind that dogs do not generalize well. Therefore, if your dog jumps on someone as a way of saying hello and you tell him no, he may think that you mean he should jump higher. It might be a better alternative to say “sit.” By telling your dog what you want him to do, it helps avoid confusion.
- Be consistent: During dog training, it is critical to get as many family members as possible involved in the process. This ensures that everyone is on the same page. For example, your dog jumps on the couch and you say “down” while another person says “off,” and still another person allows him to sit on the couch – how is he going to learn what you want? Always remember that consistency is the key to your success.
- Have realistic expectations: Another vital aspect to keep in mind is that changing behavior takes time. You need to have realistic expectations when you are trying to change your dog’s behavior. It may take a while to change behaviors that you do not like. Behaviors that take the most time are often those that are “normal” behaviors in dogs, such as barking, jumping, and digging. You also need to consider the duration your dog has rehearsed that particular behavior. While it is never too late to change a dog’s behavior, remember that there are some that take longer in terms of altering their behavior.
- Feed high-quality food: You should feed your dog high-quality food that has the appropriate amounts of protein. If your dog spends a lot of time lazing around at home, you should not feed him food that contains protein in levels that are better for dogs that herd sheep throughout the day. You should talk to your veterinarian about what type of food is right for your dog.
- Give importance to potty training: When it comes to dog training, potty training is an extremely essential part. Feed your dog at regular mealtimes and make sure that there are no snacks in between meals. Also, give your dog frequent opportunities to go outside to take care of business. Stay out with your dog for potty breaks and praise him when he or she does their duty.
- Give freedom gradually: One mistake that dog owners make is giving their new pet too much freedom too soon. Train your dog and let him earn his freedom throughout your house gradually. Otherwise, it can easily result in destructive chewing and house training-related accidents. Section off parts of your house with baby gates and keep unoccupied rooms closed. Keeping your dog tethered to you when you are inside the house is an effective way to minimize incidents. You can also use a doggie safe area or crate when you are unable to supervise him and they are not fully trained yet.
- Do not bribe, reward: This is another mistake many pet owners make. Instead of rewarding their while training, they bribe them to do what they want. It is a better idea to reinforce him with praise, games, touch and walks. Always keep in mind that it is your dog’s behavior that should produce the treat, not the treat producing the behavior.
Training a dog can be challenging at times, but when you know the basics, it becomes a much easier task. Start with the basics and you cannot go wrong. When you teach your dog the basic obedience commands, it will make your household more pleasant. You will have a happy dog that is always eager to please you. And you will be happier because you will have a dog that is more manageable and more enriching to your life.
When you successfully train your dog, you will prevent a chaotic environment in your home. Everyone will be happy, including guests who do not have to contend with a poorly behaved ball of fur running through the house. Successful dog training will give you a wonderful companion and member of your family.