A Few Dog Training Best Practices
I know I was pretty much at a loss when I got my first dog. I had absolutely no idea how to train her--or even where to start. I've learned a lot since then, and perhaps the most important thing is that every dog is different.
Still, there are certainly a few best practices you can follow. Check out this awesome infographic from our friends at Havahart Wireless.
Properly training your furry friend will lead to a harmonious life for you and the pets in your household. Although affectionate, adorable, and loyal, dogs have instincts that are less than desirable for the average pet owner.
Learning how to familiarize yourself with dog behavior will create a language between you and your pet that will aid in training and, ultimately, create a happy dog. Proper training has the potential to ease your pet into stressful situations around other animals or visitors. When properly trained and socialized your dog will know what to expect from a situation and will react accordingly.
When you encourage polite behaviors with your dog, they will have a more pleasant experience with new situations.
More than anything else, your dog loves to learn and will feel fulfilled and valued as a member of your household, or their “pack.” They love pleasing you and learning new things and the more training your dog gets the more activities you and your pet will be comfortable tackling together.
When training your pet it is important to note the factors that influence their behavior. The sex and age of your dog have a lot to do with their ability to be trained. All dogs are able to learn new things, but female dogs tend to mature faster than male dogs and therefore have an easier time with training.
Puppies younger than 12 weeks will not be able to be properly house trained due to their weak muscle control at that age.
Similarly, some elderly dogs have issues with bladder control due to physical limitations and not training issues. Spayed/Neutered dogs are less confrontational and therefore easier to train and maintain polite behaviors around visitors and other animals. Just be sure to do your research when you run into any training difficulties.
Keep In Mind
For the new dog owner it’s best to be prepared for what you are up against. Not all dogs catch onto commands so easily. Not only do the above mentioned influential factors have a large say over how difficult training will be, but so does your dog’s breed.
Do your research before adopting your furry companion and stick to the easier breeds if you are new at training. When your dog is ready to receive training, start them off with easy commands for them to learn such as, “no,” and, “good.”
Purchase a crate for your pet so that they have a safe place to feel comfortable as well as a head start into house training. Help your dog enjoy handling by administering a grooming routine.
Once you realize the behaviors that need to be curbed understand the reasons behind those behaviors and offer an alternative. For instance, if your dog has a chewing issue, understand that this is an instinctual behavior that can be due to boredom, stress, or your dog needing attention. Offer them a toy when you see them chewing as an alternative.
Look at your own behavior to make sure you aren’t giving them any mixed signals with training. Make sure you aren’t using pillows, blankets, etc. for play time as this can confuse your dog when they are searching for something to chew on.
When you are training, be sure to train regularly to encourage their response. In order to combat boredom or frustration, keep your training sessions short.
And finally, don’t give up. Training can be especially frustrating, but have faith that your pup will learn and don’t hinder their success with negative outbursts if you are frustrated. Training your dog is a learning experience for both of you and should be a fun way for both of you to bond.