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 and dog training that you can do as a pet owner to have a better behaved, happier dog.
Reinforcement is a key element in dog training. Reinforcement only works, however, when it is executed with the proper timing. Excitedly saying, “Good girl!” just a few seconds too late has little positive impact on the dog’s future performance in terms of the desired act. Reinforcement for desired behavior should be immediate.
Listening to your dog is one of the most important steps of training your dog. If your dog is uncomfortable or scared, then you aren’t going to get the result that you are looking for. Respect their needs and the process will go a lot smoother.
Focus on your body language when training. Dogs respond much easier to non-verbal cues. Pay attention to how they respond to different actions and facial expressions that you make to learn what affect they have on them. Keep your words short and too the point and reinforce it with bodily actions.
To keep your dog from barking while you aren’t home, you need to make him think you can appear at any moment. This will take some time on your part. Pretend to leave the house, but stay outside until the barking starts. Then open the door and deliver a stern “No!” This will make your dog think you are all-seeing and all-hearing. A few sessions of this technique, and you’ll train your dog to keep it quiet.
The best way to prevent your dog from barking excessively, is to make him more comfortable with whatever it is he barks at so frequently. Dogs bark at anything that scares of threatens them, so if you show your dog that the object of their fear is nothing to be afraid of, he’ll stop barking.
When you are working on dog training, make sure that you are providing him or her with the right balance of food. Imagine if you were eating foods such as turkey or sugar while you are trying to learn, as you can see it would definitely have an influence on your attention factor. The same principles apply to dog training. Stick with foods that will compliment your dog’s natural ability to learn.
If you use treats for positive reinforcement when training your dog, be sure that you use them sparingly. If the dog receives a treat every time it follows one of your commands, it will learn that treats and obedience go together, not you and obedience. If you stop giving treats at that point, the dog will stop obeying.
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!