10 Tips To Help You Train Your Dog

by | Apr 25, 2021 | Pet Training

We live in a world with so many distractions, it can be hard to stay focused on what is in front of us. Our days are filled with work, errands, family obligations, and planning for the future. Sometimes we neglect the things that matter most to us—our dogs! Left alone too long or not given proper exercise and attention our beloved four legged friends can quickly grow into disobedient monsters. But never fear! There are plenty of simple training techniques that help keep your dog happy and obedient while increasing your bond as well.

1. Start young

The sooner you start to train your dog, the better. Like humans, dogs reach their “prime” at different ages. Their behavior and obedience skills will be most helpful to you in the early stages of their lives. If you bring home an adult dog, it will be harder to housebreak and potty train them due to their already set routines and inherent stubbornness. Not all dogs are created equal! Some breeds are smarter, more energetic, or more independent than others. Your job is to understand what kind of dog you have adopted and master its education accordingly!

2. Reward appropriate behavior

Dogs are not the only ones who need to be rewarded. They respond well to compliments and treats such as a piece of hot dog or dog biscuits. Owners can also give their dogs affection via petting, rubs behind the ears, or ear scratching. This reinforces their behavior and makes them happier overall!

3. Don’t forget discipline

Keep in mind that dogs respond best when positive methods are used in conjunction with harsh discipline. If your dog is begging for food at the table, nip this behavior in the bud by telling them “No!” while gently pushing their face away from your plate and making sure they know this was a bad choice by taking them to their crate for a time out. Always use treats and/or toy rewards to reinforce good behavior. Never hit your dog or throw anything, especially a shoe, at them.

4. Understand your dog’s triggers and limitations

You must first learn what stimuli will cause your dog to react the way he does. For example, if you are training your dog to come when called, you must know if he is scared of loud noises such as fireworks or barking dogs in order to determine how and when his training sessions should be conducted. Generally speaking, dogs do not respond well to harsh or painful techniques such as shock collars (electronic/invisible fences) that emit an electrical charge when they fail or disobey you. Always use positive training techniques that reward the desired behaviors and discourage the bad.

5. Make sure your dog knows his name

Just as with your children, you have to teach your dog his name. Dogs are pack animals and will go by whatever names are the most consistent. If you refer to your dog by different names, he will remain confused as to who you are addressing and may become unresponsive and more disobedient over time! It is a good idea to hold off on “Popeye,” “Hercules,” or “Buddy” for now until he learns his name! This requires being specific when addressing him by name (Molly! Come here!) instead of just calling out in general (DOG!!).

6. Have your dog sit before you feed or pet him

If your dog lunges for food, toys, or affection, treat him to something else to do instead. This will teach them to perform a trick or a task for you in order to earn their prize, much like children. Dogs respond well to these “games,” and it is fun for both of you! Once he learns his name and how to sit on command then you can ask him to do so before feeding time. You can also offer him a treat as extra incentive!

7. Take your dog out every day at the same time

Dogs have a very accurate internal clock. This is why they sleep so much during the day and are more active when it is dark at night. They are creatures of habit; therefore, you may notice that they will start barking or whining before their morning walk or when it is time to do their business! Try not to vary your dog’s routine too much as this can cause them significant stress.

8. Go on daily walks with your dog

Exercise is a must for dogs! There are lots of things they can do indoors—jumping over toys, running along the fence—but nothing beats a good walk in the park or a run around the neighborhood. Be sure you have control over your dog before you go out! He should be trained to heel and stay at your side. Otherwise, he will drag you around like a rag doll and not pay attention to any other distractions going on around you. Not only can this be dangerous, it’s embarrassing for you as well!

9. Make sure your dog gets household education, too

Your dog’s house manners and ability to follow commands in the home is also crucial for him to learn in order to prevent any unwanted messes or destruction of property. You may especially want your new puppy’s training sessions to incorporate these commands so he understands what is expected of him when he is old enough to be left alone at home.

10. Lastly, keep an eye on your dog’s health

Dogs are creatures of habit and can be lethargic if they are not getting enough exercise, so it is always a good idea to take them out every day for at least 20 minutes. You can also try taking them for hikes or runs. If it is cold outside, make sure to bring a blanket or a warm coat for you both! Finally, when your pet is feeling under the weather (ex: sneezing) their vet may prescribe medication that should be given at certain times of day. If you are not sure when this has to be administered, ask your vet!

Training your dog may be a little challenging at first, but it is very rewarding! Whether you are just starting out or have been training for years, there are always new tricks to learn. You will also be able to strengthen the bond you share with your dog. Once they begin to understand their name and commands, it is very exciting for everyone involved!

Images taken from: https://www.facebook.com/FocusOnDogTraining/photos_stream/ & https://pixabay.

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