Dogs are one of the most popular pets on the planet. With care and training, dogs can be part of every aspect of your life and be an active companion.
Proper training should be a priority for all dogs, from puppies to adults, to prevent any mishaps either at home or out and about.
#1 Patience Is Key
Dogs do not speak English. They recognize their name because it is repeated multiple times, on a daily basis. This is the same for any kind of command.
Make sure you choose keywords and phrases ahead of time so you don’t confuse yourself or the dog with ‘heel’ or ‘with me’. Take a little time each day to practice these commands inside before taking them to the outside where your dog will be distracted by smells and sounds.
You should repeat the command several times in a row, always giving a treat or praise when the command is followed.
#2 Find What Works
You will have to find what your dog responds to when it comes to training. Some dogs thrive on just words of praise and some play time, others require some treats to tempt them into listening to your commands.
If your dog has a favorite toy that they will work for, then use that to train with. Make your dog work for every reward and use words of praise in conjunction with treats.
#3 Your Dog Is Not “Bad”
For as much as we attribute human characteristics to them, your dog is still an animal who follows his instinct. Dog training is meant to counter that instinct, but it does not eliminate it. A dog is not bad when he takes food from the counter or if he knocks over the trash and makes a mess.
He wants to eat and the food is there. Instead, train him to ‘leave it’ and offer him an approved alternative. Always reward positively when he follows his training instead of his instincts.
#4 Nip It In The Bud
Train desirable behaviors early and often before the unwanted behaviors become unmanageable. What is cute as a puppy is not acceptable as an adult dog. This includes barking, jumping up, and aggressiveness.
These behaviors can be taught to older dogs, even those rescued from a shelter who may not have had any training before. The idea is to set limits and expectations and repeat it many times daily. As always, reward the dog for following commands.
#5 Learn To Speak Dog
A dog cannot tell you when it is scared or angry, but his body language will let you know. Learn your dog’s signals for when he is feeling happy or overwhelmed. This will head off any dangerous situations before they can even start.
Don’t force your dog into obeying when they balk at something. Try again later when they are calm and ready to learn. You’ll find that some dogs are easy to read and others may take time.
Training your dog can be a trying, but rewarding, endeavor, but even old dogs can learn new tricks. A well-trained dog will be an asset to your family for years to come.
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