From helping your dog to know when to bark, to know when it’s not okay to beg, to come to you when you call him, it’s easy to see how at least some training can be very beneficial. It may seem hard to teach your dog new tricks, but in reality it’s simple if you just keep trying the right strategies. Here’s a few good ideas.
Trying to understand how your dog is feeling. As advanced creatures, we humans have problems accepting when our dogs aren’t picking up new skills as fast as we’d like. Rather than abandoning the training, consider what the dog might be thinking. Understanding their perspective can help you have sympathy for their position.
You must enforce any command you give when training your dog. Giving a command that you are not confident in or not willing to follow through with diminishes your role as leader. Do not ask, beg or scream. Give firm commands in a dominant tone and expect the dog to give the appropriate behavior. Your dog will see you as a true leader when you follow through.
Sometimes it may be necessary to physically establish yourself as the Alpha in the pack. If your animal is being aggressive to another animal or a person, hold them by the scruff of the neck and put them in a prone position on the ground firmly, not violently. This lets your dog know you are in charge and exhibits behavior they would expect from another dog.
A clicker and a few treats can be a very effective method of training your dog. Because a clicker can be easier for a dog to understand than a voice command, lessons can be quick and productive. Training sessions should not be longer than about fifteen minutes, since dogs do have short attention spans.
Show your dog that you love them and are proud of them. It’s easy in dog training to focus on the negative and try to show your dog that what they are doing is wrong. Make sure that you also work to accentuate the positive and praise them when they are doing well.
Don’t force your dog to go into his crate. Instead, profusely praise him when he enters his crate on his own. Young puppies, in particular, might be somewhat afraid of the crate when it is first introduced. If you force them to enter it their fear might turn into terror. Their natural curiosity will eventually override their fear.
When your puppy is 7 to 12 weeks old this is known as the “fear-imprint period’. If your puppy experiences trauma at this time, he may have the fear associated with this trauma for the rest of his life. Because of this, your puppy’s early weeks should include human contact, and contact with other animals. It should also be a positive experience for him, with little punishing, if any at all.
Training a dog is a great experience. Seeing how your pet develops good behavior and respect for your command you is a rewarding experience and well worth your time. Training a dog should be treated as an opportunity to have fun instead of a chore, so have fun trying out the suggestions in this article!