Tips on training your dog

Dogs are the most popular animals to keep as pets. But it’s not wise to have an untrained dog in your house. It is a hassle and a hazard. It is, therefore, essential that you start training your dog as soon as bring him home. Training your dog should be an important part of your interaction with him. The training includes housetraining – teaching them when and where to relieve himself, leash training – teaching them to walk on a leash, obedience training – teaching the four basic commands, sit, down, stay and come, and socialization – teaching them to react to sights, smells and sounds. There are guidelines and tips to train your dog humanely, without the use of punishment. golden retriever dog holding an umbrellaIt is important to use positive training methods when it comes to your dog. Positive training means to provide your dog with rewards for desirable acts. A dog can be rewarded in many ways such as petting, smiling at it, baby talk, food, toys, tug-of-war, etc. These gestures indicate to your dog the desirability of his action. Consistency is vital for successful training. If your dog receives different instructions from different family members, it will confuse him and he will learn nothing. All family members should be on the same page, for instance, if your dog jumps on the couch and you want him to get off, either use ‘down’ or ‘off’, but not both. Behavior doesn’t change over a short period of time. It always requires time and patience. Your dog is not an exception to this. You need to have realistic expectations from your dog about learning to behave and act well. If, for instance, your dog has been jumping on people to say hello for last two years, it will take considerable time for him to unlearn the habit. Cute dog posing on the carpetIt is extremely important to remember, while training your dog, that you get what you reinforce. If your dog is behaving a certain way, it is most likely something that you have reinforced before, maybe unintentionally. Your approval or disapproval of the behavior is irrelevant now. Let’s say, your dog brings you a toy and barks to make you throw it, which you do. The message that the dog receives is that barking gets him what he wants. When he brings the toy again and barks despite you saying no and eventually you throw the toy. You have taught him that persistence pays off. So, your dog will now bark continuously every time he wants something. In this case, instead of caving in immediately, get him to do something for you, like sit, before you throw the toy. A common mistake made by pet parents is that they give their new dog too much freedom instantly, which often results in housetraining accidents and destructive chewing. Instead, let your dog earn freedom throughout your house. Don’t allow your dog free access to unoccupied rooms and use baby gates to establish section system for him. In short, punishment makes a dog feel shy, frightened and anxious while using positive body language, visual gestures and voice variation helps them learn quickly. As long as you follow the basic guidelines, training them would not be too difficult.