Training your new dog can be difficult, but there are certain tips and tricks you can try that should make the process go more easily (and even faster). Within this article, we’ll list for you some things to keep in mind when training your dog.
Focus on reinforcing good behavior. There’s no denying the frustration that hits when your dog misbehaves; whether they’ve chewed up your bedspread or gone potty inside the house when they’re not supposed to, you’re going to be upset. But try not to go overboard when punishing bad behavior; it will only upset your dog as well as yourself. Furthermore, it will be more beneficial in the long run to provide positive reinforcement for the types of behavior that you do want to see from your dog. If they’re chewing on your shoes instead of their dog toys, for example, reward them when they use their chew-toy instead of simply punishing them when they make the wrong choice. If they learn to associate the right actions with being rewarded, they will quickly grow eager to follow your directions. Nothing provides proper motivation for being on your best behavior like the anticipation of a reward, after all.
Focus on the basics first. Start off simple and make sure that your dog is housebroken/potty trained and able to walk on a leash without any serious issues. Teaching your dog ho to walk on a leash is very important and not a step you should ever consider skipping; not only do most areas have laws that require your dog to be on a leash, in many instances your dog should be on a leash for their own safety (whether it’s for protection from other dogs or fast-moving cars). As mentioned previously, make sure to reward good behavior to reinforce the lessons that you are teaching your dog; if they follow your commands to heel or sit, for example, give them a treat to reinforce that they’ve done the right thing. It’s also a good idea to teach your dog some of the more basic commands, such as sit, heel, come, down, stay, and so on. Do be aware, though, that some commands may be harder to teach than others depending on your dog’s species and temperament. The down command, for example, can be tricky with certain breeds of dogs because it requires them to assume a submissive position when they lower themselves down onto the ground. You can provide reassurance during the teaching of this command by staying calm and relaxed during the process; avoid shouting and getting angry, even if you’re frustrated, because this will cause your dog to have negative associations with the command you’re trying to teach and it could impact their willingness to follow through on learning the command.
When in doubt, ask for help. In some situations, you may just find yourself stuck on how to proceed with your dog’s training. If this ever happens to you, don’t hesitate to ask for advice; you can try consulting with local dog training experts or even ask your veterinarian for some tips. These people are well-versed in canine behaviors and will be able to give you good advice for how to best proceed with your dog’s training.