So, you bring home your beautiful dog (or puppy) from the shop, pound or kennels and now it needs training. Where on Earth do you begin? Of course, there are plenty of books out there written about dog training and dog obedience. What we have done in this article is distilled all those tips into seven basic tips how to train your dog. They are:
Be Your Dogs Leader. Be consistent. Dogs are pack animals by instinct. In the wild they live and hunt in packs. Indeed, in some parts of the world, feral dogs are a nuisance and guess what? When they go feral, go wild, they revert back to their pack instinct. So you need to be your dogs pack leader. To say, show who is boss would be an over simplification as most experts believe it is all about consistency, be consistent when enforcing rules and regulations. Expect your dog to push the boundaries and that is when you need to establish yourself as who is in charge. Earn your dogs respect by being firm but fair. Do not use violence to establish your rules, instead use positive reinforcement techniques.
Maintain Eye Contact. When you are training your dog it is important to maintain eye contact. Dogs look to the eyes for cues in leadership. This is also a useful tactic when out walking, if you look into the dogs eyes when giving instruction, he or she will see you more as the leader.
Teach Your Dog To Heel. This is one of the first things you need to establish. You can either use the short or long leash method but either way, it is important to reward positive behaviour i.e. when your dog follows your command to heel. Once this command is mastered you will find that you and your dog have a much closer bond, so that is why this is one of the cornerstones of successful dog training.
House Train Your Puppy or Dog. Trust me, you do not want soggy carpets. Dogs quite naturally will keep their living area clean Yes, quite literally, they do not want to poop in their own backyard (or on your carpet). It just needs a bit of consistent (there is that word again) dog training. Reward positive behaviour, scold accidents quickly and do not forget to take your dog for regular walks and toilet breaks, preferably not just in your backyard and of course, always remember to take a plastic bag with you to pick up the mess.
Check Out The Latest Training Aids. The dog training world is now full of very good training aids. Trust me, you do not need to do dog training all by yourself. What with clickers, electronic and chemical training aids, leashes and leads of different varieties, halters, electronic collars, muzzles and treat carriers you are sure to find the dog training aid that is perfect for your needs.
Take Your Dog To The Vet. Simply put, you need to make sure that your dog is healthy and that there are no physical impediments stopping your dog from becoming successfully trained. For example, if your dog has cystitis it will be very difficult for you to stop your dog urinating in unexpected places. What is better than soggy carpets? A preventative trip to the vets of course.
Be Patient. Do Not Use Physical Force. Unless you or someone else is in immediate danger you should not use physical force on your dog. It has been proven that the old stick methods of training simply do not work. Positive reinforcement works much better but of course, you may have to learn the most important attribute of all, your patience.