Knowing how to effectively train your dog is not an intuitive process. Many times, we fail to remember that dogs simply don’t speak English, and they often don’t know what we want them to do. This article details some easy-to-implement things that you can do as a pet owner to have a better behaved, happier dog.
Any dog owner should consider their pet’s diet when looking to correct behavioral problems. As with humans, dogs are what they eat. If their diet is not nutritionally sound, internal and external problems can develop. Make sure your dog is eating his best, and improved behavior will often follow.
Learn to understand what your dog is saying through facial expression. Many people fail to see that a dog says even though his he communicates non-verbally with his face, just as we do. When you are training your dog, take some time to see how he responds to commands, rewards and your behavior. Watching his facial expressions will be useful as training progresses and give you a better understanding of your dog.
Dogs learn through reinforcement. When your dog does something you approve of and you would like to train them to do that on command, reward them with your voice. Consider, for example, the dog that unpredictably brings his owner his slippers. The owner should excitedly say the word “slippers” or whatever word they chose as a command for that behavior.
Think of a word you can use as a command during training. “Yes” works very well when said the same way time and time again.
Crate training is a good skill for a dog of any age to have. Teaching your dog to stay in their crate quietly takes time and patience but can be a valuable tool while potty training or a safe place for him to stay while you are away from the house.
Many people make the mistake of calling their dog to them when they are bad. If you are currently dog training, it is essential that you do not do this. Your dog will begin to associate you calling him over, as a bad thing and the dog will want to avoid you. So make sure you are calling your dog when he has done something well.
Associate hand gestures with individual commands to help your dog remember what to do. While the command words themselves can be enough of a clue to tell the dog what to do – using a visual cue – provides a way for the dog to remember more easily how to perform.
When doing a training session with your dog, set a specific goal for that session. When you reach that goal, end the session, even if you were planning on going longer. This helps keep both you and your dog focused on the results, as well as ensuring that each session ends on a positive note.
Most people find that, with a little bit of dog training, their relationship with their dog improves tremendously. And as you can see, training your dog, while not an intuitive process, IS a much easier process than most people think. So put some of our suggestions into practice, and you’ll see for yourself!