Our pets – especially dogs and puppies want to be trained!
(Just like kids secretly want discipline – yeah, right!) At least with dogs you know where you stand when you issue a command and are met with a blank stare. If you want to train a dog or puppy, you have to:
Be Patient – I list patience first because it is the key element you must have when working with a dog or puppy. Training a dog takes patience in spades so if you feel like you’re at the end of your leash before you’ve even started, don’t even bother with trying to train your dog. Dogs are super-smart pets and will pick up on your emotions. Remember, this is supposed to be fun for both of you!
Be Positive – Think how you perform best at work. Is it because of the boss who is a slave driver who never thanks you for anything? Or is it due to the positive reinforcement you get from a smart boss who appreciates your contributions? It’s the same with a dog or puppy. Your pet wants to please you and when you use positive reinforcement with a dog or puppy they will respond much more quickly and positively! Give em some dog treats and lots of verbal praise if they perform something correctly.
Keep it Short – Dogs make great pets obviously, and some dogs get no training whatsoever. They just pick up good habits because they want to please, but they do get distracted easily. Fifteen minutes or so is about the right time for learning simple commands, so focus on a single command per session and finish up with your dog or puppy able to do it just once. If your dog or puppy has successfully done the command several times in a row remember to lavish him with praise. After the dog training session, spend some time roughhousing. He will associate time with you as fun time and will look forward to his training sessions.
Be Firm but Friendly — When you give commands to your dog or puppy such as heel and come, you want to use a happy, friendly voice. Your pet will respond much quicker to a happy tone of voice. On the other hand, you will want to use a lower, firmer voice for commands such as stay or down. Start those puppies Young…but not too early – The ideal time to start training begins at six to eight weeks, maybe even earlier depending on the puppy. But remember, it’s never too late to teach a dog a new trick.
Don’t Rub His Nose in It – If you can’t seem to get it through your dog’s head like Sam here, don’t worry, Sam is unique! Though it may be tempting to rub your dog’s nose in his accident or swat him with a rolled up newspaper. Punishing your dog is not really a desired form of dog training. The only thing this will do in the end is teach your dog a serious problem–to become afraid of you. Do you think your dog should come over as you call if he thinks you are simply going to whack him or stick his nose into the carpet?
No Distractions – Try to pick a quiet spot free of distractions when training your dog to do tricks or commands. A secluded back yard or an inside room works best. If there are other pets in the family, put them up so they won’t interfere with training.
And Remember, This is Fun! – Dog training, of course, ought to be a pleasant time for you and Fido. The time can be used to bond closely with your dog and learn each other’s personalities. When you do this, you will not only have a well-trained dog or puppy, but a longtime, loyal companion and friend.