Most Useful Dog Training Tips

Brought home an adorable pup or adopted a shelter dog – it’s time to start preparing yourself and your four legged wonder for a lifetime of good behavior and companionship! The most essential beginning to a great companionship ahead is – training. To understand each other and communicate in a way that the little pup understands. You learn in the process too!

While your dog absolutely must undergo training, here are a few things that you must understand too:

Listen to your dog

Dogs can be trained, but you cannot command them against their will. So, next time you see your dog getting uncomfortable when he meets a new dog or a new person – listen. It’s completely unnecessary to insist. This builds trust and makes your training easier. He is more willing to listen to you too!

Be generous with appreciation

It’s easier to be upset when your dog chews away something, but we often miss out on the more obvious good behavior. We fail to appreciate that too. Well, as a part of training, ensure that you appreciate more than you criticize.

Does your dog like it?

Just because the ad says that ‘every dog loves it’ – does not mean that your dog will love that food item. Some pups and even dogs are very selective about the food they eat. Some love the soft and chewy treats and some love the hard and crunchy ones. Observe what your dog loves and then select food for your dog.

Be consistent

Whenever you are training your dog, it is essential that set rules are followed by all family members. Even the choice of words matter – so if you are saying ‘down’ to make him sit and someone else uses ‘sit’ – the dog may not understand and the very first perception is that the dog does not ‘obey’! So, consistency in what you say matters!

Realistic expectations

Training a dog is possible – but you must keep a check on your expectations too. You cannot change the dog’s behavior. A dog ‘will’ dig, chew, jump, bark – you cannot change any of that! You can of course train him to ‘not jump on your favorite chair’ or not dig in certain parts of your garden etc. But you cannot completely or miraculously change his behavior.

Reinforce what you want

So, you want your dog to ‘not’ do something? Or, you ‘want’ your dog to do something – consistent reinforcement is necessary. So, make sure that you have consistent instructions every time. This reinforces a habit that cannot be broken later!

Reward

Using treats to train dogs is one of the most effective methods. This is many times equated with bribery. More often than not, it works! Apart from that, whenever your dog learns a new skill or does something good – reward him immediately. This registers in his mind as a task he gets rewarded for and is more willing to repeat and remember!

Lastly, it’s a good idea to allow your dog to earn his freedom of movement around the house. Too much freedom, too soon could lead to accidents and chewing things that shouldn’t be! Keep your dog in a safe area until he is ready to move, scamper and jump around freely – completely trained!

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