You might be tempted to think of dog training as merely a necessary step between acquiring your dog and enjoying your pet’s company. This would be a mistake, though. If you take the time to educate yourself on the process, you can make dog training just as enjoyable and rewarding as the dog-owning years that follow it. Read on to pick up some helpful tips to improve your dog-training skills.
Always use the same words when giving commands to your dog. Using different phrasing for basic commands can confuse your dog. Saying “Come” today and saying “Come here” the next, in the dog’s mind, is like teaching two different commands, however, the behavior is expected to be the same. Keep it simple and keep it consistent.
Treats are not the mainstay for rewarding your pet when training. Dogs will learn that if you give them a treat for a response they should expect it always. This is not necessary and should be reserved for occasional rewards. Dogs see loving, physical contact as a reward as well and will enjoy it much more than a treat that is gone in a split second.
Create a bridge between the dog’s response to a command and the reward for success. By saying a bridge word such as “yes” or “good”, you will reinforce that the behavior is acceptable and the reward will follow. Keep using this bridge word even after training is complete to be consistent with your pet.
Young dogs can easily be trained to retreat to their crate when they are tired. When crate training your dog, always keep the crate in the vicinity of where you and the dog are interacting. When he tires from play he will naturally gravitate towards the crate because to do so doesn’t isolate him from you.
Always buy a crate that is the correct size for your dog so you can train them well. Don’t forget that puppies get bigger. You want a crate that will suit your dog right through to adulthood. They have to be comfortable moving around inside to ensure they aren’t crowded.
Make sure you and your family are consistent with your commands. If one person uses “down” to tell the dog to get off the couch while another says “off” and a third is letting him lay there, the dog is going to get mixed signals. It makes it much more difficult for him to learn the commands.
After each training session, spend a few minutes playing your dogs favorite game with him. If you do this every time, your dog will know it’s coming after the training sessions and will be excited when it comes time for your daily session. The more excited he is, the better he’ll do.
These tips are just a few of the ways you can make dog training more enjoyable and fulfilling for you and your pooch. You should not consider the training process as a separate phase from your overall dog-owning experience; when you do it well, training can be just as rewarding as any other time spent with your dog.