A well-behaved dog is an asset to his owners and his community. However, dogs are still animals and will follow their natural instincts. They will bark, bite and become aggressive especially if the behavior is not corrected early on.
This is why dog training is important! It teaches the dog manners and makes it easier for him to behave properly when there are other people or animals around. Thus, their human owners need to teach them regarding proper behavior. If you have a new puppy or dog that needs training, here are some tips that you might want to keep in mind.
1. A Puppy Is Not A Small Adult
Some dog owners think of themselves as pet parents and treat their dogs like children. There’s nothing wrong with this as long as they don’t think it’s a miniature human adult. Just like human babies, puppies are essentially still learning and feeling their way through life and their environment. They cannot understand commands like “no” or “go”. They might sound easy to understand but dogs are not born with the inherent ability to understand their human masters.
This means that you need to be patient with them during training. It’s just like teaching your child how to behave properly. You need to be patient and to resign yourself to repeating the same thing over and over until they understand. This means that when you are training a puppy you need to adjust to their physical and mental limitations.
2. Dogs Do Not Understand English
Aside from not understanding simple commands, dogs also cannot understand English and other languages. Dogs have no idea what “nein”, “no” or “ie” means. No matter what language you teach it, dogs are not born knowing how to understand your language even if they are fully grown. This means that you need to teach them how to understand. Dogs are very smart and can understand up to 200 different words but just like kids, you need to teach them how to understand what you mean. Show him what to do in order to make him understand.
3. Train Using High-Value Treats
You will be amazed how hard your dog will be willing to work for a delicious treat. Dogs can easily understand the reward system and many trainers use phrases or treats to reward their dog after a job well done. This is why many pet owners buy treats that they give to their dogs during training. However, these only work well in distraction-free environments.
As the job gets harder, treat your dog to the best dog treats like chicken breast, liver or high-quality dog treats. Believe me, they will know and smell the difference and will work harder in the chance of receiving a high-value treat instead of the usual ones.
When rewarding your dog with a treat or praise, be quick about it. For dogs, treats are treats and they might associate rewards with other behavior. Give your dog a praise or a treat as soon as they have done what you’ve asked.
4. Be Consistent
Training is most effective if you are consistent. All members of the household should also know what is allowed and not allowed for your dog. Install barriers in areas of the house where your dogs are not allowed. When a dog is not allowed to counter-surf, then make sure to tell him consistently to get off or to push him off the counter. Dogs can only understand if rules are reinforced regularly and consistently. If you are inconsistent, your dog will be confused and will not learn. As he gets older, correcting bad behavior becomes a lot harder. It’s best to start early while they are still puppies.
5. Be Happy When Your Dog Comes To You
One of the most common complaints among dog owners is that dogs do not come immediately when they are called. There are many reasons for this but one of the major ones could be your attitude. Another reason they won’t come is that they fear punishment from you. Never punish your dog when they come to you. This is inconsistent behavior that will make them confused.
Be happy when you call your dog. If they did something wrong, save it later and not after you have called them.
6. Remain Positive
Your dog will know if you are sad and frustrated. This is where a positive attitude will help you and your dog. When you are sad, this feeling can transfer to your dog because dogs are inherently sensitive to the feelings of their masters. Instead of feeling down and depressed, keep a positive attitude. Stay cheerful and happy so that your dog will also be cheerful and happy and will be more receptive to training.
7. Take Breaks
Take breaks during dog training. Dogs get bored of the same stuff too. Set a time of day when you will train your dog and then stop after an hour or so and switch to other activities like playing or mental stimulation. Dogs are like kids so they like variety in activities. Intersperse training with fun so your dog can take a break and relax. Sticking to the same schedule will reinforce the behavior and help in the consistency of your training.
8. Don’t Forget To Exercise
Exercise can do wonderful things to your dog. First of all, it boosts blood flow to different parts of his body. Exercise can also prevent obesity in dogs. The ancestors of the dogs are wolves and they roved hundreds of miles a day in search of food. Domesticated dogs are the same as the wolf. They are genetically programmed to run and move. Exercise helps to simulate this behavior and prevents frustration, barking, hyperactivity and home destruction. It also helps to boost your dog’s mental well-being.
Training your dog takes a lot of patience and perseverance. It is better to have a well-trained dog than being frustrated with an untrained one. It is always good to have a well-behaved dog especially if you are around other people. Training also opens a line of communication between you and your dog. In the end, a well-trained dog is a happier dog.
Anna Smith resides in beautiful Santa Monica, CA, where she works as a Pet Nutrition Expert in a leading retail pet store. She is responsible for nutritional strategies for different breeds and development of new products on the market in compliance with Association of American Feed Control Officials. Anna’s passions are education about proven methods and best practices in the industry and her dog Max, who is always well-fed. She also helps curate contents for DogsAholic.com