Tips & Tricks for Training a Dog
So you've gotten a dog who is licking, loving and cuddling up next to you. That is all well and good, but if you want your dog to be well-behaved and follow your commands as it grows, there are a few things you need to know. Without training and guidance, your dog will grow up to believe it is the master, and you will run into problems with its obedience. You do not want a dog that jumps on people, soils your home, barks incessantly or is aggressive toward friends and family members. If you are considering training your own dog, these tips and tricks will be essential to your success.
Patience and consistency are two essential aspects of training
When you are attempting to train your dog to obey your commands, you must do it every single day – preferably several times each day. It is also essential that you never get mad and yell at or strike your dog, as this will only convey the idea that training is something that is bad. When your dog obeys your command, reward it with petting and a treat, especially in the early days. Later on, your dog will obey your command without the rewards of a treat.
Tips for training your dog
1. Always use encouraging words and treat your dog with a gentle hand. Your dog must know that you are committed to training it as well as caring for it.
2. Training sessions should be kept brief. Short 5- or 10-minute sessions are much more effective; after a while, your dog's attention span will wane diminishing an interest in paying attention. Aim for 2 or 3 short training sessions each day.
3. Reinforce good behavior. Always let your dog know when it has done something good with positive reinforcement. Offer a bit of praise and a pat on the head.
4. Don't ignore bad behavior. When your dog behaves badly, don't ignore it. This will only confuse your dog, making it believe that bad behavior is okay; this will ultimately undermine all of the hard work you have put in to help your dog behave properly. Again, never strike or yell at your dog, but do say "no", "down", "sit" or whatever command you have taught your dog to stop bad behavior. Correct bad behavior immediately; waiting for 10 minutes is pointless, as your dog will not remember what it did.
5. Keep it simple. Avoid trying to teach your dog 3 or 4 new commands simultaneously, as this will only be confusing. Start with a simple command such as "sit"; once your dog has this mastered, you can move on to another command. Stay consistent in this area as well. For example, use "leave it" each and every time when you want your dog to leave something alone.
6. There should be only one leader. Whether you or someone else in your family is responsible for the training, be consistent. Your dog will see the one who is teaching it how to behave as the leader, and there shouldn't be multiple leaders. If you are the one who begins the training, you need to continue and not delegate it to other members of the family.
7. Choose an area where there are few distractions to begin your training. It is very difficult to get a dog's full attention when there are children running around playing or you are at a park where other dogs are nearby. Choose an area that is quiet, where there are few distractions. Once your dog starts responding positively to your commands, you can gradually introduce more distractions without the worry that your dog will ignore your commands.
Training your dog is really not as difficult as it may seem. Most dogs are very smart, and ready to please their owner. Keep these tips in mind and training your dog to obey your commands will be a piece of cake.
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