Regardless of what you’re trying to teach your dog — how to come when called, to sit, to stop barking — you should always have a general principle. For instance, to get quick results and make the bond between you and your four-legged friend grow stronger, it is CRUCIAL that you understand them.
Want to learn how to train your dog? We share with you three important tips to follow!
First, you absolutely have to win your dog’s mind.
This must be your first step or you will be fighting a losing battle all the way.
When I say that you must “win your dog’s mind,” what I mean is that your pup must look to you for all decisions. I would start right now by taking a look at this video series on how to establish yourself as your dog’s pack leader.
If you aren’t putting the lessons learned in these videos into action you are only setting yourself up for heartache and failure. If you don’t, the next time you need your dog to behave, they’ll still run off and do their own thing.
Or maybe you have a dog that follows your commands and direction most of the time, maybe even 99% of the time… but that’s not quite 100% now is it? Look, I’ll just put it simply: if you want a dog who ALWAYS listens then you MUST win their mind!
The next key, some may even call it the second, is…
You must motivate your dog. You need to know with absolute certainty what your dog likes to do for exercise or for play, and also what they would like for a reward. Making training enjoyable for both you and your dog will mean you BOTH achieve more and you BOTH look forward to the next training session.
My dog Scooter loves to fetch. Your dog may like to play tug, go for a swim, run an obstacle course, or (if you’re lucky) train to be obedient. When you’re just getting started, make sure you have a real understanding of what they enjoy doing, and how to reward them when they do well.
There are three main types of rewards, which are:
- Food – shocking, right? Anything from a small dog biscuit or a piece of a meat can work.
- Affection – give pats, hugs, cuddles, belly rubs, or even just excited verbal praise
- Toys – playing chase, playing tug, playing fetch, etc.
Your dog will always be more willing to work with you if you are fair and generous while training. It’s fine if you don’t want to use food, just make sure that you dish out an appropriate amount of affection when your dog is doing a good job.
Now, if you do want to use food as a reward, then make sure to always follow these easy tips:
- Always make sure to vary the food reward
- Don’t give out food rewards every time
- Keep the reward a mystery from your dog
- Do not give your dog a reward if they don’t obey the first time
The final, and third key is… practice!
Becoming perfect at something doesn’t happen overnight. You must learn what encourages the behavior in your dog that you want, and then repeat it again and again.
This will be where whatever reward you have chosen for your pup comes into play. By properly motivating your dog and showing them what it is you want them to do, there will be no need for negative training!
Start your dog on the right path today by watching this dog training video series that I have found to be incredibly helpful. Thanks for reading and happy training!