Successful dog training, as I have always said, is not about the dog – it always about the dog’s owner(s). There are certain things that every dog owner should know if they expect their puppy or dog to grow up to be a well behaved, well-adjusted dog with no dog problems.
These dog training tips are some basic principles I use and teach every day. Learn these basics and practice them every day with your dog so that your dog training can go smoothly – without a hitch. Remember, your training should always be fun for you and your dog.
Here are my strategies for successful dog training
Learn how dogs think. They are not human. Puppies and dogs live in a black and white world. If you understand how puppies and dogs think which is not complicated, you can help your puppy be a better dog.
Here’s an example: Allowing your dog to jump on you when you get home from work and you hug to greet him as he jumps sends one message – jumping is okay. If you correct him for jumping on your house guest, it gets very confusing for your dog – jump or don’t jump. A very simple solution would be to teach your dog to sit to greet, and then say, “Huggies!” Now if a house guest doesn’t say “Huggies!” they won’t get jumped on. Your dog can understand this perfectly because it’s very black and white and crystal clear.
Be patient. The volume and tone of your voice along with your body language should never convey impatience, frustration or anger. Also, it’s very important to keep your dog obedience training and expectations age appropriate. Remember that little puppies learn very fast but reliability only comes with maturity and experience.
Be Consistent. Consistency is the key. Consistently use the same commands when training your dog. For example, don’t say, “Sit down!” to your dog. Say sit or down. Confusing your dog will sabotage your dog training. Consistently train your puppy on sits, downs and come 2-3 times a day for about 2-3 minutes each time.
Set Boundaries. Every bad dog behavior you allow your dog to get away with may gradually undo what you are trying to teach him. Don’t set your dog up to fail. When he does something wrong, immediately say no, or “no off” and re-direct to the proper action. Remember, always praise for when they do what you say.
Say your command one time. Repeating your commands conveys to your dog that you didn’t mean what you said the first time and he learns he doesn’t have to respond until you have said the command two or three times.
Reward your dog for good behavior. This can be anything from treats to an enthusiastic “Good Boy!” Ignore the bad behavior. This contrast in getting nothing versus getting good stuff helps your dog differentiate between doing something you like (your happy tone of voice) to something you don’t like.
Stay in control of your dog. This means sniffing, jumping, pulling on his leash is not ok when you are walking him. If you are walking your dog on a 6’ leash, structure your walk where 2/3’s of the walk requires your dog to be beside you and 1/3 of the walk he gets to sniff, pee and explore (still on leash) but it’s his 1/3 of the walk to flex about.
Socialize your dog early. Puppies need to experience new places, noises and people early. Just keep in mind where your puppy is on his vaccination schedule and do not take him to public areas like dog parks or big box dog stores. Engage in activities that get him used to other animals and his environment. Socializing your dog is part of training and you don’t want a dog that is frightened of everything and doesn’t play well with other dogs.
Do not be hard on your puppy. Correct in the appropriate way. Do not hit, alpha roll, yell, kick, or yank and jerk the leash. This only teaches your dog YOU are not safe.
Have fun! Remain calm, enthusiastic and keep training on a positive note. Also keep your training sessions short. No more than 2-3 minutes per session.
Here is another important tip that will help your puppy to grow up to be a dog that is happy, obedient and well adjusted: teach your puppy, in a positive way, that you control the things he wants and he must “ask” for everything he wants. Be consistent with your training and praise for a job well done.
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“Together, We Can Raise a Happy and Obedient Dog”
Jim Burwell, professional dog trainer for 25+ years, has a profound understanding of dog behavior and the many things, we as humans, do that influence that behavior – good or bad. He has the ability to not only steer dogs and puppies down the right path but to also train the owners to understand their part in having a great dog. Jim’s Ground Rules for Great Dogs is 25+ years of his expertise delivered in easy, simple “how to steps” to insure you have a great dog. Over 8,500 clients can’t be wrong.