Most new dog owners struggle with training their dogs more than any other aspect of pet ownership. However, training your dog doesn’t need to be complicated – it just takes the right approach and strategy. If you’re starting as a new pet parent or maybe just trying to get your current dog back on track, we’ve got some helpful tips on dog training.
While it might seem silly to consider, the name you choose for your dog may affect their behaviour. Scientific studies suggest that a dog’s name can affect its likelihood of barking and response to cues.
For example, if you choose a name that has a high-pitched sound, like “Buddy,” your dog might tend to bark more than if you had named him “Rover” or “Max.” You don’t want to call your dog anything that might be a distraction or detriment to training – so avoid anything food-related, sounds like a command, or something negative.
Second, you’ll want to set some rules and expectations for your dog. What is the appropriate way for them to greet people? When and where (or not) should they be allowed to go to the bathroom? How much freedom do they have in the house, and when?
You also want to set rules for how your dog interacts with other pets and people. What is the appropriate greeting style for your dog? Should they be allowed on the bed or couch? Does your dog have a unique way of interacting with any particular family member? All of these things are an essential part of dog training.
Suppose you’re going to use positive reinforcement in your dog training. In that case, you’ll want to ensure you’re rewarding the behaviour you want. This means you need to have a good understanding of what your dog’s bad behaviour looks like.
Let’s say you want to train your dog not to jump on people when they come over. You need to understand what a jump is – maybe it’s when their paws touch someone’s knees or a person’s chest. Then you need to know what you want your dog to do instead. So, in this case, you could reward your dog for sitting calmly and letting people pet them.
Rewarding good behaviour is a great way to ensure your dog associates the right action with a reward. Rewarding your dog’s behaviour as quickly as possible after the activity is also essential. If you’re rewarding the dog for sitting calmly, you can’t wait a week to give them their treat. You need to do it right away!
It is not good to overwork or frustrate your dog during training – especially with the younger pups. Each training session shall not exceed 10 minutes. Keeping the training short also makes it more fun and engaging.
If you have a puppy, keep the training sessions shorter. A puppy’s attention span is much shorter than an adult dog’s, so you may only need one or two sessions a day. You can also break up your dog training sessions into smaller chunks of time. For example, you can do 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening.
You must discourage your dog from jumping on people because it is a sign of aggression and can cause injuries to your friends and family members. Consider gently holding their paws and setting them back down on the ground each time they jump.
You can also try a trick like “Scramble,” where you tell your dog to sit and gently push them backwards. Plus, it is a good idea to use a verbal cue like “no jump” or “no feet” when they do the action.
If you don’t regularly call your dog and give him the command to come, he may become confused when you leave or enter the room. He may interpret this as an invitation to run off and play. When this happens, he may end up getting lost or injured.
You can train your dog to come when called in various ways. For example, you can hold up a piece of food and say, “Come!” If your dog comes to you when called and has something to eat, give him a treat. If he doesn’t come, try again the next time you go for a walk. You should also praise him when he comes and give him lots of attention. By taking these steps, your dog will soon learn that coming when called is always worth it!
Dogs can become aggressive and bite or nip as they get older. It’s essential to train your dog at a young age not to display this behaviour. The key is to discourage nipping in a way that doesn’t make the dog feel anxious or insecure. This means keeping the dog’s environment calm and relaxed and providing plenty of positive reinforcement and attention.
We recommend discouraging nipping by reducing stress in your home (e.g., reducing clutter and ensuring your dog has plenty of space to stretch and play. Finally, if it does happen that your dog nips, don’t react with anger or frustration. Instead, calmly use an anti-nip collar or leash to redirect and prevent them from biting again.
Dogs can also bite and nip when they have an underlying health condition. Be sure to take the dog to a vet clinic for a health examination. And if you live in Ontario, you can book an appointment for a check-up of your furry fellow at our veterinary clinic in New Hamburg.