Essential Dog Training Tips You Need to Know (Good Boy!)
The moment that you welcome a dog into your home, the need for training your little buddy should commence. Considering your new pooch may be a blank slate, this could feel like an overwhelming task. But fear not - there are several tricks you can deploy to simplify things.
Prepare Yourself to be a Dog Owner
The most critical step you can take in training your dog is to train yourself to take properly care of him. For example, you’ll want to be sure to craft a list of solid rules on what your pooch can and cannot do, and plan on adhering to these rules consistently. If you don’t, your dog will wind up being confused and nervous, which may lead him to do some unpleasant behavior.
It's also important that you create a personal living space for him before his arrival. This would include preparing a private place for him to sleep, relax, or retreat to when he wants to have his own "me" time. Often, this private space could be something as simple as a crate.
It’s also important that you have a name decided on before you bring the dog home. Even though dogs are adaptable to new names - which is a bonus in rescue dog situations - having a name decided on and then sticking to it will allow him to bond quicker its master. And while you can name your dog what you wish, dog trainers suggest that you bestow your dog with a name that is easily “communicated” between you and your pooch and not too elaborate.
What are the Basics of Dog Training?
Most of dog training boils down to one essential fact: Your dog wants to make you happy. Having this little tidbit in mind can be vital in helping you build a sturdy, trustworthy relationship with your pooch as you train him. When this bond is built, you will end up with a happier, fuller life too.
Arguably, the most important basic element of dog training is properly training him to "do his business" in a designated spot. Ideally, this should be started when the puppy is roughly 3 to 4 months, and the designated space should be a restricted area. Eventually, this area will grow as your dog matures and learns how to take advantage of the outdoors.
Toilet training can also be effectively steered by deploying several secondary steps. Things, like keeping your pup on a regular meal schedule, giving him plenty of chances to go to the bathroom outside, and cultivating a sense of routine with space and time, are all important in establishing your dog's bathroom rhythm. And of course, offering up a little praise for a job well done goes a long way.
Teaching your dog to be obedient is also an essential part of training. Doing so will cultivate a dog that is respectful, well-mannered, and a general pleasure for people to be around. If you’ve ever been around a dog that lacks these qualities, you already know obedience isn’t something to be taken lightly.
At the very least, you should be able to teach your dog how to sit, stay, come, heel, or drop things from its mouth. Most of these commands are designed to keep them calm and subservient regardless of the situation while teaching the dog to drop may prevent him from inadvertently picking up something that could be harmful to him. As you teach your dog these commands, it is crucial that their proper execution is met with positive reinforcement.
What About Clicker Training?
Another method that you may want to consider is clicker training. Essentially, this method of training uses a device that emits a sound that reinforces positive behavior. This method can be effective when you’re trying to teach your pooch the basics.
What About Teaching Him Cool Tricks?
While it is fun to try and train your dog to roll over, shake, or play dead, these fun little parlor tricks should only be attempted after your pooch has mastered basic training skills. Once he has the essentials down pat, he’ll be in a position to trust you implicitly. The sky’s the limit from there.