Pet dogs need proper training and an abundance of socialization. The moment you bring your dog home, it is essential to begin the training, even with the little things. Dog training can be overwhelming particularly for first time dog parents. How do you train a dog? What are the first commands to teach your dog? What do you do if your dog does not listen to you? Hopefully this article helps! Remember that training is a lifelong journey but it does not need to be a painful experience.
If you start training your dog to maintain a proper routine, your dog will have a positive foundation to work on. It will be best to positively reinforce the right behaviors in your pet dog, which will prove beneficial not only for you as the pet owner but also to the dog for its safety in all situations.
Since most dogs live for 12 to 15 years, it is a long-term commitment on your part towards your dog. You will have to ensure that the dog you want to pet matches your lifestyle. For example, you should not get a Jack Russell Terrier if you’re planning to primarily relax and cuddle with your pet dog, as Jack Russell Terriers have high energy and barks continuously. Instead, you will want a dog who would prefer cuddling on the couch all day long like a bulldog. It is essential to know the details about several breeds’ personalities and requirements before adding a furry family member.
You must have patience and be calm during the training sessions. Dogs love cheerful and kind instructions. Any kind of agitation can lead to behavioral disorders. Your training must reinforce good dog gestures and behaviors. You should not react harshly if your dog does not obey your command. Remember dogs are not humans. They take time to learn. So, be patient.
If you’ve selected your dog and are eager to start training, ensure you do the following to get the most out of your training!
Tips to get the most out of your dog training
Name Your Dog
It is essential to name your dog. It works as a substitute for any other commands like Look or if you want him to pay attention to you. A name will also help your dog to realize its importance.
Use Games to Train Your Dog
Make sure the training program is fun. It is always helpful if you introduce games while training your dog. It will be easier for them to master many skills. Dogs love spending time and getting affection from their owners. Hence it is your responsibility also to reciprocate this affection during all times!
Use Positive Reinforcement
You will find various methods to train your dog. Being positive is the best way to train your dog. The master and the dog will share a good relationship if there is positivity during the training sessions. These will help you lay a basic yet strong foundation before you begin the training. Let us start with the core training program for your dog.
You must be prepared to give out an ample amount of rewards for your dog. Dogs learn fast if they are adequately trained, along with generosity, praises, and kindness. After every obedience program, treat your dog with a doggy treat. Do not wait for a long time to give out the treat, as dogs may not mentally retain the cause and effects of a situation for a long time, so act fast to reinforce the right things!
Before beginning the training, lay a primary foundation for your dog. Let your dog get used to the environment you have brought them into. Also, ensure to welcome with as much kindness and generosity as possible! When starting your training, always use a location your dog is comfortable with and one that has as few distractions (e.g., people, cars, other dogs) as possible so that your dog can focus on his training.
End with Positive Note
Not every training session will go well, but it is crucial to end the session on a positive note. Otherwise your dog will be fearful of the training time, which will inhibit them from learning commands well and disassociate him from the training. Use the strategy to end the training session with the command your dog has already mastered. Reward your dog for obeying the command, and end the day with a positive note.
You should be consistent with your dog training procedure to make it easier for your dog to learn the commands. Also, the environment must be the same for the basic training programs. The environment also plays a role for the dog to remember the task they have already performed previously. This way, the dog learns the commands fast. If you are a dog owner and you have a family of more than 1, then remember everybody in the house should use the same command. Different commands for the same activity can confuse your dog.
Attract Dog’s Attention
It is vital to play with your dog. Gain your dog’s attention when they do something naughty by shouting out their name in a playful tone or clapping a little loudly. These will attract your dog towards you. Your dog will naturally chase you by this method. This also improves the dog and dog owner relations.
These are the methods that you can adhere to for dog training. These will make the training session more fun and positive for you and your dog.
Socialize your dog
Dog training also includes socializing. Remember socializing helps your dog accept a new environment and other pets and humans. Through socializing, your dog will not develop any behavioral problems. Dogs who socialize are bold and possess overall well-being. So what are you waiting for? Take your dog out into the world and enjoy each moment with them!
Core Training Programs for your Dog
You should start with the core dog training programs for your dog. Dog training is the essential part for a pet dog, as it helps the dog maintain obedience and manners indoors as well as outdoors.
The core dog training program includes:
House Training and Crate Training
If you plan to keep your dog indoors, you will have to house train and crate train your dog. It is essential to teach your dog where to eliminate. This is the first thing you should teach your dog. Along with house training, crate training is also necessary. An interesting fact about crate training is that it includes house training programs.
So, let us first see how to train your dog with crate training, house training, and urination.
- Crate training teaches your dog to enjoy the crate or personal space. As humans have their personal space, your dog also needs one. Crate training will make your dog feel homely. This crate training procedure helps the dog to learn to housebreak. Make a beautiful crate for your dog, and provide your dog some doggy time. Remember, only a few hours in the crate should do. Please do not allow your pet to be in the crate for long hours, which can hamper their behavior in other situations.
- When training comes down to housebreaking, it becomes a challenging task. You will have to be consistent with the training routines. Housebreaking needs a lot of time to acquire for the dog. After every doggy meal, always take your dog outdoors or in a separate washroom where your dog can be eliminated. Repeat the same process after every nap. This will train your dog to eliminate their waste in a specific area that is only for him.
- If your dog is too excited or submissive, he might urinate to express his behavior. It is essential to look after the behavior disorders to prevent your dog from urinating anywhere other than the spaces specified for him.
Your dog should learn how to walk on a leash. Some countries have certain leash laws for the safety of dogs. This gives you more reason to introduce a leash to your dog. Training a dog to walk on a loose leash makes for a good experience. Take your dog to a garden with a leash on them. Keep some doggy treats ready with you to treat your dog. Command your dog to ‘stay’ when you want your dog not to move or run. Ensure that your dog follows you on a leash while you walk. Treat your dog whenever he sits or stays beside you while you stop walking. Make the process enjoyable by implementing games in it.
These core training programs will help you to train your dog. Let us now begin with the basic training program for your dog.
Basic Training Program
Apart from the core training programs, basic training programs are necessary too. These training exercises overlap with each other, making it difficult to differentiate. Your dog needs to master the basic obedience commands. The basic obedience commands help grow the dog and dog owner’s relationship.
Let us see how to train a dog with the basic training program.
Your dog needs to keep attention towards you. Use the command Look or Watch so that you can make your dog focus on you. This command also helps your dog to learn other commands simultaneously.
- EMERGENCY RECALL
Emergency recall assures that your pet will come to you in any situation when you give an emergency recall command to your dog. This command is only used in emergencies like your dog running towards a moving car. The emergency recall is a life savior command.
You can use the come command whenever you feel your dog should be right beside you rather than away from you. Make sure you use this come command whenever there is something to look forward to for your pet dog. This way, you will have their undivided attention to come running back to you on cue. Make sure you practice this regularly to reinforce it.
- WITH ME
While your dog is on the leash, you can use the command to prevent your dog from pulling on the leash. It helps your dog to walk at the same pace as you are. Also, it helps to relax your dog. With me command is beneficial when you are with your dog in public places. With me command while on a leash also helps your dog correctly socialize with others.
- LEAVE IT
Leave it is one of the basic dog commands which prevents your dog from picking something up. Leave it commands also stops the dog from eating anything harmful or dangerous for the dog. You can use this command when you see your dog approaching something which is not needed at that moment. This command also can save your dog from severe mishaps.
- DROP IT
Your dog needs to learn to let go of things he has picked up out of curiosity — for example, a shoe. Use the Drop it command, and use it frequently so that your dog understands the command and drops the item. This command will also prevent your dog from chewing your things. Practice this regularly, and treat your dog after whenever they obey the order and master it.
The sit command is very useful in managing the dog’s unwanted behaviors. Your dog can sit and jump consecutively but training your pet dog to sit can prevent your dog from jumping when not needed. The sit command can also help your dog to relax.
- LIE DOWN
The lie-down command is essential and also can be used in various situations. The lie-down command can also prevent the dog from doing any unwanted things. Choosing the lie-down command can also help your dog from developing positive behaviors.
Your dog would tend to run towards something that distracts them. It might be dangerous. In that case, the stay command can help your dog not run towards something that might be unknown yet dangerous to them. If your dog knows how to stay on command, then it will be easy for you to control your dog in public. You can also let your dog off-leash n various situations.
When you give your dog a wait command, it means your dog cannot move until you pass the following command. It is best if you want to prevent your dog from running out of his crate, or running out of the main door, or running after a car.
These were the basic training programs that will help you train your dog. Along with these, you also need to consistently evaluate maintain certain things which are overlooked.
Proofing Behaviors and Troubleshooting
Proofing behaviors are an interesting method that makes your dog obedient in public places. This training is the final stage of training. Let us see how proofing behavior and troubleshooting help you train your dog.
- Proofing behavior: Remember that when your dog is indoors, he might obey all your commands, but he might not do the same when he is outdoors. So, train your dog indoor and outdoor, both with distractions, so that he learns to be obedient in public places.
- Teach Self-control: Teaching self-control in dogs can help your dog understand that nothing is free, even attention and treats without obedience. Also, self-control will help improve the behavioral skills gradually.