Dog owners who are responsible know that good dogs are not made, they’re trained. Dogs who are well trained tend to be happier. They know what to expect and when to expect it. This also provides a safer environment for you, the dog, and your neighbors. Here are some tips to help you train your dog or find a trainer.
When it is time to leash train your new dog or puppy, you must let him know that you are boss. Punishment does nothing but make him afraid of you and it doesn’t actually correct the behavior. One thing that you should do, is make a short leash so that he has to stay right by your side. Do not let him lead you. You are the leader, not him.
Ask yourself how your dog is seeing things. It is easy to get frustrated with your dog if they are not learning very basic things quickly or at all. Try putting thinking like your dog would, rather than quitting. Understanding their perspective can help you have sympathy for their position.
When teaching a puppy basic commands, start with ‘sit’. This is the easiest one for a dog to master. Hold his favorite snack just above his nose, and firmly say ‘sit’. Most dogs will instinctively sit down at this point. Offer him the treat and don’t forget to praise him profusely. If he doesn’t sit, gently push his rear end towards the floor. After he has been sitting for a few seconds, give him the treat, and like before, remember to praise him.
If you are getting a new dog, and you intend to train it, look for a younger dog. The old adage “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is somewhat appropriate here. Younger dogs are more receptive to dominance from a pack leader and will learn quickly in an effort to please. Another plus to this is that young dogs really enjoy learning new things, much like children do.
When you first get your puppy don’t expect him to learn a large number of commands in a short amount of time. Your puppy needs time to acclimate to his new environment. During this time, it is possible to teach him two or three simple commands. Do not move on to other commands until your puppy has mastered these.
Try not to reinforce bad behavior in your dog by accident. This means denying your dog treats and praise whenever it misbehaves. For instance, if your dog does not sit when commanded, do not rub his head affectionately unless he actually sits.
Start training your dog as early in its life as possible, but not younger than about seven weeks. This helps build an early bond between you as the owner and trainer and the dog. However, starting too early will simply overstress the dog; a very young puppy won’t learn anything from training sessions.
Hopefully these tips will have helped you along your way to enjoy your pet. Owning a disciplined, well-behaved dog can make your job as a pet owner far more manageable. If you don’t feel you are adequately equipped to train your dog, employ a professional dog trainer.