The joy of adding a four-legged friend to your family can be easily overshadowed if you don’t know how to train it. Simple chores such as taking him out for a walk, climbing stairs, getting in a car, visiting the vet or house-training can become a major chore if you don’t know the basics on how to train your new family member.
If you have never had a dog as a pet before, it might be a good idea to get professional help. A quick Google search for dog obedience schools or pet trainers in your area might be a good place to start. Also, seek referrals from your vet, animal shelter, friend or family member when searching for a professional trainer. However, before you invest in a professional dog trainer, here are four tips you can easily employ to help get you started.
1. Be the Alpha
Dogs by nature are social animals; they are also pack animals this means someone has to be in charge – a leader of the pack. As a pet parent, you need to establish yourself as the alpha in the household. Once your dog realizes you are in charge, training him should be a breeze.
2. Patience, Patience, and More Patience
We cannot stress this enough: patience is a virtue especially when training a dog. Like humans, dogs have their own personality and ability to learn. Just because your dog’s breed was rated as being highly intelligent doesn’t mean yours will catch on quickly to your training methods.
Most dog training methods are based on the reward method. Your dog follows directions; you reward him. Eventually, with enough patience and tasty treats your dog will follow your commands without the need for an incentive. It is why we recommend you have plenty of treats available, or to avoid obesity a favorite chew toy your dog can enjoy after the training session. But remember! Only reward the behavior you want your dog to master. If you reward your dog because you feel sorry for him, this training tip might not work well.
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Just like establishing the right place and time to study when we were in college was helpful in getting good grades, being consistent as to when and where you train your dog can help bolster your pet’s learning abilities. So establish a time and a place in your home for training. Dogs learn by repetition. Just because Fido learned how to roll over on Monday does not mean he will be able to perform that maneuver on Friday just on your say so. Therefore, it is important to go over the previous lessons at the start of each training session. This will ensure your dog has retained what you taught him.
In conclusion, the task of training your dog can be a great time for you to form a strong bond with him. Just remember to 1) Be the leader, 2) Have lots of patience, 3) Carry lots of treats and 4) Be consistent. We hope you will be able to get years of great companionship with your new four-legged friend and that these simple tips will help you train your dog. If you need help in finding a qualified dog trainer, you might want to consider contacting the Association of Professional Dog Trainers at www.apdt.com.