Training your dog offers many benefits for the both
of you. Dogs tend to prefer having boundaries, and
most owners tend to prefer their dogs to have basic
obedience skills. Some dog owners see training as a
daunting hurdle that requires a large time commitment,
but this is not always the case. Training does not have to be
a gargantuan task loaded with frustration and shortcuts.
In fact, if done correctly, training should be quite the opposite. With the right approach, patience and the help of some training aids, you can train your dog!
Positive reinforcement goes a long way in teaching your dog right from wrong. Rewarding your dog properly will create a positive association with a desirable behavior. Some dogs prefer food treats as a reward while others respond better to playtime with their favorite toys
as a reward. Figuring out what your dog responds to best is the first step to rewarding positive, desirable behavior.
Having realistic expectations for training begins with the assumption that training will take time, and progress will be seen in small yet noticeable increments. Training is best received by dogs in small bursts. Training sessions should be concise to maintain your dog's focus. Three, 15 minute training sessions per day usually work better than one, 45 minute training session.
As mentioned earlier, creating positive associations is key to effective training. One of the tools that many trainers recommend is a clicker. By giving your dog a treat every time you press the clicker, your dog will feel rewarded. Clicker training
is a great way to reward your dog's behavior without feeding them too many treats.
Training is a life-long, ongoing activity that will need to be brushed up on and tuned from time to time. Practicing each new trick in different locations under different circumstances also aids in the efficacy of these commands. This teaches your dog to obey you in places other than your home, as well. Finally, incorporating training into your daily routine will encourage obedience to become a habit. Five minutes of practice per day is better than none.
Dogs cannot make associations over large gaps of time. The instant your dog produces a desirable behavior, they should be rewarded. If your dog prefers treats as a reward, you should consider a treat pouch
to hold your treats in during training sessions. This product allows you to easily access treats for quick rewards while also keeping your pockets free of treat crumbs!
Using a proper collar
is especially important when teaching your dog how to walk next to you on a leash. Training your dog to walk calmly on the leash is similar to every other aspect of training: reward good behavior. If your dog is walking calmly and is behaving desirably, reward him for it. Once again, positive reinforcement is key.
Crate training is useful in many aspects of training. For one, dog's associate their crate
as their "den", which means they are unlikely to soil their crate. This can give you a leg-up on potty training your dog. Always remember to introduce the crate
in small doses (no more than 3 to 4 hours for puppies) and to never use the crate as a punishment. Crate training isn't limited to puppies, adult dogs can be crate trained too.
Many dog owners turn to training after behavioral problems start to arise. Though it is never too late to start training, prevention is the best course of action when dealing with potential behavioral problems. One of the best ways to prevent behavioral issues such as boredom and separation anxiety is to ensure that your dog is getting proper exercise. Remember, an exercised dog is a happy dog!
Potty training takes patience, consistency and a routine. Set up a schedule for taking your dog outside at regular times during the day so that your dog will associate those times with "bathroom breaks". If you can't always guarantee that you will be available to let your dog out, make sure to have training pads
around and encourage your dog to eliminate there instead.
Sometimes the best way to learn something is by discussing with a professional. If you find yourself unsure of how to deal with certain behaviors or even just curious about how professionals tackle training, you should talk to a professional trainer. Finding a good trainer that works well with your dog can make a huge difference in training.
It is never too late to start training. Whether you have a brand new puppy or a senior dog, training can offer many benefits to the both of you. Training throughout your dog's life will ultimately strengthen the bond the two of you share and create a stress free relationship between you and your pet!