Many people go out and get dogs, but they don’t properly train them. Then, they wonder why their dogs have behavioral issues. Training dogs doesn’t have to be difficult, and it isn’t time consuming. Here are 12 steps that will make training your dog easy and fun.
1) Choose the Right Dog – Just because you think a dog is cute, it may not be the right dog for you. The dog you choose should fit in with your lifestyle, and a pet is not something to be gotten on a whim. For instance, if you are a laid back person, you will not want to get a breed that is considered hyper. If you live in a small space, don’t choose a large dog. A lot of research into various breeds should be done before purchasing any dog.
2) Teach Your Dog to Walk on a Leash – If you are going to be walking your dog in public, you must teach it to walk on a lead or leash. They need to know how to behave, and there are books and videos that will help. You can learn more about dog training at Metro Dog.
3) Choose One Family Member to Do the Training – Dogs are pack animals, and they turn to their pack leader for guidance. When in a household, they see one particular human as their pack leader. This should be the only person to train the dog until the basic commands have been mastered.
4) Choose a Practical Name for Your Dog – Dogs don’t understand long words, so don’t give them long or impractical names. They seem to respond best to names that end in vowels. Always call the dog by name while petting and feeding, but don’t use it in association with teaching commands, because they may confuse their name with the commands. Train dogs to look at your face by saying their name while gently turning their face so they are looking in your eyes.
5) Inform the Rest of the Family about Training Rules – Everyone should know the training rules, so they don’t do things that will confuse the dog. For instance, if you don’t allow a dog to jump on others, make sure everyone else knows this as well. Family should reinforce training, but leave actual training to the pack leader.
6) Teach Your Dog to Sleep in a Crate – Dogs are den animals, and therefore they do like sleeping in crates. Crates should be small when dogs are pups, so they don’t have “accidents” while inside. As they get older and are housebroken, the crate should be larger, and kept in a main family area of the home, preferably where the pack leader sleeps. Once they are trained to sleep in a crate, then you may allow them to get into bed with you.
7) Spend at Least 15-20 Minutes a Day in Training – You don’t need to spend hours and hours on dog training. Just 15-20 minutes of training daily will be more than enough for your dog to learn what you want it to. Too much training can make the dog bored or resentful, while too little is not enough for dogs to retain information.
8) Teach Your Dog to Stop on Command – If your dog gets away from you, they need to know the words “whoa” or “stop”. This could be life-saving for your pet. Don’t just use their name. Be sure to teach them one of these words. Calling their name may make them come to you, when all you want them to do is stop and stay where they are.
9) Every Dog is Different – Dogs don’t have the same temperaments, so don’t expect all dogs to train as quickly or as easily as others. Some are more stubborn than others are, and take longer to train. This is another reason to do a lot of breed research before getting a dog. Patience is one of the biggest secrets to successful dog training.
10) Reward Good Behaviour – When you are training your dog, and it does what you want it to, reward it with praise. You may not always have a treat to give, but you can always praise them. When they are being patted and talked to, they know they have made you happy, and are eager to continue doing so.
11) End Training Sessions Positively – Never yell at a dog when they don’t get something right in training. Instead, speak to them in a firm tone to let them know that they must obey their pack leader. Everything should be positive, and each session should end positively. If they are not getting something, go back to something they know, and praise them when they get it right. The more praise they get, the more they will enjoy their training sessions. Once a daily session is finished, give the dog a treat.