Does your pet follow dog commands? If not, we know how you feel. It can be frustrating when you expect your dog to behave in a certain way, yet it does the opposite. But what can you do? It’s very rare, if not impossible, for dogs to naturally behave without the need for training. Dogs are like children. They need discipline and guidance through training. Without training, your dog will act based on instinct and impulse, and more often than not, it won’t result in a smile on your face. On the other hand, dog training is the answer if you want to have a well-behaved dog that can socialize well with other people and other pets.
Besides care, sunlight, food, and shelter, your dog also needs socialization and training. If you’re wondering when is the best time to start training your dog, the answer is as soon as possible. However, make sure you’re prepared for it. Dog training requires patience, skills, and knowledge. It involves strategies and techniques to work. So many pet owners who trained their dogs at home ended up frustrated with the results because they failed to do their research. If you prefer to train your dog at home and not hire a professional dog trainer, you must be prepared. Here are a few tips to get you started on your dog training journey.
#1 Crate and House Training
You have two options, you can let your dog stay outside of your home, or you can let your dog stay in with you. If you plan to let your dog sleep in the house, you should do house training. Teach your dog the acceptable places to eliminate. We’ve heard horrifying stories of dogs peeing and pooping on expensive rugs and carpets because they didn’t do house training. Meanwhile, if you’re going to be using a crate for your pet, you should do crate training so that your dog will get used to its own space. The key to successful dog training is diligence and consistency. Don’t give up on your first try. It usually takes a series of attempts for your dog to master commands.
#2 Leash Training
All dogs, regardless of age, must go through leash training. Most states have very strict leash laws. These laws are established for your dog’s safety. Therefore, as early as now, learn about leash training. You should teach your dog how to walk on a leash. You can start with a loose leash walk. Keeping the leash loose will prevent your dog from lunging or tugging on the leash. Some pet owners do leash training while on a bike, but that depends on your preference. Leash train your dog at home so you can take it anywhere with you.
#3 Clicker Training
One popular method of dog training is the clicker method. A clicker is a noisemaker that you will click when your dog behaves well. But for this method to work, you must do it at the right time so your dog can associate it with good behavior. The clicker’s purpose is to let your dog know what behavior deserves a reward.
#4 Basic Commands
Start training your dog with the basic commands such as heel, come, stay, and sit.
To teach your dog the heel command, place your dog on your left side while you hold the leash. Walk your dog starting with your left foot and then give the heel command by saying your dog’s name. Give your dog a treat through positive reinforcement if it walks correctly. If your dog doesn’t get it on the first try, you can gently tug the leash to bring your dog back to the original position and then start again.
To teach your dog, the sit command dog trainers suggest you hold a treat toward the back of your dog’s head and say the word “sit,” followed by the name of your dog. When your dog’s butt touches the ground, give the treat.
The stay command is easy to teach when your dog has mastered the sit command. To start, your dog should be in a sitting position. Next, show your dog the open-palm hand command and say the command word “stay,” followed by your dog’s name, all while maintaining eye contact. Let your dog stay in that position for at least 30 seconds. To release from that position, say “okay.” Practice for more prolonged periods until your dog masters the command.
When training your dog, keep the sessions short. Longer training sessions are counterproductive and will only tire your dog out. Also, the key to successful dog training is consistency. Set a schedule daily to train your dog. Eventually, after all the efforts you and your dog invested in training, both of you will reap the benefits.