Lots of people believe doing obedience training with their dog at home takes too much time and effort. The truth is, if done correctly you can teach your dog to perform many commands and behave the way you want him to behave, by yourself, in your home. That’s where he needs to behave isn’t it?
Look if you can take 6 minutes to hard boil an egg, take that same 6 minutes to work on having an awesome well trained dog!
Here’s are a few pointers:
- From the earliest age possible, begin to teach your puppy or dog control commands, such as sit and down.
- Use food treats (in the beginning) to shape the behavior so that your dog wants to work
- Always, always praise when your dog gives you the behavior you request.
- Never punish or scold when he does it wrong, simply say WRONG and try again
Here’s the hard boiled egg part. At a convenient time of day for you, but preferably when the dog has not eaten yet so he’s food motivated (not starving but motivated), and you’re relaxed, not in a rush and are excited about training your dog, work on one or two commands with your dog for 6 minutes.
Six minutes! Doesn’t sound possible does it? But here’s the key. Yes, it’s a short amount of time, but the trick here is consistency. You’re training every day for 6 minutes on commands that are going to be important to you and your dog. It’s very much like teaching children. Repetition and consistency, Repetition and consistency. Like the shampoo bottle says: Rinse and Repeat.
Once your dog gets good on these commands in your house, increase distraction levels by taking him outside in your back yard and work on the same commands. Remember, dogs learn in context so don’t be surprised if he looks at you like you’re nuts when you ask for a sit outside. You might have to re-introduce the food treats in the beginning to keep his attention. Also remember, working your dog on a leash keeps him in the classroom!
Once you’ve mastered those commands in your back yard, progress to your front yard. Now the wonderful world of distractions is going to kick in and you’ll have to work harder to get your dog to listen. Again, you probably will have to break out the food treats again for a short time.
The progression of all of these sessions of 6 minutes results in a dog that will listen to you no matter what the distraction level is and he will listen to you because you have made training fun, a positive experience AND you’ve practiced your leadership role.
So go ahead, put the egg on the stove to cook and go train your dog!
Be as comfortable with the trainer of your dog as you are the teacher of your children. And remember, Opportunity Barks!