Dogs are a human’s best friend. They are beautiful, smart and loyal to a fault. But, dogs are also very demanding and require a lot of love, care, and compassion in order to thrive, which makes them not that different from kids. If you want them to ever reach their full potential and have a happy life, you have to put a lot of effort into their education.
Benefits of proper dog training
The rewards you will get at the end will more than make up for any troubles you might get:
- Your dog will be able to interact with other people and dogs more successfully and become much happier as a result.
- The training will strengthen your mutual bond.
- The dog will be much safer. At the first sight of any kind of danger (cars, off-leash dogs, etc.), you will be able to quickly call your pet back to safety.
- Training provides your dog with excellent mental and physical stimulation.
And now, let’s take a look at some of the proven methods you can use to reach virtually any pup in existence and turn it into the top dog of the neighborhood.
Start with simple obedience commands
Simple obedience commands like “sit”, “come”, and “lie down” are an excellent way to introduce your dog to a more extensive training regimen. Other than teaching the pets some very useful actions, obedience commands also build strong relationships between dogs and their owners, and accommodate the dogs to reward system you will continue to use later in the training.
Just make sure that every positive action is accompanied by clear affirmation.
Don’t use adversive training methods
If your dog starts misbehaving based on some strong emotional state like frustration, anger, fear, or even excessive excitement, punishing the animal either verbally or physically can only make the things worse. Instead, you should try to snap the dogs out such states.
For instance, electronic dog collars like ET-300 can stimulate your dog by sending out gentle TENS-like signals that produce tingling effects. Other popular ways to change the dog’s mood are a favorite toy, verbal praise, or even music.
Learn to understand dogs’ body language
Dogs don’t know any other way to communicate with their owners but through their body language. If you want to make the training successful, you have to learn to “read” the feedback they are trying to give you.
For instance, the dog that is fearful will offer signs of submission, a playful dog will broadly wave its tale and start barking, and if you cross the line, your pet may stiffen its tale and point its ears forward.
Find out what motivates your dog
Dogs’ will go a long way following your routine if you just find something to motivate them to play along. So, the first step in building a strong relationship with your dog will be to find a way to keep it happy during the training (some of the most common motivators are verbal praise, toys, treats, etc.).
Unconditional love and affection will be built along the way.
Socialize your dog
Dogs are very sensitive animals – especially the shyer ones. And much like humans having the same problems, shy dogs can greatly benefit from going out and hanging out with other people (and animals). What this simple training method can achieve is drastically cut the number of situations that make dogs fearful and stressed, instead making them calmer and helping them focus on their owners.
Prevent unwanted behavior
And on the opposite side of dog psychology spectrum is the method of preventing the access to or distracting dogs from the things that encourage bad behavior. Although it operates on a different logic than socialization (“toughening” the animal), the end result is the same.
By fencing out the objects that provoke the dogs or by providing them with stronger stimulants, dogs will quickly lose interest to perform “bad” actions.
Respect animals current needs
Finally, forcing the training upon your pets will only make them more stubborn. If the dogs are not in the mood to practice, need some rest, feel sad, fearful or hungry, you should respect their immediate needs and try to accommodate them the best you can.
By doing so, the dogs will learn to trust you and be much more eager to learn new tricks when they finally feel ready.
So, here you go – seven tips that will help your dog see the training as a cheerful game and you as a friend rather than master. Only the relationships that are based on mutual trust and love can last through the many years to come.