Getting a new dog is an exciting journey indeed! The idea of getting home to wagging tails, sloppy kisses, and all the love and affection after a whole day of stress at work can bring a smile to anyone.
That said, if you do buy or adopt a dog training makes a big difference between what’s mentioned above and a pet that destroys your home. Unfortunately, canine training can be quite intimidating, especially for first-time fur parents.
Not to worry, though. This post puts together a comprehensive guide to help you get started. Here are some canine training tips and tricks to successfully train the new member of your family.
Consult With The Expert
Before you start your dog training adventures, consider speaking with the experts first. For one, you can talk to your vet. They can offer you breed-specific advice on how to train your pup and get them to obey.
Also, if your pup came from a pound or rescue facility, they may suffer from anxiety or a health condition, making training more difficult. In this case, your approach to his training will differ from others.
In addition, you can consult expert trainers like the ones from Allbreeds. They can help provide pointers on how to effectively train your dog. If you don’t have the time, a dog training service at Allbreeds can also provide hands-on, full training for your pup.
Invest In The Right Equipment
When training your pup, having the basic equipment can make the process easier. In general, your dog training toolkit should include these things:
A pup just won’t listen to you unless it benefits them. Thus, you need to lure them with treats. Since you’ll be giving him treats for every job well done, you want to choose healthy dog treats. Then, make sure to cut these into small chunks so they won’t fill up your pup and make him sluggish before finishing your training sessions.
A Trusty Leash And Collar
A leash and collar help you control your pup and prevent them from running away during training. It’s recommended to use a short leash of about four feet or less when starting your training. This can instill discipline and keep them close.
As you move forward with your training, you can transition to using a longer leash.
This one is optional, but it helps make training a bit easier. Like treats, a clicker can mark and reinforce a correct behavior – whether in response to a signal you give or when it occurs naturally.
Set Up A Private Training Den
Untrained dogs, especially pups, have a short attention span–they just want to play with you and can be easily distracted by their surroundings. Don’t commit a dog training error; instead, consider using a dedicated space for your training session to have your pup’s full attention.
A private training space can also help you instill discipline. For instance, if your dog becomes too excited and won’t listen to commands, you can simply leave the room until they calm down. Then, you can continue the session when they’ve regained focus.
Keep Commands Short And Consistent
Speaking of commands, a key tip to ensure faster learning is to keep your commands short. Dogs are smart, but it doesn’t mean that they can process a whole sentence. They can’t discern commands if they are wordy.
This is the reason why trainers use simple, short commands. Go with the universal commands–sit, go potty, fetch, stay, talk, good dog.
Further to keeping it short, you also want to keep your commands consistent. So, if you taught your pup to ‘stay,’ use that word every single time. Don’t use its alternative like ‘hold,’ ‘stop,’ or ‘wait.’ It’ll only confuse your pup and make it more difficult to reinforce the behavior you want.
Be Assertive And Watch Your Tone
In general, a dog will process your first two words of what you’re doing and tend to focus more on your tone to check your mood. When giving a command or talking to your pup, you need to say it with a commanding and assertive tone.
A dog can read your intent and mood from your body language, gestures, and even scent. So, the best way to approach training is to have a calm and assertive demeanor. It encourages obedience and trust while showing them who’s in charge without seeming an aggressive character.
Use Positive Reinforcements
Positive reinforcement is believed to be among the most effective methods to train your dog. At its core, positive reinforcement means focusing on rewarding your pup for their good behavior. It means never punishing them for their bad behavior too.
When your dog shows good behavior or follows a command, you reward them. By rewarding good behavior, you’re reinforcing a connection between good behavior and them getting good things in return.
That said, you need to be careful not to reward his unwanted behavior. Most dog owners do this unintentionally. For instance, when you arrive home from work, do you pick up your dog when they jump at you? Or do you give them food when they beg on your lap or bark nonstop?
While it may seem like they’re just excited to see you or asking you to feed them, you’re actually rewarding and reinforcing their bad behavior. As a result, whenever you arrive home or a guest comes over, they’ll jump up to them. Or when you’re eating dinner, they’ll keep on barking or begging until you give them food.
When these situations occur, ignore your dog. Wait until they’re calmer before giving them attention. Also, never yell or punish them for unwanted behaviors, as using aggressiveness can be counter-productive.
Training will require patience–lots of it! Dogs tend to be clueless and don’t pick up on good behavior easily. Chewing up random objects, barking away at night, peeing on the furniture or carpets–these are things they do instinctively without knowing the consequences.
Having no idea of the rules they must follow living with you, you shouldn’t expect them to quickly understand. Thus, when teaching these rules, be extremely patient. They’ll eventually get there.
Training your dog is a big undertaking. That said, it’s a great bonding experience for you and your pup. Regardless of what behavior or tricks you’re trying to teach your pup, hopefully, the tips above can help you achieve success.