Dog training is essential. No arguments there. It offers tons of benefits for both the owner and the pet. It allows you, your dog, and other family members to live in peace, rid it of unwanted behaviors, and boosts bonding time. However, training your dog can be a challenging task, especially if you are a new owner who has yet to know the do’s and don’ts of dog training.
In this article, we’ve rounded up the best tips to make the perfect dog training guide.
Dog Training Guide: Do’s and Don’ts
There must be a reason why, despite putting in a lot of effort in training your dog, your commands just don’t seem to sink in yet. The things are dogs are smart creatures and that’s one of the reasons why people love them so much (aside from being incredibly cute, of course). So if your dog can’t follow a simple “sit” or “stay”, there’s must be something wrong with the training process.
DO: Look for a distraction-free training location
For new commands, always start at a location with no distractions. This will make your dog more focused on learning. Avoid places with a lot of noise or people walking and passing by, like parks during peak hours. After your dog understands the commands, you can slowly shift to a busier location.
DO: Reward good behavior
It’s a common rule to reward the dog while they are still learning commands, however, it’s also important to reward continued good behavior. Don’t stop giving treats, rewards, or praises just because your dog has fully mastered obedience commands, instead continue doing so to reinforce the importance of these commands.
DO: Practice commands in different locations
Puppies or younger dogs might not know that the commands you give are universal. For them, the “stay” command you practice at home might not be the same as the “stay” command you give at the park. To have your dog associate commands based on your voice and hand signals, instead of the location, practice giving it out in different places.
DO: Be consistent
Generally, dogs are sensitive to details. For them, “sit” and “sit down” are two different commands. This is why it’s important to use the exact same cues every time. If you’ve trained them to the word “sit”, don’t use any other word variation and stick to that cue always. This will help avoid confusion on your dog’s part.
DO: Don’t be afraid to seek the help of professional trainers
Dogs can be complicated creatures, as well. They might exhibit behaviors beyond what a regular owner can handle. If you find your dog strongly repelling training sessions and commands and even going as far as aggressively harming you or anyone, it’s better to schedule an appointment with a dog trainer and see what they can do and suggest about it.
DO: Be patient and kind
Perfectly training your dog doesn’t happen in one go. It requires practice, consistency, effort, and time. So when your dog doesn’t get listened to you on the first day of training, don’t fret and immediately give up. Repeat and schedule regular training sessions until they have mastered cues.
This dog training guide also includes the don’ts in training your dog. Read them below!
DON’T: Have training sessions longer than 20 minutes
Most puppies do best with 10-15 minutes of training sessions due to their short attention span so it’s better to keep them short and fast. Even a 5-minute training session can be effective if you do it multiple times a day.
As your dog grows older, so does their attention span so you can extend training sessions for longer periods.
DON’T: Use pain, fear, and intimidation
The longer your dog fails to understand your commands, the shorter your patience gets. And It can really be tempting to force your dog to sit down by pushing its body down or yell at them for not getting the command right. This is strongly discouraged when training as this can have a negative impact on the dog.
Some might turn aggressive while others may completely shut down. In addition, it’s not healthy for you and your dog’s relationship.
DON’T: Use an excited voice
An excited voice can help you catch your dog’s attention. At first, that is. It no longer works in the long run and in the first place, you shouldn’t be competing with other things for your dog’s attention. Instead, use a firm and calm voice in giving out commands and do not repeat the cue. This trains your dog to always come to you even when it sees something more exciting.
DON’T: Negatively end a training session
Your dog might not be learning the progress you hoped for but stay positive. Progress is still progress, no matter how small it is. So don’t end a training session with negative and unpleasant thoughts about your dog. Remember, dog training is all about patience, time, and effort. Still, remember to praise and reward your dog for a job well done.