Having a dog can be one of the great joys in life. But when they aren’t acting the way you want them to, they can also be the most frustrating. Don’t lose heart; there are some effective ways to get your dog to behave. Here are some good ways to start training your dog.
Look for triggers that may cause bad behavior from your dog. If your dog is suddenly exhibiting unwanted behaviors, maybe something has changed that day: Has he been able to go on a walk or has he been cooped up? Were you gone all day when normally someone is at home? Dogs are creatures of consistency and when things change their behavior can change as well.
After your dog training session is completed, finish with a command that you know your dog already can do. This allows your dog’s subconscious to remember that it has completed the days training, and can also help your animal to retain the information it has learned from the training session. It also will help maintain the routine.
If you encounter a dog with whom you are not acquainted, you should do so slowly and with the back of a hand outstretched. This will give the dog time learn your scent and possibly trust you. After the dog becomes familiar with your smell, he’ll start to trust you and listen to you.
Spend time each day training your dog, even if for only a few minutes a day. Dogs respond well when they get to practice what they are learning and what they have learned. Practicing at least 15 minutes a day on commands your dog already knows keeps the dog in practice.
When training your dog, take some time to think about how your dog sees the world. Learning to see the world from your dog’s perspective helps you understand your dog better so you can train more effectively. Getting in your dog’s head may seem like hocus pocus, but it really helps you train more effectively.
Be consistent when training your dog. Your furry buddy will be easily confused when you vary your routine too much. Always give the same encouragement for a job well done. Use the same phrases to help your dog recognize what words are for what actions. Always say ‘good dog’ and don’t vary the tone.
Physical punishment does not work, and can hinder training. Never ever hit your dog, especially when training. While it may appear to work because the dog stops the behavior, in reality they have only learned to fear you and not do that behavior in your presence. So toss out that rolled up newspaper and break out some tasty treats instead.
If your dog is digging up your yard, they may be bored. The biggest cause of destructive behavior in dogs is boredom. Simply putting them out in a back yard does not necessarily mean they are getting exercise. Try making sure they have some activity by taking them for long walks, or if you must stay home, a long game of fetch. Your dog will be too tired out to bother digging.
If you want to train your dog, you should wait until it is at least six weeks old. A younger dog will not understand what you are expecting, and not be able to control itself enough to obey your commands. The first weeks of your puppy’s life should be about creating a bond with you.
Be consistent when training a dog. A dog does not understand why sometimes hanging out on the couch is allowed, but other times results in a scolding. Decide what the rules are, and stick to them every time. Soon your dog will know what to expect and want to please you by doing the right thing (and receiving the occasional praise and even a treat or two for getting caught doing well.)
Anxious dogs might benefit from having music played when you leave. Classical music is proven to be soothing for a variety of species, and dogs are no exception. Calm, soothing classical music played at a mellow volume might be a benefit to your dog and keep the house from being silent while you’re gone.
It is important to improve your dog’s recall ability. Your dog needs to learn to return to you when he is called, under any circumstances. Training your dog in small increments will help him to obey no matter what else is going on. Recall will become very useful if your dog is in danger or about to attack someone, which is why you should spend some time on this command.
When thinking about barking, stay aware of activities or the environment when the dog is barking too much. Having an awareness of the triggers, can help you address the behavior constructively. For example, if strange people or animals cause your dog to bark, then you might need to spend more time socializing.
Pay attention to your dog’s body language during the training process. Dogs use their eyes, ears and other parts of their body to show you how they feel and what they want. For example, whether they lift or lower their tail can tell you a lot about their mood. If you can interpret your pet’s signals, you will be a much more effective trainer.
Get your dog to stop chewing undesirable objects by offering him interesting alternatives. There is an endless variety of chew toys available at any pet store or department store. Get a basket and put “his” toys inside and keep it full of fun playthings. Hopefully, he will learn to prefer his own toys to yours!
To help you train your dog so it is obedient and well behaved, it is important to show the dog that you, and you only, are the pack leader. This means showing a dominant presence so the dog understands that he is not the leader and he must follow your commands. If you follow this key step, you will be on your way to training your dog effectively.
Try these tips and see how well they work. It will not happen overnight, but sooner or later your dog will start responding. This will mean you can relax a little. A great dog can be a great friend, but you’ve got to take a little time to train him first.