Are you thinking about getting a new dog? Would you like to make your current dog behave better? Do you want to train your dog to assist you instead of owning a dog that’s difficult to control because of its behavior?
Attending dog training classes that are led by professional trainers is a good option, but not everyone can afford these classes. Here are some tips to guide you start training of your canine companions. There are many approaches and philosophies for dog training, so research the web and train your pet, building a nice relationship with your pet so you can train him effectively.
Preparing for Dog Training
Get a dog that suits your lifestyle
After hundreds of years of breeding, a present-day dog is one of the most diverse species of animals on earth. While there are dogs that suit every lifestyle, not all dogs are the same and fit your particular needs. For example, if you love relaxing, you must not get a Jack Russell Terrier, which is known for endless barking and high energy. Instead, you should go for a bulldog, which would prefer to cuddle with you on the couch all day. Research the care requirements and personalities of different breeds.
Ask a dog owner about his/her dog’s personality. Mixed breed dogs are also great options as they have the personalities of multiple breeds that you may be interested in. Since dogs have a maximum lifespan of 10-15 years, getting a dog is a bit of a long-term commitment. Ensure that the breed’s temperament is a perfect match for your lifestyle. If you haven’t started a family yet, consider if you are going to have young kids around the place in the next ten years. Some dog breeds are not suggested for houses with children.
Don’t get an ambitious dog
Be true to yourself about you and your dog’s compatibility with your lifestyle. Don’t opt for a dog that requires a lot of activity only because you are looking for a reason to kick-start a healthier lifestyle. If you can’t cope up with the kind of dog training and activity a particular dog breed requires, you and your dog are both going to end up frustrated.
Write down the requirements and temperament of your dog breed as well as how you are going to match with those needs. If it is going to take substantial effort to change your day-to-day lifestyle, you need to select a different dog.
Provide your dog with a practical name
Your dog needs to be capable of learning his name quickly so that you may hold his attention while training. The dog name should have clear and hard sound that he would recognize. Names like “Buddy” or “Rover” or ”Bee Bee” have discrete sounds that stand out from the systematic flood of human speech heard by your dog.
Use your dog’s name frequently while petting, playing with, and training him, or when you need his attention. You know he has learned his name after he looks at you when you say his name. Form a positive association with your dog’s name so that he continues to focus on whenever you say it. Give him treats and praise him when he responds to your call.
Schedule abundant training time
Firstly, you must begin with various 5-minute sessions that are spread throughout the day and go no further than 20 minutes. This is very important for puppies as they have a much shorter attention span and can get bored easily. It’s like a toddler. Those training sessions aren’t the only time you have to train your dog, although training basically happens all day long with interactions with your dog. He will learn every time you interact with him.
Your pet may develop bad habits when as an owner you let a dog get away with bad behavior outside of the devoted training sessions. If your dog knows it while training then make sure he remembers the same things outside the training.
Prepare yourself mentally for dog training sessions
While working with your pet dog, be neutral and calm. Any excitement and agitation on your part are negatively going to affect your dog’s training outcome. You must always be mindful of the fact that the training goal is to be able to develop good behavior and must not reinforce or ignore the bad ones. It might sound kind of strict but creating a well-trained dog needs enough conviction and determination to see it through.
Choose the proper equipment
A six-foot leash and a martingale or flat collar may be everything you need to start the dog training with, besides a good dog food treat. Talk to a trainer for his advice on equipment like a ‘No Pull’ harness, ‘Promise Leader’ head halter, a metal dog training collar or some other devices. Small dogs or puppies usually don’t require harsh equipment. Larger or big dogs temporarily need specialized equipment like the “Promise Leader” to keep their concentration and focus.
Do not reward your dog for whining
When a puppy whines it may be heart-breaking or even adorable, but when a grown dog does it, it can be annoying. If your puppy is whining inconsolably, you possibly have left him inside the crate for a little while. However, you must not let him out of the crate until he stops whining.
Always remember – every reward you give strengthens the dog’s previous behavior, which was whining in this case. Rather, release your dog as soon as he stops whining. The next time you are closing the crate’s door, leave him in there for a short span of time.
General Tips for Training Your Dog
Training teaches the owner what he/she wants the dog to do in a way that the owner understands. If you are going to send your pet to be trained by someone else, they are going to learn to work with the other trainer, not you. Take some time to learn about dog training. Never pass your responsibility off to some other person.
In many cases, you might even actually need to take your dog to learn the basics from some other person. But then, you must have a trainer to work with and the dog altogether. This is going to make sure that you are capable of continuing the training at home. Check again with the trainer for “tuning up” sessions for your dog as well as you and keep everyone on track.
Do not let your dog bite you, even while playing
This starts a bad practice, and it is going to be a difficult habit to break. Aggressive, dangerous dogs will need special training for a professional and experienced dog trainer. In various cases, a vet behaviorist is going to need to be involved in training. Never take on an aggressive dog breed without proper training. It can be very dangerous.
Remember dogs are unique
Always remember that every dog is not the same as other. One might learn at a slower pace as compared to the other dog, and that’s fine. There is no dog that cannot be trained!
Keep in mind that dogs don’t communicate the way humans do.
Never let a dog lean on you while you are sitting down or standing up
This isn’t a sign that says they like you. This is a dominance sign. The dog is intruding into your space. Praise your dog for getting up. Give him the command to go to its bed, lay down, or go to its crate if you want to manage your own space more efficiently.
Use distinct and unique hand signals
This allows your dog to see and differentiate them. The typical training signals to use for basic commands are “stay,” “sit,” etc. if you are not sure about these signs, ask your trainer or search online or in a dog training book for a clearer vision of your body language you must use.
Know what not to do
Don’t use a choke chain, use a harness instead.
Never be too harsh on your dog or hit them. If you strike the dog out of frustration, then he will only start fearing you and be standoffish and sad.
Never try to throw your dog your dinner scraps while eating. This is going to make him think he is allowed to steal food from you, and he may even start taking food from strangers.
Be kind but somewhat firm as well.
Be unfailing. Make sure the use of hand signals and commands are the same every time.
Praise your dog quite often and in a lavish manner.
Use isolation to correct dogs out of control
Isolate the dog from the rest of the “pack.” Keep him in the kennel or crate and ignore him. Isolation from the pack in dog’s language translates to “your behavior is not acceptable, and we do not like it.” Your dog will get the message, and it may start whining and howling, but you’ve got to continue ignoring it. Consider it as a “time out” for your pet. While it is settled, quietly let it out.
Do not forget to keep your dog active and exercised to help it manage its energy level. Playing Frisbee or fetch is a good way to get him tired. Praise your dog quite often and in a lavish manner.
If a dog begs, turn away from him
He’ll understand that you are not going to tolerate such bad behavior. Also be sure to give your dog love and treat him with a good mood.
Training a dog needs a huge amount of patience
It could get frustrating if you are training a wrong breed considering your lifestyle and skill levels. If you feel you have made an inappropriate decision while getting a dog, ask for professional guidance.
You will need to get a new home for your dog in that case. Call your veterinarian or local rescue organization. Do not wait unless the dog and you have suffered.
If you cannot tolerate it anymore, then get yourself some one-on-one personal training from an expert and a reputable dog training professional. You are not a born dog trainer neither is anyone else. You need to educate yourself to do so.
Clean up for your dog’s mess
If he has defecated on some other person’s private property or even in a public place take this step. This act will make sure that others will enjoy being with your dog as much as you do.
Bark like a dog
While teaching your dog to talk or speak, barking/ howling yourself may make your dog bark. Never try to throw your dog your dinner scraps while eating. This is going to make him think he is allowed to steal food from you, and he may even start taking food from strangers. Also, if a dog begs, turn away from him, so he understands that you are not going to tolerate any such bad behavior. Also be sure to give your dog love and treat him with a nice mood, have fun!
If you are using a clicker, use a clicking pen instead.
General Warnings When Dog Training
Visit your vet regularly and stay updated about the vaccinations
You must also keep current on requirements related to licenses and all. Have your pet neutered and spayed once they are old enough.
Be serious about dog ownership
Keeping a pet dog needs almost as much responsibility and care as having a child. If you are not prepared for that, postpone getting yourself a dog unless you have done the necessary research and made essential adjustments to allow a dog in your life. Get a leash and a collar, which is suitable for your pet’s size. A collar that’s too tight or too loose may result in injuries.
Consistent exercise and activities can prevent destructive dogs at home
Dogs can get bored quickly. When they are bored they, they will find various ways to entertain themselves. This entertainment may include chewing your favorite pair of shoes, non-stop barking or even destroying your furniture. Avoid this by taking them out regularly.