There are a few tips and tricks when it comes to training dogs. Training a dog shouldn’t be overly hard, but the more tips you know, the easier it is.
These are proven and tested tips that are familiar to all dog trainers. Following this advice from day one with your new dog will put you on the path to success.
Obedience Commands All Dogs Should Know
There are a few basic training commands that all dogs should know. It is imperative to teach these for a few reasons. First, training your dog develops a bond with your dog, and it also allows your dog to see you in a new light. Second, training encourages your dog to use its brain.
It is best to start training as soon as you get your dog. If it is a puppy, it can begin learning by its 8th week when you bring it home. As for any new older dog, this training gets your relationship started right.
The obedience commands all dogs should know:
- Walking nicely on leash: Let’s Go or Heel
- Stay: in a particular position like sit or down and in a particular location
- Wait: no position but waiting behind a boundary line
- Leave it
- Give or Drop it
If you’ve never trained a dog before, the best suggestion is to take your dog to a training class or work with a professional. Many people who are not experienced will make mistakes that are easily avoided working with a professional at least once. Books and e-courses are cheaper but don’t provide the best instruction.
For help locating a trainer or training class in your area, visit the website for the Association of Pet Dog Trainers. You will be able to browse through trainer listings and have access to different resources.
Another way to locate a class is to look for local Kennel Clubs in your area. These people are generally people that train for competition, but they volunteer their services to teach classes.
Tips for Training Success
Along with the basics of obedience, there are a few tips to keep in mind when working with your dog. These tips will help you to be successful when training your dog.
Socialize your dog heavily. Puppies, especially, need to be socialized to all kinds of different people, places, animals, and things. Adult dogs need to continually go places and do things. An under-socialized dog often develops behavioral concerns later on.
Train your dog with motivation. Dogs learn better and faster when motivated. This includes treats, toys, privileges ….or anything else that motivates your dog. If he values it, he will want to learn how to earn it.
Don’t get frustrated! While everyone gets frustrated sometimes, never train your dog while frustrated. A dog will not want to work with a frustrated and angry owner. Also, many owners ‘punish’ their dog for failures when they are frustrated. Training needs to be fun and upbeat.
All dogs learn at different rates. Just because it is taking your dog a little longer doesn’t mean it isn’t possible. Investigate alternate ways to teach things.
Most errors are handler errors. Surprise! Often, it is our communication or lack thereof that gets in the way of the dog learning or being accurate.
Be consistent. All dogs need consistency by all humans in the family to be successful. Do things the same way every, single time.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Sometimes owners are afraid to ask a professional for help for fear of looking like a failure. There are things we all don’t know, and some behavioral issues like aggression and fear can be worked out better with the help of a professional. Don’t let something snowball into a huge problem before asking for help.
Remember, dog training is supposed to be fun! Learn all you can about your dog and training, visit some training classes, and learn to laugh at yourself and your dog. Being able to laugh will keep your frustrations at bay.