Dog training is one of the most important things you’ll do for yourself, your dog, and your family. Not training a dog is very risky since you’re leaving its behavior and mannerisms up to chance, and often they are left messy and unsociable because of it. Your dog needs to integrate well into your household, so they get along with other people, and other animals, and won’t tear up anything. Here we’re taking a look at how to train your dog right.
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Know The Rules
Many first-time dog owners fall into a trap. That trap is not knowing the rules themselves, so they are inconsistent with when and how they regulate the dog’s behavior. One day, the dog may be allowed on the furniture. The next day, or even later that same day, the dog is not allowed on the furniture. That can be confusing for dogs, who do remember what you’ve told them as long as you are consistent about it.
Make a list if you need to. The earlier you establish the house rules, the easier they will be to follow for both of you.
Give Them A Space
Assuming you are training from puppyhood (the best time to train a dog) then you should give them a space of their own. Kip dog daycare states that this allows them to happily enjoy their own private living space, just like the bedrooms that every other family member has.
Crates can be very useful for this, as long as you follow the proper guidelines by making sure it’s big enough and giving ample food and water in the crate. Don’t leave them in there for long periods, either. For puppies, a warm water bottle and a ticking clock imitate the life signs of fellow pups and do well in soothing them.
While social animals, dogs enjoy hiding away in their den and having a moment to themselves from time to time. This is usually to snooze or escape the chaos of everyday household life on busy days. When puppies do relax in their den, stop by and give them the treat to reinforce this behavior.
Teach Them The ‘Come’ Command
The first and one of the most important commands is ‘come.’ You’ll be using this throughout the entirety of your dog’s life, and instilling it early makes related commands, like recall, easier. Those commands are important because they can even save your dog’s life.
Dogs understand one-syllable names best, so try to use one of those if you haven’t already decided on a name. Even if you have, maybe you can shorten it to something easier for the dog to recognize.
Then get down to the dog’s level and use the name. When they inevitably bounce over to you, because they are curious, shower them with positive reinforcement. Repeat this, gradually doing it when the puppy is busier, like when they’re eating food, to protect this behavior against environmental distractions.
Stay Away From Scolding
Scolding your dog simply does not work in most instances. When trying to punish your dog for something that they have done wrong, apathy is a much better tool.
For example, if your dog jumps up at people as a greeting and you don’t want them to do that, ignore them. When they settle down, then give them attention. They’ll associate the petting with settling down, and so they won’t do it in the future.
Similarly, don’t scold your puppy when they nip at you. Many dogs should stop if you pretend to be hurt by letting out a short whimper. Otherwise, simply re-direct your attention elsewhere by giving them something else to chew.
Remember that you’re smarter than your dog, so distracting them from bad behavior can be easy if you outthink them. If you get angry and scold them, you might accidentally reinforce bad behaviors or scare them so much that they develop other bad habits. When that happens, it’s often impossible to rehabilitate them.