Having a well-trained dog can provide your home with a happy balance. If your dog is trained well, then you should both know what is to be expected of the other. Once he is trained, you will have less worry when you leave him home alone, have visitors or take him out in public. Training isn’t always easy, but it is well worth the effort. Follow these ideas to help get you started.
When teaching your dog discipline, regardless of what training method you use, you should always apply it with speed and consistency. Not correcting your dog for bad behavior every single time, sends him mixed signals that may only make the problem worse. Likewise, not correcting your dog immediately, may make it hard for him to understand why you are punishing him.
Make sure that you use a gradual process when training your dog. Start small and build up a bit daily. Know when your dog does not pay attention when you are training it.
Digging can be a troublesome behavior with some dogs. One way to address this is to create an area where your dog is allowed to dig. Hide some of his favorite toys in the area, bury dog treats, and encourage him to spend time there. This can keep your dog out of your favorite garden and help him to enjoy your yard.
Training your dog to walk on lead takes time. The idea is to have your dog walk obediently beside you without straining, tugging, and pulling from side to side. Correct your dog’s movement with short snaps of the lead that pull sharply and abruptly back against his momentum. He will stop pulling and walk complacently for a time beside you. During this time loosen the lead but when he pulls again snap the lead again.
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.
Reinforce desirable behavior from your dog. Don’t just rely on treats though. You can reinforce these behaviors through positive attention as well. Petting your dog and talking to him in cheerful tones can be a good incentive too. So can a new squeaky toy or a trip to the park.
Always end a training session with your dog on a positive note, even if you have to manipulate the scenario to make your dog successful. Ending a training session immediately after a disciplinary action will mean that your dog will remember the session as being about punishment, not about training.
Most of all, dog training is about establishing the rules of the relationship, and, just as with a person, you will enjoy each other so much more now that these rules have been established. The most important thing is to use positive reinforcement to remind your dog what he has learned. Always keep a close eye out and do not hesitate to enforce proper punishment on any violations of the designated rules. Once your dog knows the basics, his ability to do anything is near limitless.