Congratulations if you are the new proud owner of a dog, affectionately labeled as “man’s best friend.” Once you have your new family pet at home, immediately the next phase should involve dog obedience training. Any new dog owner eventually learns that it is pleasurable having an obedient dog. In contrast a disobedient dog can be a source of genuine frustration.
In the good old days, there was the training of dogs for performing specific tasks. There were dogs bred for finding rodents, working with firefighters and herding sheep and cows, etc. For now, though, most dogs are left without having any skills to learn and tasks to perform. The result is that most dogs suffer from unhealthy or harmful behaviors such as barking too much, excessive chewing, etc.
Benefits of Obedience Training
Dog obedience training is pretty useful in assisting the pet in understanding your expectations of her not only in the family but also in the world. The dog gets to benefit from indoctrination with the appropriate skills necessary to interact with people in different environments. When you train your dog it also makes her learn the skills necessary for healthy interaction with other dogs, pets, and domesticated animals.
Subsequently, below are top tips and tricks on how to train your dog to be more obedient in learning skills and commands.
Start With the Basics
To consider the best approach on how to train your dog understand that she should be taught basic commands first before proceeding to a complex level. You may not even need to train your dog advanced or fancy tricks as long as she is aware of and responds to basic commands like:
- Sit: This basic command is vital for keeping your dog in control regardless of the situation.
- Drop: The command is useful to train your dog to drop anything that is in her mouth. This can come in handy for safeguarding your dog from harm especially when she has picked up something lethal or dangerous.
- Come: Upon your signal or command, the dog learns through this command to come to your presence. Such as, if her dog’s name is Bella you can call her by name. You can say,“Come Bella! Good girl!”
- Stay: The command assists in training your dog to sit still and calm and remain that way until another cue is given. Usually on how to train your dog to sit the release words like “free” or “okay,” are used.
Case in point, basic sit command training may involve the pet first learning to sit for 8 seconds and then in the next level trying to achieve sitting for about 15 seconds.
Keep Training Sweet and Short
Just like most of us, puppies have not been blessed with longer attention spans. In view of that the training sessions must be kept sweet and short. A single practice session for teaching one command or skill should last around 5 minutes and the total duration of the daily training must be at least 15 minutes. Then create opportunities outside the training sessions to train the same command until the dog understands.
The dog can only learn and understand one command at a time and once the skill has been mastered you move to another skill.
Remember always to try and end the dog obedience training on a high note. Avoid ending a session when you or the dog is bored, frustrated or tired. That makes you and your pet look forward to the next training session.
Consistency Is Key
They say practice makes perfect. The same mantra applies when it comes to knowing how to train your dog. Remember when you were this little kid in school trying to learn multiplication tables and even how to spell words? Practicing is what helped you learn and for puppy training the same rule is still applicable.
Make sure that the puppy is trained repeatedly until she has understood the useful skills and commands. The way of practicing commands or skills must remain largely the same for enabling successful dog obedience training.
Only use a simple phrase or word like“lie down,”“jump,” or “no” and avoid the use of complex sentences and different words to mean the same thing. That helps in strengthening the idea that a specific word or phrase is for a particular command. Also, see to it that the regularity of exercising does not suffer from interruption caused by things like being busy.
A dog undertaking a “jump” command or exercise
Reward Your Puppy
Like we usually do in our workplaces, dogs also look for ways of earning praise and rewards by pleasing those who own them. Once you train your dog and she starts or successfully masters a skill or command, pay her accordingly. You can reward the dog for her achievement by giving healthy dog treats, using toys like Buster Cubes or only doing verbal encouragement.
Using praise and rewards can motivate and give confidence to your dog to carry out commands and teach that every good deed can be rewarded,albeit differently.
Obedience Training Environment
Dog obedience training should be started in an environment that is quiet with no or few distractions. Once your puppy knows how to respond in a peaceful environment, make sure that practice training is carried out everywhere else. That assists in enabling you to train your dog so that it can respond to commands when in different places and situations.
The training sessions should happen in woods, front yard, park, surrounding neighborhood and in other places you frequently visit with your dog. Each dog obedience training environment comes with different levels of noise and distracting smells. That can help guarantee a pet can perform the necessary skills or commands in different locations.
A puppy and its owner engaging in outdoors obedience training
Engaging in dog obedience training helps significantly if the exercising is undertaken by an adult asserting him or herself as the leader of the pack. But it is also crucially helpful that every family member takes turns regularly in assisting with the dog training. When there is the involvement of more than one central person in training, the pet learns to respond appropriately to commands from all humans and not just from the lead trainer.
Training efforts at home can be tailored to meet not only your lifestyle but also that of the pet. There is no particular skill that your dog training must first start with. Just see to it that a variety of skills are learned. The overall goal is to make your puppy a better listener and follower of commands like sitting patiently as your family devours dinner.