All dogs need proper training, but it takes time to train them regardless of whether they are older dogs or puppies. If you want to know the essentials of properly training a dog, you must be open to new learnings, much more if you are a beginner.
Many dog owners find that training a dog is difficult, burdensome, and sometimes, it can be expensive. But it doesn’t always need to be like that. Whether you bring a puppy or a dog at home, it is never too soon to start training your pet. Dogs need proper training to establish confidence, use their brains properly in different situations, have a daily exercise routine, and fit into human households. Most dogs are happy when you train them because they love affection, and they are highly social animals.
If you’re new to dog training, it is normal to feel overwhelming when you begin training your pet. Let’s assume that you are unsure where to begin with. So, you need to have a week-by-week schedule that can help you organize your training. Each week, train your dog with two basic commands to work on. Make sure to plan to make some adjustments to your pet’s environment to prevent or adjust behavior problems.
To begin your training, here are the essentials to consider in training your dog.
1. Introduce a crate
Crate training is one of the essentials you need to consider to properly train your dog. If you haven’t introduced your dog to a crate, the first week of training is a good time to introduce one. Crate training offers a lot of benefits to you and to your dog. Including:
- The benefit of managing your dog’s behavior when you are not there to supervise
- Housetrain your dog using a crate to encourage control of urinating excretion
- Establish a routine for outdoor elimination
- Prevent accidents at night when your dog is left alone
- A crate provides shelter with your dog safe when you travel
Take a little time each day the first week and let your dog use the crate. Allow your dog to sit for a few minutes inside the crate. Your dog will eventually prefer to sleep inside the crate.
Then, start leaving your dog for longer periods of time inside the crate, but no longer than a few hours. Be sure to leave some of your dog’s favorite treats or toys. Continue to make use of the crate in training your dog. Dogs enjoy having their own sanctuary.
2. Establish a routine
A routine is beneficial when it comes to training your dog. A routine does not only benefit your dog but you as the owner to manage a schedule. You can create a schedule for your dog’s mealtime, playtime, and walks early on in training.
On your first week of implementing your dog’s routine, make sure to remain consistent each day. If you hire a dog walker or a pet caretaker, do not forget to inform them of the schedule as well. Stick to your routine plan during the dog’s training or beyond. This will help your dog to prepare what will happen and when.
Establishing a routine offers a great benefit for housetraining because your dog will know exactly when they can go outside. (Example: after a meal, your dog gets a walk outside to relieve itself).
3. Get some toys
Do not forget to provide some toys when you are training your dog. Because it is essential to give your dog some toys before you start teaching commands or tricks. Toys are like some good motivation for your dog to follow your command or learn the tricks. There are a lot of toys in the market, such as Kong toys or Buster Cubes. It is great when you choose a toy that provides mental stimulation to keep your dog mentally engaged. That is so important if you are not always available to play with your dog all day.
Put in mind that you don’t need to give your dog all the toys at once. Introduce your dog to some toys this week, and then have another set of toys the following week and all throughout the training process. It will give your dog have some new interesting toys to play with.
*Figure out how to reward your dog when he follows your command or order. Clicker training is an effective method, but it is also possible to use treats without the clicker.
4. Teach your dog commands
In training your dog, commands are essential for them to know how to respond properly. You can train your dog with the most basic commands and once those are mastered, move on to others.
- Sit: One of the easiest commands to teach your dog. Work on teaching your dog to sit for every 5 minutes a few times each day.
- Down and Emergency recall: Next, teach your dog with down and emergency recall command. Work with it for a few minutes several times each day.
- Come and Leave it: Once your dog learned and follows the “sit” and “down“ command, you can teach them some complicated commands. Start with “come“ and “leave it.”
- Stop Jumping: You can set some time each day to teach your dog this command or wait until it comes up in your regular day-to-day activities. Like when your dog jumps up to greet some visitor, work on it.
- Wait: You can teach your dog this command in regular training sessions. You can also wait for opportunities to crop up each day. This command teaches your dog to wait before going outdoors or coming out on his crate.
- Go to your place: Teach your dog to go to a specific place at home and lie down. You can teach your dog with this command during mealtimes or when you’re relaxing while watching the news or reading some books.
- Drop: Drop it command can be taught in short training sessions each day.
- Stop Barking: You can teach your dog how to be quiet by working on the “speak” and “quiet” commands. Try this during training sessions or wait until your dog barks and use it as an opportunity to practice.
5. Walking on a Leash
In training your dog, it is essential to teach them to safely walk on a loose leash. Walking on a leash is significant to both the dog and the owner or walker. You can start at least one short walk each day and continue working throughout your dog training.
6. Choose a trick
If your dog learned most of the basic commands, you could teach him some amazing tricks or more advanced commands. Tricks such as “rollover” or “play dead” can be fun to teach your dog. You can also teach the “heel” command when your dog has a pretty firm grasp on walking on a loose leash. Tricks can be less essential, but it is fun, and it will entertain your dog. It also allows your dog to receive praise for his good behavior.
7. Problems and Proofing Behavior
After focusing on training your dog with the basic and more advanced commands per week, your dog should about to respond and learn something. However, it doesn’t mean that you are done with the training. Rather training should be experienced and reinforced over your dog’s lifespan, which “proofs” the behavior. Lifetime training will ensure that your dog is a happy and well-adjusted family member.
Take ten minutes in three weeks to review your dog’s commands and behaviors that you have worked on. Reviewing the command you taught is a great way to enforce good behavior.
If you are having some difficulties implementing certain steps or commands, you can ask for assistance from the experts or enroll in a training class. They can help you by having one on one sessions with you and your dog to discuss the training issues.