Even the most avid dog lovers know how hard some of them can be to handle. It’s a good thing obedience training exists.
Training a dog to be obedient can be a rewarding experience for the dog and the owner. Not only does it create a stronger bond between the two of you, but it also ensures that your dog is well-behaved and safe around others.
Dog obedience training is a crucial part of being a responsible pet owner. In most households, pet owners prefer to train their dogs themselves. Still, there are a few who seek the help of professional dog trainers. If you would love to have your furry pal trained professionally, a canine boot camp can provide all breeds with the behavioural correction they need.
If you’re looking to train your dog to be easier to handle, here’s what you need to know.
What Is Dog Obedience Training?
Dog obedience training is the process of teaching a dog to perform certain actions or behaviours in response to specific commands. This type of training can improve a dog’s overall behaviour, making them more well-behaved and easier to manage in various situations and places.
Obedience training can also help to build a stronger bond between a dog and its owner, as it involves a lot of communication and positive reinforcement.
Some common commands taught in obedience training include ‘sit,’ ‘stay,’ ‘come,’ and ‘down.’ It also involves treats, praise, and other forms of positive reinforcement to encourage the dog to perform the desired behaviour.
It’s crucial to use consistent and clear commands when training a dog and to be patient and thorough to achieve the best results.
To get started with training, take the following steps:
- Start Training Early
The earlier you begin, the easier it will be for your dog to learn. Start training your puppy when they arrive at your home, usually at eight weeks old. It has a short attention span at this point, so keep training sessions short and sweet and always end on a positive note.
- Use Positive Reinforcement
Dogs are more likely to repeat rewarded behaviours. So, praise and reward your dog for good behaviour. This can be in the form of treats, toys, or verbal praise. Using positive reinforcement in dog training is essential because it is a humane and effective way to teach a dog new behaviour and reinforce good ones.
Punishment-based training methods only result in fear, anxiety, and mistrust. Things like scolding and physical force damage the bond between the dog and owner and may even lead to aggression. That’s why they should be avoided as much as possible.
- Be Consistent
Consistency is vital in dog training. Use the same commands and rewards every time, and ensure everyone in the household follows suit. This will help your dog understand what is expected of them and make it easier for them to learn.
When there’s a deviation in rewards and commands, your dog might get confused and forget what was previously taught. Don’t get surprised when you ask them to do something and they don’t respond. They’re not being wilfully disrespectful; they must have forgotten the task because of confusion in training.
- Teach Basic Commands
Start with the basics, such as ‘sit’ and ‘come.’ These commands will be helpful in everyday situations, such as when you need your dog to stay out of the way or come to you when called. Use treats and praise to reward your dog when they follow these commands.
Basic commands can be taught using various techniques, such as luring a dog into position with a treat or using a clicker to mark the desired behaviour. Most dogs can learn basic commands with patience and practice. Once they have basic ones mastered, then you can move on to actual tricks like dancing or running through obstacles.
- Practice Regularly
To reinforce what your dog has learned, practice their obedience training regularly.
This can be in the form of short training sessions. These should not last longer than 15 minutes, especially with younger dogs. They’re easily distracted and may commit more mistakes. Although, the more you practice, the more quickly your dog will learn. In addition, practising regularly can help prevent a dog from becoming bored or uninterested in training, as it provides regular mental and physical stimulation.
- Be Patient
Training a dog takes time and patience. Don’t expect it to learn everything overnight; be prepared to repeat commands and rewards until they understand what is expected of them. Your dog will become a well-behaved and obedient companion with consistent training and positive reinforcement.
More importantly, your attitude towards training will dictate the success of this endeavour. Don’t train them when you’re not feeling okay. You might transfer your frustration to your pet, which will only spoil the experience for you and it.
Make Them Truly Your Best Friend
Dogs are the best companions to have. Their loyalty is unwavering, and the happiness and joy they bring to your life can be reciprocated with the attention you give them through training. When they’re well-behaved, they can be around other people and let them feel the same love they give to you. So, get started today.
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