This article seeks to draw out the most vital elements in training your dog. It addresses five areas we need to be mindful of when we train our dogs and teach them new tricks.
Today, I will share five vital dog training tips that you need to remember. These are
5 Easy Dog Training Tips
- Patience: Training a dog is not something you can do in a hurry. You have to remember that something that looks simple may be pretty challenging for your dog. The worst thing you can do is lose patience and vent your anger when your dog doesn’t get it right. This is because dogs are pretty sensitive creatures and susceptible to mood swings.
- Repetition and Consistency: It would be best to be consistent with your tone, commands and hand signals. This is so that she can associate the specific signal with the appropriate behaviour. Being inconsistent will confuse her, thus, not producing the expected behaviour. If other people are responsible for training your dog, ensure they adopt the same signals. After she has got the hang of the signals, keep repeating them to reinforce them. This will then lead to it being internalised in her. After which, she will produce the desired behaviour every time you give the command.
- Simplify: Always simplify tricks into a series of small actions. A specific trick may appear simple, but it may be complex for a dog to remember all at one go. So, always think through the trick you would like your dog to perform. See how many steps it can be broken down into. You should start teaching your dog based on steps, one building on the last step. Do this until your dog can perform the entire trick.When you do this, it is not one trick but several tricks that you have taught your dog. Consider my favourite trick, the dancing trick. It involves my Maltipoo standing on her two hind legs, stretching out her front paws and jumping.
To get her to perform this, I have to break it down into four steps: Sit, Paw, High 5 and finally, dance.
- Reward and Punishment: Reward her for good behaviour and ability to perform the trick with encouragement, approval and treats. Punish her when she engages in unwanted behaviours, for example, jumping at you and barking when you come back from work. When I say punish, I don’t mean beating. I usually use it to withdraw my attention until she gets the message. Back to the example of jumping at you. You can move away from her whenever she does that and try coming back to her when she stops. After a while, she gets the message of what behaviour you don’t want from her.
- Bonding with Her: Besides training your dog, sometimes you need to chill and spend quality time bonding with her. This will strengthen your bond, and when you need to train her, she will desire to please and obey you.
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