Dog training, How to Completely Train Your Dog
When it comes to training your dog, you need to be consistent with your expectations and ensure that you know what you can expect and how hard you can push them. These majestic animals have been trained by humans for thousands of years, but they do have their limits and some breeds are smarter than others. Starting small and managing expectations will ensure that you have a well behaved pooch when you are done training, while expecting too much and pushing too hard may lead to stress and aggression. Here are some of the best ways to get your dog ready to learn and to teach them new things.
Clicker training is one of the most well known training methods. In essence you use a small clicker and make a sound each time you give a command and each time the command is followed. The animal hears the clicker and knows it is time to listen and also hears the sound it makes when they behave appropriately. This gives them clearer instructions than just using words and allows them to learn very quickly. This is particularly useful when combined with small treats.
Breed Specific Training
Some breeds have been bred to be better at agility, herding, or even for better senses of smell. Find out what your breed is best at and focus on this as their main training type. This ensures that they will go farther in their training and also establishes a sense of pride in a job well done. A dog that feels that they are doing well in their training will be more willing to learn harder tricks.
Ongoing Daily Training
Make sure that you keep training your animal throughout the day and that you take time each and every day to make sure that they are keeping up with their routine. Generally you will want both an established time for training and then smaller sessions that reinforce that they have learned throughout the day. In this way your dog can look forward to learning something new, but will also be on the lookout for points during the day where they are expected to recall what they have learned. Try to associate tricks and expectations with certain times of the day and you will find that your animal will quickly learn even the hardest of tricks.
Switch up what you offer your dog from day to day or week to week. Just because they like a certain treat when you first begin training doesn’t mean that they will always like it. Some treats will also have a higher value to your dog, these treats should be used when first learning a trick to ensure that they are more eager to learn, then transition to lower value treats for subsequent training. When you switch up the rewards your dog doesn’t get bored as easily and they don’t feel like training is predictable, which motivates them to work harder.
Rewards don’t have to be food, you can also reward your dog with experiences or toys. While most animals are very food motivated, time with you and new experiences will generally be considered very good rewards. When you choose alternative rewards make sure that you are excited and that they know they have done a good job when they receive the reward.
Combine these training tips and find a routine that works for you and your dog. Each animal needs a different approach and you are the person who understands your canine’s personality the best. A few months of individual attention should be all you need to have a well behaved dog who easily learns new tricks and behaviors as they age.