From helping your dog to know when to bark, to know when it’s not okay to beg, to come to you when you call him, it’s easy to see how at least some training can be very beneficial. It may seem hard to teach your dog new tricks, but in reality it’s simple if you just keep trying the right strategies. Here’s a few good ideas.
Reinforcement is a key element in dog training. Reinforcement only works, however, when it is executed with the proper timing. Excitedly saying, “Good girl!” just a few seconds too late has little positive impact on the dog’s future performance in terms of the desired act. Reinforcement for desired behavior should be immediate.
Dogs mimic their owner’s behavior. Don’t be shocked if they decide they want to sleep in your bed and sit in your recliner. Don’t be shocked if they attempt to eat from your plate. Most of all, don’t be angry. Your dog has to be trained that this behavior is unacceptable. They need to be taught the acceptable options.
When training, be specific about what you want your dog to do. Using vague commands like “no” tend to be ineffective. No only tells him that you didn’t like what he did, but not why. If you say “no” when he jumps on the couch, he may think you wanted him to jump higher. Use specific commands like stay and sit for better results.
The diet you are feeding your dog needs to match their needs and activity level. The diet that is right for a working dog is a lot different from that of a dog that lounges around the house all day. Talk with your vet regarding what is right for your pup and don’t forget their needs will change as they age.
It is important to take a leadership role while training your dog. This does not mean that you need to try and force your animal to bend to your will. Acting as a teacher and showing him what you want him to do by rewarding his actions will help your dog succeed.
When you are first starting out in training your dog, try to schedule the training sessions to take place at about the same time every day. If you are making the training sessions a positive experience and doing them on a schedule, your dog will start to look forward to the sessions and enjoy them more.
If your dog is not listening while you are doing dog training, make sure that the dog is not ill. There will be no benefits to punishing your animal if it is not feeling well, and it can have very detrimental effects afterwards. If you are unable to decide if the dog is sick then contact a veterinarian for assistance.
Training a dog is a great experience. Seeing how your pet develops good behavior and respect for your command you is a rewarding experience and well worth your time. Training a dog should be treated as an opportunity to have fun instead of a chore, so have fun trying out the suggestions in this article!