Like many people who love dogs, your world can be divided into two categories: those who think training is important and those who don’t know enough about it to agree or disagree. The good news is that information has never been more accessible, and you can learn a lot from the small space between these two groups.
However, if you’re going to train your dog, don’t expect results overnight. The process may take weeks or even months, depending on your dog’s age, breed, and background. If you’ve adopted a shelter animal or older dog – it can take even longer (up to almost two years in some cases).
While the rewards are well worth the time and effort, training does not come naturally to all dogs, especially those who have not been properly socialized. Don’t be discouraged if your dog does not catch on the first time you set out to teach him something new – there are a number of tools and techniques that will help you reach your goal.
You’ll need to start with your dog’s basics, including his name, basic commands (“sit”, “down”, etc.), and respect for you as the pack leader. Keep in mind that each dog is different, so one training method may not work for another animal of the same breed or background; ask your veterinarian or local pet store for help.
Before you begin the training process, be realistic about your goals and how much time you can devote to training. Dogs have a way of getting our best intentions out of the way when we’re distracted or tired. If your schedule is hectic, consider hiring a professional dog walker or pet sitter to give your dog some exercise while you’re at work.
A tool in your training arsenal is a proper dog leash and collar: you’ll need both to prevent your animal from running off or getting injured while he’s on the loose. You’ll also want to consider your dog’s size when selecting the leash and collar that are right for him.
Once you have your supplies, make sure you get Fido used to wear it before taking him out on a real walk. You can put it away for a while if he acts uncomfortable around it at first but try again in a few days.
When you’re ready to walk, start by letting him lead you around the house or in your backyard. You can then begin taking him out into small areas that are fenced in, such as a park or your yard. Make sure he’s on his leash at all times and that it’s loose enough for him to move freely.
Gradually, you can increase the distance of your walks as long as Fido doesn’t seem to be uncomfortable. He may pull on his leash which is a sign he needs more training. Alternatively, some animals will try to take control of the walk from you – this means they’re not ready just yet. You must gain their respect for you to successfully train them.
You’ve probably seen dogs sit in obedience competitions or in films, but did you know that this is one of the most important commands you can give your dog? It’s easy for Fido to get into trouble when he gets excited, so making him understand how to calm down will not only protect him from threats he can’t see but will also make everyone around him less on-edge.
Start your training by first holding a tasty treat in front of his nose and then slowly moving it up and over his head until he sits down to follow the scent. Praise him once he’s sitting still and give him the treat as a reward. You can then try saying, “Sit” in a firm voice and see if he follows through.
Praise your dog when he obeys you but do not give him the treat if he does not immediately sit down when you say the word. Instead, wait for him to obey; following that, ask him to sit again and offer him the treat.
If you need to stop him from acting excited or aggressive toward other animals or people, make sure you give him time to calm down before telling him to sit. The more practice he has sat on his own, the better he’ll be at it when you give him instructions.
Of all the commands you teach your pet, this one is essential for his safety and wellness. You can even incorporate “sit” into games with Fido to make him comfortable with the command by associating it with something fun. For instance, tell him to sit before giving him a treat or ask him to perform another trick.
Say It With Your Hands
As much as dogs depend on their sense of smell, they rely on their vision even more. Fido can’t read letters or numbers, so he’ll need your help to learn his name.
Most dogs will understand their name after one or two training sessions, so start by calling his name in a happy tone while he’s looking at you. Give him your treat once he obeys and repeat the process until he comes running every time you call out to him.
You can also use hand signals for this command by bringing your thumb up and pointing your index finger in his face when you say, “Fido! Come!” This process may take longer to master, but it certainly makes for a much clearer way to communicate.
Never give Fido an empty treat pouch or tell him he’s done something wrong if you’re not going to follow through. These actions will confuse him and cause him to have less confidence in his training sessions with you. Also, do not yell at him when he doesn’t obey, as this will make him distant from you.
Crate training is a powerful way to keep your pooch safe when you are out of the house. He’ll learn to love his crate too if you make it cozy with blankets or by placing some water and his favorite toys inside for him! It’s important that Fido doesn’t associate the crate with punishment because he’ll start refusing to go in.
As you get started, place him in the crate with his favorite treat and let him set the pace by coming out on his own when he wants to. Never force him inside; instead, call for Fido to come near you, hold the door open while praising him, and give him some time to explore it on his own before you close it.
Don’t give him the treat once he’s inside; instead, hold it in your hand and let him know you want him to come back out. When he does, praise him and reward his good behavior with a treat. If Fido has trouble getting out of the crate on his own, toss some treats at the door or try pushing the door open while saying, “Come on out!”
Your dog’s crate should be his sanctuary when he has to be alone. Make sure to keep it clean and only use it for respite sessions; never leave Fido there for too long or he’ll become distressed. Also, remember that you need to spend time playing with him outside of the crate if you want him to associate it with pleasure.
The younger your pet is when he starts going to the bathroom outside, the easier this task will be for both of you. If Fido has already been relieving himself in the house, try not to shout at him as this will make him afraid of you.
It’s a good idea to keep a diary for a week noting how much and when he drinks water or wakes up in the middle of the night. You’ll notice a pattern once you have enough information, so use this data to take him out as soon as he starts looking restless. Bring him outside promptly after each urination and defecation session.
If you need to, go with him on his first few outdoor excursions so he’ll learn that going to the bathroom is a positive experience. Don’t give him a treat until after he’s done relieving himself and let him know “Good boy!” for this accomplishment right away. Always reward good behavior!
Housebreaking is a process, so be sure to learn what might trigger your pup’s need to eliminate. For example, if Fido acts restless right before supper time, it may be too late to take him outside! Instead of taking away his water at night, put it in an area where he cannot get into it while you are sleeping. This way he’ll only get the extra water that he needs in the morning when you are at home.
Be sure to take Fido outside every hour on the hour while you’re awake if he cannot hold his bladder for long periods of time or has a tendency to have accidents. Try keeping a close eye on him before going out, which makes it easier to make sure he doesn’t slip away to an area where he can go to the bathroom in secret. If you see him doing his business, praise him and make a positive experience out of the situation to avoid future accidents!
Common Behaviour Problems
Not all dogs will be as calm and well-behaved as Fido. While some of these issues may present themselves as your pet grows older, others might start appearing during playtime or when you take him out. Keep reading to learn how to avoid common behavior problems!
Dogs are pack animals by nature, so they are very territorial with their humans. This issue can be remedied by correctly introducing your dog to other humans and pets even if he is already over five months old.
If Fido acts aggressively towards people or pets, it may be because his needs are not being met properly. He might want more exercise which you could provide through play with a toy or a long walk. If he’s ignoring you, make sure to spend more time interacting with him.
If your dog is showing aggression towards other humans or pets, do not punish him for this behavior. It was probably triggered by the other animal playing too rough with Fido or invading his personal space. To remedy this situation, try giving him more attention or playing with him to reinforce the idea that he should be submissive.
Bear in mind that you cannot socialize your dog too much. Always watch how Fido interacts with others and try teaching him not to be afraid of new people or other animals by making them positive experiences for him!
If your dog doesn’t come when you call him, it might be because he does not see the point in obeying your command. It’s important to practice this skill with your pet several times a day and keep rewarding his efforts if he succeeds!
In order to successfully train Fido, remember that you must treat all obedience training as a game. Make sure to spend time with your beloved pet every day practicing “come” and other important commands.
If he keeps showing disinterest in training sessions, try to think about what might be triggering this behavior. Maybe you’re starting your routine at 10 p.m. after a long day at work? If you’ve been trying to teach him a new trick for months and he still shows no interest in it, it may be time to give up. If you’re not having fun training him and your dog isn’t enjoying the experience either, this will probably prevent any progress from being made!
Obedience training is a must if you want to have a well-behaved pet. However, advanced training methods will also help you teach Fido new tricks and keep him healthy!
If you are serious about training your dog, it is possible to start this process as early as six weeks old. Fido will be easier to train if you make sure he is healthy and well-fed before beginning any kind of regimen. You can also teach him more advanced commands if he already knows the basics such as “sit” and “down”.
Try training your dog to follow you through the house or back and forth across the yard. You can also teach him special tricks that he will be eager to show off for his family!
If your dog is an adult or if you’re having trouble training him to be submissive, it may help to teach him some basic commands even if he already knows them. By keeping your training sessions short (no more than 5 minutes!) and positive, you will make it easier for Fido to learn!
Try working with your dog on tricks such as “fetch” or “high five” to increase the bond between you. If he is already more mature and well-behaved, try teaching him how to roll over or give a kiss!
Remember that patience is the secret to success and try making this activity fun for him by playing with extra-long toys or letting him join you in car rides! If you see any signs of stress in your dog during a training session, stop what you’re doing and try again later when he seems more content.
If you are interested in training your dog to become a therapy animal, start this process after they turn one year old since it is much easier when their temperament is fully developed.
If you want to know how to train your dog, the first thing that you’ll need is a clicker. This device makes a rewarding sound that Fido can associate with positive behaviors such as sitting quietly or walking down the stairs calmly. While it won’t be necessary to use this during training sessions, it will help motivate and reinforce good behavior for your pet. Food treats can also help reinforce positive behavior and should be used periodically throughout training sessions as a reward if the dog is showing the desired behavior.
The clicker will be indispensable when it comes to teaching Fido tricks such as “high five” or “rollover”. You can purchase many books about trick training or find videos on the internet to help with the process.
While this is a fantastic way to increase the bond between you and your pet, remember not to take on too much or expect Fido to learn everything perfectly.
Training dogs do require a lot of patience and time, but it can also be great fun for both you and your dog! Remember that positive reinforcement will work best as training progresses as long as you keep your training sessions short and sweet. If you have been having trouble training Fido, consider making some adjustments to the schedule so that he feels more comfortable.