How to train your dog:
Although your puppy didn’t enter the world with a little instruction book, it’s important to give her the tools to succeed in life and in the environment. As a responsible pet owner, you’re ready for the task. Prepared to train your dog in behavioral or specific commands, you’re set. But how exactly do you properly do it?
- The environment should be familiar. To begin, focus on dog training in your backyard or inside or both. Dogs have short attention spans so it’s important to train your dog in a familiar, safe environment to start.
- To start there shouldn’t be too many people present. If your entire family wants to participate that is great they are taking an active role in your puppy’s life! However, only one family member should really train your dog. Training your dog should be done one-on-one to eliminate distractions & to ensure repetitive commands.
- Timing should consist of devoting one hour to teaching your dog the trick and then follow up with ½ hour practice sessions (at most).
- That said, once your dog has successfully learned each trick, the original trainer should teach other family members by having them observe the trick and then having them do the exact same hand motion and using the same exact words and vocal tone.
- Next, how about a rewards and punishment systems. Reinforcements typically consist of your dog’s favorite snack or treat. Whether it’s very small or broken into small pieces, as long as they’re small portions you’re good to go. The concept in properly training your dog is to continually reinforce the behavior you’d like to see and in order to do that, a lot of treats will be given (hopefully).
- Verbal praise is often a reward, particularly helpful so your dog doesn’t always expect food every time a desired behavior is demonstrated. Plus, rewards should only be given when it’s a behavior you’re commanding it to do. If your dog decides to sit while you’re commanding her to roll over, well, that’s not a behavior that you should reward.
- Punishments, or negative reinforcement, occurs when a trick is not performed correctly. Rewards should be withheld or you should respond with a firm “NO”. While you want to command respect while training your dog, you don’t want her to be afraid of you. Screaming or physically punishing your dog is not tolerable; plus, it will cause your dog to be resistant to further training.
An underlying theme in training your dog is also voice tone. Your commands should be clear, concise and firm. Your “No” response should also be firm and slightly louder. Verbal praise should be loving and excited! If a small child had just accomplished something great, well, your response would likely be similar. While training your dog, you may also feel free to add comments like “Good Boy”, with a pat on the head.
At The Dog Bowl, nothing is more important than your pets’ health and well being. For more information about training your dog click here. The Dog Bowl also recommends that you contact a reputable local dog trainer.