If you want to make sure that you give your dog the best possible life, then you need to make sure that you train them well. You need to make sure that you give them a lot of positive reinforcement and that you also take the time to encourage good behaviors over bad ones. If you just don’t know where to start then this guide will help you to ensure that your dog is given the best possible chance at success.
Use Positive Reinforcement
Almost every single vet in the world will agree that positive reinforcement is the way to go when it comes to dog training. This involves rewarding your dog for good behavior, rather than just punishing them for the bad. Whenever your dog gives you behavior that you like, or when they respond to your commands, make sure that you treat them and that you are doing this instantly. If your dog jumps up at you or if they bark to say hello, then don’t acknowledge this behavior. Simply ignore it. When they sit patiently or give you the behavior you like, reward it. If you do this then you will soon find that you are able to give them the best possible training experience.
Find a Suitable Reward
Some dogs are very food motivated and they will be very enthusiastic about any kind of edible treat. Other dogs are picky and prefer chewy or soft treats. There are even dogs who are not food motivated at all, and instead, much prefer to have a toy to play with. If you want to help your dog here then you need to work with them and you also need to find out what they like and what they don’t. If you can do this then you will soon find that it is very easy for you to give your dog the motivation they need to do whatever it is you want them to do. If your dog doesn’t seem to play or is food-motivated then sometimes a lot of love and affection is what they are looking for, so be sure to provide them with this. If you are having a hard time then don’t be afraid to look into a puppy training class.
Consistency is Everything
You have to make sure that you are as consistent as possible when it comes to your training. This includes being consistent in the words that you use. Little things like always making sure that you are using the same word or the same intonation when you ask them to do something are vital. Your entire household has to be on the same page here too. If you do not want to let your dog on the sofa then make sure that your family agrees with this. If you stop them and you allow a family member to let them up then this will leave your dog confused and this is the last thing that you want.
Short training sessions that can be repeated throughout the day are far more effective when compared to much longer ones. It is recommended that you limit training sessions to a maximum of five minutes at a time because if you don’t then your dog may become frustrated or distracted and this will impact their overall progress. Dogs find it difficult to generalize commands too, so as an example, they may find it difficult to sit at home and then associate that same sit command when on a busy street with passing traffic. If possible you need to try and practice the commands in various locations so you can ensure that everyone is on the same page.
Build it Up
Starting out small is very helpful and this is especially the case if you are trying to build much more complex behaviors, such as stay. Try and break everything down if possible. It may be that you do it in much smaller parts, so if you are training then be sure to praise “come” and reward them when they just take one step toward you. If you can do this then you will soon find that it is then easier for you to add on steps and that you let your dog build up when they are able to get the hang of things. This is one of the best ways to ensure that you are always helping them to make the most out of each session and it gives them a lot of reinforcement for good behavior.