Training a dog is a challenging task, most especially if you are a new fur parent. But once you and your dog get the gist of it, dog training can be a very rewarding and fun experience. A household with properly trained pets is more peaceful, making living with other creatures enjoyable and endearing. That is why it is important to train your dogs to conform to the behavior you want them to display. If you are a newbie, here are helpful dog training tips for beginners!
Basic Types of Dog Training
The following are what dog owners and trainers considered as the most essential types of dog training. These few basic training and commands are the foundation for most advanced cues. Once your dog has mastered these, training them for other things becomes a tad bit easier.
If you plan to have your dog stay indoors (or at least, have times of the day where they stay inside the house), it is important to toilet train them. The first few tries will be a tiring trial and error session but with patience, positive reinforcement, and proper training techniques, your dog will surely follow through.
It’s important to start them young, about 3 to 4 months of age. Earlier than that is when your puppy still doesn’t have sufficient bowel and bladder control so it is difficult to train them, while training later than 4 months will result in more and longer sessions.
Start your training by confining your puppy to a restricted area like a single room or a crate. As days go by, your puppy will soon learn that peeing and pooing have to be done outside.
Here are a few tips to toilet training your dog:
Regular mealtimes. Have your pup on a regular feeding schedule while toilet training. This means no food or snacks in between unless it is their schedule to eat.
Frequent potty times. Offer multiple opportunities for your dog to take care of their business outside. It can first thing in the morning and every 30 to 60 minutes throughout the day. You can also take them outside after a nap or after meals.
Regular potty spot. Take your dog to the same spot every time they are out for pees or poos. They will recognize its scent and are more likely to be conditioned to only do their business on that very spot.
Praises. Every time your dog succeeds in doing their business outside, praise them or offer a reward for a job well done.
A disobedient dog around the house is absolutely troublesome. This is why even the most basic of the basic obedience commands are important. This helps live with the dog easier and more comfortably.
At the minimum, your dog should learn to respond and follow these basic commands:
Sit. One of the most important basic commands to help you control your dog whatever the situation.
Stay. This command teaches your dog to remain calm and still.
Drop. The ‘drop’ command teaches your dog to drop whatever is in its mouth. This is a very helpful command so make sure to teach your dog how to respond to it. It can save your dog when it has picked or eaten something harmful, dangerous, or toxic.
Come. The ‘come’ command is best taught to puppies who have learned to recognize its name. This teaches your dog to come to you upon your command. This also helps with a lot of situations where your dog might be in danger.
Dog Training Tips for Beginners
Training your dog is not an overnight process, especially when you are a new owner who’s just learning the ropes as well. A lot of people make common dog training mistakes and wonder why their dogs are not learning or responding well.
Communication, bond, and relationship play a major role in successful dog training sessions, and here are helpful tips to make it easier.
Enroll in obedience classes
Training requires effort, time, and practice for you and your dog. It can be quite a struggle too, especially if you are a newbie with dog training. If this is your first dog and you don’t have enough confidence or knowledge on how to properly train them, you can always enroll in obedience classes with professional dog trainers.
Puppies start with puppy kindergarten and proceed to obedience class once they are a bit older. Classes are often limited to 8 to 10 dogs per instructor to ensure the pups are given enough attention or special training sessions if necessary.
During obedience classes, your little furry friend will learn the basic commands like sit, come, down, stay, and how to walk with a leash.
Use positive reinforcement
The old dog training ways believe that harsh corrections work and tame your dog. However, animal behaviorists now claim that while they work once or twice, they are ineffective and inhumane in the long run. In addition, your dog will not understand why you are angry with them. This is where positive reinforcement comes in.
Positive reinforcement is telling your dog that you are pleased with their behavior, prompting them to do the same the next time. They are motivated by food, treats, toys, and praises. Once your dog displays a good behavior, give them love in the form of rewards. They’ll remember this and continue to be a good boy, hoping to get a treat from you.
Short training sessions
Like little kids, puppies have a short attention span. This is why it is important to keep training sessions short, about 10 to 15 minutes only. You can do this multiple times a day to keep your puppy engaged.
The universal incentive in dog training is yummy treats. It is ideal to use soft and small-sized treats for little pups, such as a string of cheese so that they can swallow it right away. Avoid crunchy treats since they’ll take a while to chew.
Also, remember to give treats immediately. If your puppy has displayed the behavior you want, instantly give the reward. This will directly tell the dog that you are happy with their behavior and in turn, allow them to quickly understand what you are trying to teach them.
One vital thing to know is to avoid handing out treats during training sessions just because your dog looks pitiful, cute, or is begging for it. You need to teach them that treats and rewards are given because they earned them and not because they are asking for it.
If they are displaying unwanted behavior, don’t yell, punish, or harm them. Just withhold the reward until they get it right.
Efficient training time
The perfect time to train your dog is when there are no distractions around so choose a time and place where your dog can perfectly focus on you. This does not only apply to the dog but humans as well. Don’t train your dog if you are in a hurry or distracted by other things, such as your phone’s constant ringing.
For the first few training sessions, pick a quiet area or a room in your house large enough to allow your dog to move around. Once you’ve observed that your puppy is slowly learning, then you can take the training session outside, but still within a fenced area.