A general frequent question that we get from all of our clients is “How do I train my dog?”.
It’s a pretty broad question, and people usually have several reasons for asking it. When people ask this question they might mean any number of things including: How do you teach your dog what is expected, what is and is not okay for them to do, or how do you teach them certain tasks or behaviors . In broad strokes, we are here to help you figure that out. Dog training can be broken down to these three simple principles:
However, trying to practice those without any direction is no easy task. You may have started reading this article because you want to train your dog to:
- Roll Over
- Not bark at strangers
- Not pull on their leash when you walk them.
- Sit and stay while you put a bone on their nose, and then when you say “Go” they flip the bone into their mouth.
And, you can do all of those things and more, once you really learn the basic principles of dog training. The specific tasks are much easier to teach once you have a foundation in place. You can’t build a solid house without a firm foundation. The same line of thought applies to good dog training. So, brush up on your training principles then try to teach your puppy some basic skills or sign up for a training class.
1. Reward Your Dog for the Behaviors You Like.
When your dog does something you like, reward them for it! This is the big step that most people forget about. When we are happy with what our dogs are doing we tend to simply enjoy it, and not communicate that to our dogs.
- Did you walk in the room and find your dog quietly curled up on their dog bed and not your couch?
- Did you take your dog on a walk and they didn’t pull on their leash?
- Did you have guests over without your dog barking at them at all?
Whether you ask your dog for the behavior or not, reward the behavior you like. The more you reward a behavior, the more likely your dog is to do it in the future. It’s that simple. The more you focus on building a history of reward, the less you have to worry about punishing your dog.
2. Manage Your Dog’s Environment.
If there is something you don’t want your dog to do, there are several ways to prevent them from doing it. One of those is managing their environment to encourage behaviors you want, or discourage those you don’t. The more a dog successfully practices a behavior, the more likely they are to do it in the future. Good or bad.
Let me give you a couple hypothetical situations to demonstrate what I mean. Let’s say you don’t want your dog in the kitchen. Easy fix! Baby gate your kitchen off, and block access. If you are worried about your dog being destructive when you are gone, crate your dog when you are not home. If your dog can’t get to it, they can’t be naughty with it. The more you control your dog’s environment in constructive ways, the more you will encourage good behavior.
3. Take a Deep Breath.
We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be perfect. We tend to transfer that pressure to our dogs as well. Our behaviors have a major influence on our dog’s behavior. If we are in constant disappointment, anxiety, or stress–how do you think that will affect your dog?
The most important part of training your dog is to take a deep breath, and let go of your expectations. Remember that our dogs are living creatures and they will make mistakes, just like us. It’s the hardest part of life, to let go and be patient, but it is one of the most crucial parts of accomplishing any task.
Ask For Help!
If you have specific goals in mind for your dog, then reach out to our certified trainers to get some guidance on how to get there. At DogBoy’s, we are here to help you and your dog learn how to communicate effectively.
Even if you are looking for some simple guidance on basic skills, sign up for a group training class. Remember, reward your dog, manage their environment, and take a deep breath. Then you’ll be on the right path to a well behaved dog. Contact us today to see how we can help you and your dog reach your training goals.
Chase by Paul David
Walking the dog by benjgibbs