Training is an important part of owning a dog. A well-trained dog is a well-behaved dog. All dogs need to learn some basic commands and how to behave. Dog training can sometimes seem like a big challenge if you are new to it. If you have had some difficulties with training your dog in the past or getting your dog to do what you want, we have some dog training tips for you. Try out some of these to help you find more success with getting your dog to learn new behaviors.
1. Be Patient
Patience will be integral to the success of your dog training. You need to remember that it will take time and effort to properly train your dog. Getting frustrated or angry at your dog for being too slow to get it will only hinder your success. If you find you are getting frustrated or angry during training then take a break and try again later. Dog training is a long-term project, but if you put in the effort you will be rewared with a well-behaved and happy pup.
2. Listen to Your Dog
When you are training your dog always try to be present and aware of your dog. Listening to your dog and paying attention to body language will help you to know when the training is working and when it is not. Try to be aware of your dog’s reaction to you and what you are doing. If your dog seems distracted or uninterested then it may be the wrong time for training.
Also be aware of how your dog reacts to other people and other dogs. If your dog does not seem comfortable with what you are doing you should respect that and take a break. Pay attention to what your likes and doesn’t like and you will find your training sessions more successful and effective.
3. Be Consistent
Consistency is a crucial part of successful dog training. Use the same command word when training your dog to do something and make sure to get everyone else in the family on the same page. If you are all using different command words your dog will only get confused about what you want him to do and it will take longer for him to learn.
This goes for house rules as well. If you don’t allow your dog on the couch or bed and your partner or kids do then your dog will get confused about what he is allowed to do. Once everyone is clear about the rules your dog will be as well.
4. The Right Rewards
Most dogs can be trained with the right kind of treat or reward. Try a few different things and work out what motivates your dog the most. Some dogs are food motivated while others love praise or a favorite toy or a game of catch. Once you know what he loves you should always reward your dog for good behavior during training sessions.
5. Praise Your Dog
Remember to praise your dog often when he is displaying good behavior outside of your training sessions as well. Positive reinforcement is a more successful way to train your dog than using bribing or punishment. Your dog loves it when you shower him with affection so use that to reward the right behavior when you can.
6. Regular Exercise
Keep up with your dog’s regular exercise while you are training. Exercise helps with focus and motivation. As well as being good for your pup’s health, exercise can help to work off some of the extra energy your dog may have. There’s nothing worse than trying to train a hyperactive dog.
7. Keep it Simple
Keep your dog training sessions short and simple. Only work on one thing at a time. Wait for your dog to master that before moving on to the next action or command.
When training dog commands keep them simple. Do not use too many words. Try to make it as easy for your dog as possible to get it right. Take a look at our article on dog training commands to see which ones to start with.
Keep your training sessions short as well. 10-15 minutes at a time is enough. Do this a couple of times a day to reinforce what your dog is learning.
Keep the sessions even shorter if you are training a puppy. Remember that puppies get tired quickly and need to rest more often.
8. Be Realistic
You won’t have your dog fully trained in weeks. It takes time for your dog to learn the right behavior and what you want him to do. If you expect too much of your dog you run the risk of getting frustrated or anxious and your dog will sense that. Each dog will learn at his own pace so ensure you adjust your expectations to suit your dog’s ability.
9. Stay Calm
Be a calm presence for your dog during training. Dogs can pick up on our emotions so try to remain calm and be the confident pack leader that your dog needs. Don’t get angry or yell at your dog out of frustration. It may make them scared or anxious and they won’t understand what you are saying anyway. This will only hinder your dog’s training progress.
10. Have Fun
Try to have fun with your dog training so you both enjoy the sessions. Keep introducing different activities, toys, treats, and rewards into your dog’s life to keep things interesting. Get the whole family involved in training your dog so everyone can enjoy the experience. And remember to always end your training sessions on a positive note, with some praise, a treat, or a fun game.
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