A well trained and obedient dog is is a joy and pleasure to have around your home, friends and family. It isn’t until you come across an untrained dog that you realize what an inconvenience and damper it can put on your fun and joy. When your pet isn’t properly trained it can cause headaches and issues both in your home (chewed up furniture, broken belongings, torn papers and a house full of toilet paper bits!) and when you’re out in public.
Having a well trained dog makes everything easier including taking them out on walks, bringing them around people and strangers, and responding to when you call them. A well trained dog is also safer and ensures your own safety and that of others as well. This is especially important when you’re out in public or on walks near streets, cars or other animals.
A well-trained and properly behaving dog is a dog that everyone loves and wants to be around. It’s a pup that gives us the unconditional love and support we crave out of your dogs and it’s a dog that’s safe, respectful and listens.
There are a variety of great reasons on why you should train your dog so let’s explore a few of them.
Top 10 Professional Dog Training Tips From The Experts
While there are hundreds we can get into, we’ll cover some of the most popular training tips from professionals and experts so you can be equipped to walk away reading this with the insight and knowledge you’ll need to effectively train your pup.
#1 – Keep Things Light, Fun and Interesting
Remember that training your dog isn’t always going to be sunshine and rainbows. There are times where it will seem like your dog just won’t cooperate and don’t want to listen. Remember to always keep things light and fun, as training should be. It’s not about forcing or aggressively manipulating your dog into your desired behavior, it’s about guiding them and helping them discover and understand what good behavior should be and look like. It’s then your job to reward them to help them learn that they should repeat the same actions again.
#2 – Training Works Best When Spread out Through 10-20 Minutes Sessions
Depending on your dog’s age, energy levels and amount of distraction in the environment, the time in which you can spend training your dog will vary. In fact, they say “more is less” when it comes to training your dog. Shorter sessions are more effective and the frequency of sessions also seems to follow suit. One study found that dogs trained 1-2 times per week with 1-2 sessions each were the most successful in training. You can expect to train your dog around 5-10 weeks on average following this general schedule, but of course, it can be tailored to your liking and your preference. Do realize that dogs get distracted easily and many factors can affect how they train including distractions, hunger levels and energy. If the dog seems to lose focus and attention on training then stop and revisit training at a later time. If you try and force train a distracted or tired dog then learning will be impeded.
#3 – Use Your Dog’s Name Frequently During Training
When you use your dog’s name properly it teaches them to associate it with good things. Use it during training sessions and when rewarding them for positive behavior with treats. Call their name in a happy voice and give them rewarding attention when she responds. Repeat this again and again to help them associate their name with positivity and rewards so they come to you.
#4 –Teach Them The Basic Commands Such as Come, Sit & Stay
These commands are the foundation of a well trained pup. The Humane Society recommends this game to help them learn “Come!” – Put your dog on a leash, say Come! and then back up until your dog catches up to you. When she arrives, give her a reward and enthusiastically exclaim, “yes!”
Teaching these basic commands can be found here
#5 – Listen To Your Dog
Training is not a 1 way street. Your dog is always talking to you in one way or another. The most obvious way will be through their body language. Learn to read your dog through their facial expressions, ears, tail, posture, tilt of their head and sounds. Although you’re your dog’s alpha, you still have to take great consideration into their own psychology and interpretation of what’s going on.
#6 – Respond To your Dog’s Behavior Right Away
A dog’s short term memory is about 5 minutes long so if you want to discipline your dog or reward them for positive behavior, they’ll likely forget what they did and won’t remember. Given this information, you’ll want to make sure you stay on top of your dog’s behavior and reward them or attempt to modify their behavior quickly after it’s done to ensure they “get the picture.”
#7 – Get Your Dog New Toys and Chewing Options Regularly
Chewing is a natural part of a dog’s behavior, especially in their growth and development stages. To help your dog maintain interest in these items and to prevent them for chewing on your personal items including furniture, shoes and paperwork, ensure you switch out their toys and buy them new ones on a somewhat regular basis to keep them occupied.
#8 – Pay Attention To Your Dog and Use The Right Treats as Rewards
You may purchase a dog treat for your dog and use it to train them. It may work for a while but then you notice your dog’s attention span and ability to stay focused on training starts to diminish over time. If you notice this, consider switching up dog treats to something with a different flavor, texture or nutritional value.
#9 – Properly Discourage Unwanted Behavior
To do this you just need to make sure that your dog doesn’t get rewarded when they behave improperly. It doesn’t have to involve forceful pain or intimidation. Simply take away their treats and use body language to assert your underlying motivation. For example, if they jump on you in an attempt to get your attention, simply turn your body away and don’t show any response to their behavior. As soon as they stop the undesired behavior, you can go back to showing them attention and affection.
#10 – Take a Dog Training Class
A dog training class can be a great way to learn how to train your dog with the guidance and counsel of professionals who are trained and know how to correct and modify behavior, both for us and our dogs! Often times, many owners think they’re training the correct way when they’re actually making some crucial mistakes. A dog training class is a great way to get feedback and know what techniques and strategies help to properly train your dog. If you’re looking for one local to you, the best way to find one is to go on Google and to do a search for “dog training class near me” and you’ll find some in the area. Call around and get a feel for their costs, schedule and structure to see what fits with your budget and goals.
So there you have it! Our ultimate guide on the why, benefits and how to train your dog.
Let us know in the comments below what you thought of this article and what your favorite tips and insights are. Also, if you have any tips or strategies of your own that you found successful, let us know in the comments below!