You are extremely lucky if you have a well-trained dog at whom you wouldn’t have to chase around or constantly shout at them saying “Stop jumping!” or “Get off the bed”; the commands that don’t seem to work that well anyway.
If your furry friend doesn’t seem to listen to these commands, that’s because they don’t speak English, neither do they have the discretion that they shouldn’t be barking every time there’s a sound of a doorbell on TV.
Have you ever thought about what your dog thinks of you when you shout at them? They just think of you as a two-legged beast, who’s shouting frets them no matter when. This confusion leads to anxiety and fear in canines and thus unaware of what’s going to set them off next.
If you wish to make life easier for both you and your canine, there’s no alternative to dog training. Plus, training a canine is not rocket science! It’s pretty simple and will certainly give you successful results.
Familiarize yourself with these top 10 dog training tips:
1) Start by naming your dog:
Of course, the first thing that you’d do is name your dog. And why not? That’s your responsibility as well as a privilege. Now that you’ve selected the perfect moniker, the next step would be to get your dog to familiarize themselves to respond to it.
The name, when used properly, it will become a word that they respond to with love. As per dog experts, this is where you should use plenty of treats to teach them in responding to their name. The trick is to call his or her name in a cheerful tone and give him or her a treat when responded. Keep repeating this game until your pooch gets habituated with the name.
2) Combine training into everyday life:
Training is not about setting a task for a certain time of the day. It’s something that should be incorporated with everyday life and whenever you think is possible. Certainly, you want your canine to behave all the time, not just that one time when you open that treat pouch.
Therefore, incorporate a little bit of training on a daily basis, when they are waiting for their food or waiting to go out for a walk. For instance, ask them to fetch a toy for a few times at the park and then leave them to play around by themselves (this is to flex their skills).
Opening a new can of food? Ask your furry friend to sit first or shake hands with you – whichever works best! Did your canine come up to ask for attention? Have him listen to your command beforehand.
3) Get everyone in the family to work:
Everyone in your house needs to work together in order to discipline the dog. After all, your dog is also a family member too, right? Set the house rules accordingly and make sure that everyone is aware of them, which would make it easier for your pooch to learn the commands faster and consistently.
The group effort will also exhort good actions and discourage any misbehavior. So, use the same signals and words to communicate with your pooch.
4) Keep the consequences consistent too:
Until you know that your dog has learned all the commands fully, you need to be consistent with your actions. Each time your dog performs a certain behavior, there shouldn’t be any alterations to the consequences. If you ignore your dog jumping on the bed but your partner encourages the behavior and adores it, then your canine will not learn to associate.
That’s because the consequences are not the same time every time. Your pooch might not jump on the bed when you are there but will jump in your absence or when your partner is there. So, you see the inconsistency in training here?
5) Applaud your pooch’s good behavior:
Once you see that your dog has done something right, acknowledge the behavior. Let them know about your approval towards the behavior in a cheerful voice. And of course, bestow him or her with a significant boon. Again, don’t react much to negative behavior. While it’s wise to address disobedience at times, negative behavior shouldn’t get much response from your side.
Sometimes ignorance is the best way to cope up with your dog. When you focus only on good behavior with affection, they are also likely to behave a certain way. This is also showing respect to your canine by taking note of his signals.
6) Patience, practice, persistence, and purposefulness:
It may not work out the way you want it to, especially at the first few sessions. Training a dog might sometimes be a little too difficult, but it’s not impossible. Keep your expectations realistic. There are times when you might feel frustrated throughout the process, but patience is the virtue. It all lies in your attitude. How you talk to your dog makes a huge difference.
Resolve to speak softly to your dog. Remember, there’s a purpose related to this training that will highly benefit both of you. This resolution will not only help you as the trainer, but your dog will also bounce back on your low-stress attitude.
7) Be firm but loving:
Dogs are smart creatures. They’ll find out very quickly whether you’re able to lead him or her easily or not. If not, then they will step in to take the alpha role. Hence, behaviors like shouting and screaming or hitting your dog show you lack leadership skills. It’s always a suggestion from dog behaviorists to be calm but firm with your dog and hold unshakeable expectations.
You have the power to control your dog for their behavioral consequences, but your ability to do that shows in how you put in your energy to dole them out.
8) Keep the training sessions short but sweet:
Whatever you do, make sure you and your pup is having fun! Training a dog is actually interesting, but when it goes over 15 minutes, it might become boring (for your dog). It is said that your dog’s ability to pay attention to a certain activity is no more than 15 minutes.
As a result, focus on one or a maximum of two skills at a time. Repetition is what matters the most when it comes to training for which pay attention to one skill and switch to another until time’s up and your dog gets bored.
9) Don’t punish:
As we already mentioned, shouting and screaming or hitting your dog will bring adverse results. Violence doesn’t bring any good, rather instills fear in your dog. Shouting makes you look like an unpredictable being to your dog and a time bomb that is waiting to go off any moment.
We cannot stress enough over the fact that how dangerous a fearful dog can be. Instead, show mercy and calmly explain your dog what you want them to do. You will be surprised at the results of being calm and patient with your pooch.
10) Lower your standards:
Now don’t think we are crazy when we say “lower your standards.” Dropping your standards, in other words, lowering your demands during training sessions with your dog is very important. You sure are not training your dog to be finally employed by the FBI.
Adjust the level of difficulty of the task with your dog’s stamina and mental effort. Just stay positive. Your dog can sense any change in your mood and will affect his way of working. If you’re feeling tired, stop the training session right away and come back at it when you feel better.
Remember, Not to Make These Common Mistakes
As the old saying goes by “to err is human,” proves to be right. We all make mistakes, and when it comes to dog training, it is so true. Although 99% of these mistakes can be fixed or are not life-threatening, the major disadvantage that it has to pose is that it slows down the training process. On top of that, it creates more frustration on both ends. Hence, here are some of the common training mistakes that many of us have been continuing unknowingly:
• Bribing instead of rewards:
Although it has been scientifically proven that rewards-based training is the most effective ways of training a dog, however, there’s a difference between rewards and bribery. You must be the type of parent who holds a visible treat in their hand, asking for your dog to finish a task.
When your dog already knows what’s in store for them, they will do whatever is asked because they don’t want to lose the treat. Just when the treat is not in your hand, their behavior falls apart.
Therefore, instead of holding a treat right in front of their eyes, why don’t you try bringing the treat as a result of their action? Suppose you ask your canine to sit and when they obey the command, the reward would appear out of nowhere.
• Not practicing enough:
This does bring about a difference because it affects your dog’s performance. You may have sent your canine for an obedience training class, after which, they had perfectly known the commands. Now fast forward this a few months or even a year, you must be upset that they don’t remember the commands as much as they used to before.
Dogs need to brush up on their skills, just like us, humans. Can you solve an algebraic equation at this instant if someone gave it to you? Unless you are in daily practice, the chances of getting the right answer are odd. In the case of dogs, be sure to polish their skills – it’s just a matter of a couple of minutes a day!
• Train at the same place:
If your canine is the perfect, obedient creature at home but is a monster just when you step out of the house, then we’d say that you’re the one who should be guilty of this mistake. When teaching your canine, you need to train them at several different spots in your house or otherwise, he or she may not do it.
And even when you take them out for strolls, train them on the streets and practice behaviors in every other place. This will ensure your dog’s good behavior.
Before you start, have the training session planned by yourself. Do not wait until it’s too late. Think ahead of what would fascinate your canine. If you wait for your canine to start behaving inappropriately, then things might go out of your hands already. You, yourself must be informed regarding every stage that you put your dog through.
• Using physical corrections:
Using your strength to resurrect your pooch’s behavior will not bring you the desired result. Physical force will backfire in the long-term and result in a fearful dog. Besides, your canine might become frustrated and make the situation worse.
• Too many treats:
Treats are indeed a great way to start and/or end a training session but don’t forget that petting, saying nice things and playing are also forms of paying tribute to your pooch for obeying you. Or else, you’ll end up having one of those dogs that only put in some action if you have food with you.
When an experienced trainer is training a dog, it might look easy. However, when you try to go ahead with it, it may seem difficult. Not everyone has the same skills and experience for which it ends up into the common mistakes in dog training listed above.
If you’re planning to train your dog, we hope this article was of some use. Nonetheless, what are some of the common problems you’ve encountered when training your dog? Let us know in the comments below, for we’d love to hear your stories!