If you are a new owner or you are having trouble training your dog, you may wonder what you’re doing wrong. The answer is not necessarily that you are doing something wrong; it is just that you don’t know what to do right. These six dog training secrets may help you retrain yourself and your dog.
If your dog isn’t learning a new command, it may be because they don’t understand what you want them to do. Dogs want to please their owners; they won’t willfully disobey if you make it clear what you want. Often, the issue lies within the command itself. Dogs don’t understand English and to them some commands sound alike.
To resolve this issue, make sure you annunciate commands and speak slowly and clearly. For example, “staaay” is clearer to a puppy then “stay” spoken fast. Using a clicking device or hand signals to reinforce a command will help make sure the canine is on the same page as you are.
You like to be told you are doing a good job. Your dog also likes to know they please you or are obeying a command. Positive reinforcement lets your puppy know they are on the right track and makes them want to perform the action again.
Reinforcement doesn’t always have to come with a treat. Verbal praise, a scratch behind the ear, or a hug is just as good. Mixing types of reinforcement is also beneficial so that your dog doesn’t start expecting food every time they do something you want.
You don’t need to punish a dog to let them know they did something wrong. There are times when punishment is necessary, but this should come in the form of a reprimand or putting them in the crate. You should never hit your dog or yell at them.
A firm reprimand, removing the animal from the situation, or ignoring their behavior will help the dog know their actions aren’t acceptable. If the pet is pulling on the leash during a walk, saying “no” and stopping until they have calmed down is more effective than jerking on the leash and running the risk of harming yourself or the dog. If they act hyper, ignoring them until they calmly approach you for attention prevents the negative reinforcement of playing with them when they are jumping and barking.
Along with positive reinforcement and correction, consistency helps change unwanted behavior. This includes all members of the household. If a husband and wife use different commands, or the children don’t reprimand the puppy at all, the mixed signals will confuse the dog as to its role in the home. Everyone needs to work with the puppy to reinforce training so that they learn manners and pack order in the household.
The dog is a family pet, so the family should decide how to train the pet and then designate one person to work with the dog to teach the command. After that, other members of the home should help with potty training, walking and housebreaking to make sure the dog knows that humans come first in the order of the pack. This will also help prevent the puppy from trying to establish dominance as he grows older.
Dog training secrets include understanding canine behavior. Dogs are sensitive to emotions. Sometimes what a person communicates to a dog is different than what they are trying to say. The owner is the alpha of the pack, and they need to convey authority without being angry or anxious. If a person is insecure and gives an order the dog may not obey because they are trying to establish dominance.
Be firm without being harsh or aggressive in dealing with your pet. Let them know from the minute you bring them home what the rules are, and remind them with a “no” and redirection when they chew on furniture or steal shoes. During training sessions, make sure they are paying attention to you and offer gentle correction if they misunderstand a command. The leader of the pack is firm but fair; make sure you are the same.
Dogs need to exercise frequently to keep them calm and out of trouble. Take your pet for frequent walks or play with them to burn off energy. When scheduling a training session, don’t do it after they have been in the house for several hours, as they will be too distracted to focus.
Instead, try to work with them when both of you are calm and relaxed. If you work during the week, try training your puppy on weekends when you have more time. Take your dog for a walk or play fetch with them first, then give them a few minutes to calm down and begin training. This will help the dog stay focused and keep you from getting frustrated.
Communicate clearly, let your dog know when they are doing something right, and gently correct them when they are doing something wrong. Be calm, be firm and give your dog plenty of exercise so they don’t get in trouble due to boredom. These dog training secrets will help you understand your pet better and allow you to correct common behavioral problems.