Having a well-behaved canine citizen has many ‘perks’. You can take your pet out with you without the fear of getting into a doggie fight or scare the people it meets.
Not to mention, that a well-trained dog makes for a safer and happier home environment.
Thus, it is an awesome idea if you’d make an effort to train your dog. You’d be amazed at how it can strengthen the bond between you and your best friend.
Here are some ideas on how you can become an expert in dog training.
1. Be the Boss
The first and the most important thing to remember is to let your dog know that you are the alpha. If your new friend senses that it can get away with anything, then you have already lost the battle.
Dogs are pack animals, meaning, for each pack, there should only be one leader whom the rest of the pack members must obey. It does not mean though that you have to be an aggressive boss. What you have to show is firm and authoritative behaviors because that would be the building block of your loving relationship.
2. The House Rules
Even before your new dog comes home, have a clear set of rules as to what your dog can do and cannot do. For example, do you allow your new dog to sit on the couch? Which rooms in the house are off-limits?
If the rules are defined early on, confusion can be avoided.
How much time do you spend on training your new friend? Teaching new things to your dog is a process of evolution, it should not be a revolution.
You have to understand your dog has a short attention span. Once you get positive results, then give its reward and then stop the training session. Why? Because long sessions will only bore your dog and may even show disinterest in what you are teaching.
How long then should you allot for training? 15 minutes is the max.
4. One Command at a Time
Focus is what we are aiming for during training sessions. Unlike you, your dog is not good at multitasking. That being said, teach only one command for each training session.
Just don’t be too high on expectations. Your dog won’t learn it in one sitting. Teach the same command until your dog finally masters it. Then that is the only time you should move on to new and more challenging commands.
5. Reinforcement or Proofing Behavior
One of the mistakes that most dog owners do is the failure of reinforcement. Do not expect your dog to remember the command you’ve taught if there is no follow-through.
As the saying goes “practice makes perfect”, and that is only doable if you will keep on practicing or proofing a learned command behavior.
If you stick to the basic guidelines that we have shared with you, in time, you will gradually redefine yourself as an expert in dog training. Remember to be the confident boss, to practice, to reward, to reinforce, and lastly, to have a good time with your protégé.
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