Tips For Training Your Dog

Last updated October 14, 2007

Are you trying to decide what level of training is right for you and your dog? What most dog owners want is simply a well mannered, socially acceptable dog. How much work does it takes to achieve that goal depends on several factors which the most important of them are: you, the teaching methods, the temperament of the dog, and the amount of time the dog has the opportunity to learn.

You can use the simple tips below to train your dog to become a socially acceptable member of your family and avoid your dog causing you and your family much headaches and embarrassments down the road.

Train them young
The best time to train your dog is when it is still a puppy. While your dog is still young, it will be much easier and quicker for him to learn new tricks. The older it gets, the more bad habits your dog will have and more difficult for you to get rid of these bad habits. Remember prevention is better than cure!

Treat them as you would treat a fellow human being
Handle your dog in the most humanely and gentle ways that you can. Dogs are man’s best friends; you won’t want to mistreat your best friend. When you're feeling bad-tempered or impatient, don’t train your dog. Earn your dog's respect by treating your dog properly and not by yelling, hitting, or handling your dog in a harsh manner. Remember, fear and stress only slow down the learning process.

Motivate them positively
Don’t use fear or destructive methods to train your dog. Instead, use positive and motivational methods to train your dog into a happier and healthier dog. You won’t want your dog to turn out angry and grouchy all the time.

Let them know what is acceptable and what is not
Teach them what proper and correct behavior is. Ignoring your commands, begging at the table, jumping on visitors are examples of unacceptable indoor behavior and if not eradicated will post problems when you bring your dog outdoors.

Enforce your command
Make sure all the dog commands that you give out is complied with. Set rules, and discipline him every time he misbehaves with consistent, specific reprimands. Reward good behavior, too. If you are unable to enforce these commands or don’t enforce them, in the long run, your dog may view them as optional commands and may refuse to obey in the future.

Don’t confuse them with multiple or repeated commands
Use commands that are single word. Do not use combined commands such as go-fetch or sit-down, these commands will only serve to confuse them. Use only commands such “go” or “fetch” and “sit” or “down” instead. Another common mistake to avoid is repeating command such as "Down, down, down, down!". Just give your dog a simple “Down” and then place or coax your dog into the down position follow by a praise or reward.

Give out commands in a calm and authoritative voice
Avoid using loud, angry tone when giving out commands. It will have a very negative impact on your dog in terms of following your commands. A lot of times, many owners complain that their dogs are very uncooperative in following their commands. Their dogs appear stubborn, refuse to listen and follow their commands, resulting in many a frustrated owner. Now, before you raise your voice or get angry, you must understand a few important points: 1) Does your dog knows what you want?, 2) Does your dog knows how to react?, or 3) Is your dog unresponsive because of fear, trauma, stress or confusion?

Let your dog know you're the boss
Alpha dogging starts as possessiveness. Handle your pup when he eats and plays with toys. If he tense up or growls, reprimand him and remove the item. This shows that you’re in control.

Treats your puppy like he’s grown
Never do anything with him as a pup that you wouldn’t do when he’s an adult. Otherwise he won’t understand why all a sudden at 5 months and 45kg, he can’t climb on your lap.

Repetition and consistency are keys to your dog training
Repetition and consistency are the keys to teaching your dog something new be it a new trick or command. To ensure that your dog‘s understanding of a command or trick is not a fluke, simply test him at least three times without offering any assistance.

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