If you’re a new dog owner or you have a new puppy, it might seem like training your dog is a monumental task. However, training your dog isn’t hard, it just takes some patience and dedication. With a few simple techniques you’ll be able to successfully train your dog in no time. Here are the top five things to do and remember in order to train your dog successfully.
The first thing to remember when training your dog is to avoid confusion. One person, and one person only, should be responsible for training your dog so he can learn to easily recognize commands. When too many people try to train the dog at the same time, he can get confused and it can stop training from progressing further.
Use Positive Reinforcements
Always use positive reinforcements as opposed to negative when training your dog. In other words, reward your dog’s good behavior instead of punishing undesirable behavior. If your dog doesn’t seem to understand your commands, don’t push it. Just like humans, dogs make mistakes. They are intelligent animals, but they don’t always understand commands easily, and will almost never understand those commands in just one teaching. Repetition and patience is required to successfully train a dog. Scolding your dog can lead to him fearing you, which will make it almost a guarantee that your dog won’t learn from you. This can impede progress. You can use treats in moderation to encourage good behavior, but praise is just as effective.
One Step at a Time
Don’t try to teach your dog multiple commands at the same time, or try to teach him commands in rapid succession. Only teach one command at a time, starting with sit, stay, and come, in that order, and never move on to another command until your dog has mastered the one. If your dog doesn’t seem to be absorbing the command, give him some time and take as much time as is necessary for him to understand that one command before moving on.
When you execute commands you should always sound upbeat and cheerful as opposed to stern or a drill sergeant. Remember that dogs understand tone and inflection much more than they understand words. If they think you’re mad at them they may be startled and become unresponsive. Low, coaxing vocal tone is the best way to train your dog and the tone he’ll be most responsive to.
Switch it Up
Don’t always train your dog in one location. For instance, if you continually train your dog at home, he may not be able to understand the same commands if he’s in a new environment with other people around. You want your dog to be able to understand commands no matter where you are, not only for convenience, but for safety. Also, getting your dog out of the house will help him socialize with other dogs and people.
It’s not always easy to train your dog, but it’s worth your time and patience in the end. Not only does your dog benefit from being trained, but so do you, and your relationship will flourish as a result. Your dog will be safer, happier, calmer, and have a more enjoyable life if he is well trained by a patient and caring owner willing to invest the time to do so.