6 Tips For Training Your Dog
Dogs are known as man's best friends, but we all know that it takes a bit of time to get accustomed to each other's quirks and habits. In some cases, it takes training. Training is a lot of work for both dogs and their owners, but there are a few things you can do to make it easier. Here are 6 tips for training your dog.
Short & Sweet
Keep your training sessions short to accommodate a dog's short attention span. Give your dog 15 minutes of practice before or after a walk, before mealtime, or when you get up in the morning. It keeps the training session fun for both you and your dog. In addition, shorter sessions done several times a day keeps you and your dog from getting frustrated.
Treats To Match Feats
Have different types of treats to reward different tasks your dog has mastered. For little tasks he's completed, like sitting or staying, give your dog a treat of regular dog food. For big, new tricks, like an army crawl or picking up garbage, give him something more fun and substantial, such as beef treats he won't find in his kibble bowl every day.
There are a couple of points in dog training that require consistency. Reward consistently and command consistently. When you're teaching a command, use the same words to communicate what you want to happen and always use the same rules. If you use "let's go" to signal you're going for a walk, always say, "let's go." Don't mix it up and use phrases that mean the same thing to you; it can be confusing for the dog and slow down the training process.
Just about every reaction you have to your dog's behavior can be seen as reinforcement. Jumping up to open the door when your dog scratches to be let in is reinforcement. Filling up his kibble containers when he barks because he's hungry is reinforcement. If your dog has a habit you want to change, you can reverse it by not responding to the bad behavior and working with him to communicate with him differently. Just remember that you have to change your behavior in order to change his behavior.
Affection For Perfection
In addition to treats, dogs respond well to love and affection from owners. Giving out affection for good deeds along with treats helps reinforcement. When he plays outdoor games without barking, give him a big pat on the head. When he sits when you tell him to, give him a hug! Do this for tasks and tricks big or small to speed up the training process.
Once your dog has mastered a task, work it into your daily routine. It keeps the trick fresh in his mind so he'll continue exhibiting good behavior long after the treats for tricks end.
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