Dogs have become an essential part of American life in over 60% of US households. Of that 60% of Americans who own a dog(s), only a small amount of them are enrolled in professional canine obedience training to learn fundamental skills. For those who cannot afford obedience training, or don’t have the time, here are a few dog training tips to get started on your own:
1. A significant key to teaching your dog desired behaviors boils down to the way you reward the responses that you like and make sure the actions you don’t want, aren’t rewarded. If your dog answers to a command in a way that you like, reinforce that he/she did an excellent job by giving them a treat or small pat on the head. If your dog does not answer in a way that you appreciate, do not punish the dog, but instead give a stern “no” to let them know that that was not the correct thing to do. You can try top healthy dog foods for rewarding your dog as well.
2. Be patient and understand that your dog cannot understand a word you are saying. Without reinforcement of what your words mean, to your canine, it sounds like you are chattering in a foreign language. Training your pet(s) takes time, energy, and patience, but don’t worry because animals are smarter than they look and will catch on eventually. It is also beneficial to start training as young as possible. It will be easier to teach a puppy rather than a dog who is seven years of age.
3. Some training methods use punishment, such as scolding, to discourage dogs from doing anything except what the owner–or master, wants them to do. Other ways are created to focus on what you do want the dog to do. This form uses rewards such as treats, games, or praise.
4. Using punishment as a technique is not always effective. With every action, there are consequences. The repercussions of inflicting pain upon your pet could either result in the canine deciding that humans are alarming due to being hurt every time he/she tries to greet one, or your pet may determine that you are frightening since you abuse them every time they try to welcome people.
5. Consequences must be immediate and consistent. Keep in mind that dogs live only in present time, unlike humans, and have a small memory. If your dog does something you don’t like, take action immediately. The longer you postpone taking action upon your canine, the harder it will be for the dog to remember what they did wrong, which could lead to confusion. Your dog is more likely to learn if they are corrected right away, not hours afterward.
6. When you are teaching your dog new skills, keep the training sessions short and sweet. Compare a dog’s attention span to that of a child. It doesn’t last very long. Training sessions should not exceed roughly 15 minutes and it is beneficial to remember to end all training sessions on a good note. You do not want to prolong a course if you feel yourself getting worked up or frustrated.
These are only a few of the dozens of dog training tips out there to successfully train your dog to have a respectful etiquette. However, keep in mind that all dogs are different and various methods may work better than others. It’s up to you to research and find out what works best for you and your pup, then go from there. Happy training!