Basic Tips To Help You Train Your Dog
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Dogs play a big part in our lives, usually becoming regular members of the family. It’s important to train them well and with the right techniques; the following tips will help you do just that.
1. Start early. Elements of training can begin as soon as a new dog enters your home, even if he’s young. Begin by bonding with him, letting him adjust to the different tones you will use in your voice when teaching, and showing him around the house. Provide him with a safe, comfortable bed and make it his territory by placing toys and a water dish beside it. Begin formal training around eight weeks of age.
2. Be consistent in everything. The words you say as well as how you say them must be the same each time, anything else will be confusing and frustrating to the dog. Also, it’s crucial that everyone who comes into contact with him abide by the same rules; it won’t be fair to scold him for jumping on your sofa if that’s what someone else allows. Have a family meeting to discuss the rules that pertain to the dog and all methods of training.
3. Be prepared with patience. Especially if your new dog is a puppy, or if he has recently spent time in an animal shelter, you’re going to need more patience than you can imagine. A puppy is easily distracted and far more curious than he is disciplined; give him time to understand the process of training itself as well as each thing you are trying to teach. Any shelter dog may be suffering from anxiety where he was alone a lot or had to fend for food and the best sleeping spot. Walk away before you reach the point of being angry.
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4. Start with an easy task, then move to the most important. The best way to get a dog accustomed to the idea of training is to start with something simple, like “no” or “sit.” Once he grasps the concept of learning, move on to whatever is most important for him to learn in order to become a well-adjusted member of the household. If he tends to jump and you have smaller children, for instance, get to work on that problem. Save the fancy, show-off tricks for after he has mastered the basics and learned how to conduct himself properly.
5. Train where there are little or no distractions. If you’ve got a big, fenced-in yard, that will be the perfect place to conduct dog classes. Trying to get your new dog or puppy to focus on a task in the middle of a busy living room will be fruitless; unless you’re teaching someone else how to train, be the only one around the dog. A quiet environment with nothing to chew, chase or tempt will be the most conducive place for fast and effective learning.
6. Be generous with rewards and exercise time. Reward is one of the most important aspects of training your dog; it’s what tells him he has done the right thing! The more you lean toward praise as a treat, the less inclined he will be to expect food or associate it with good behavior. Unless you provide him with natural biscuits, they could be full of excess calories and junk you’d rather not be feeding him. Since he loves your attention more than anything, use your voice and hands to tell him how well he’s doing. Also, make sure he has ample time and space to exhaust his abundance of energy with healthy and fun exercise.
Dogs love to please and will be proud once training is over. You’ll be happy with the accomplishments as well and the entire family can enjoy the dog whole-heartedly.