Training your dog is one of the best things that you can do for your pet. It ensures that your pet knows how to behave in your home and in public. It also keeps your pet secure and promotes safety, as your pet will abide by your commands. Training your dog does not have to be difficult — in fact, it can be quite simple to train any breed of dog. These at-home training tips will help you get your dog on the path to obedience today.
What Are Some Simple at-Home Training Tips for Your Dog?
- The most important thing you can do is be consistent while training, according to Pet Finder. You can’t decide to train your dog one day, but then be lazy about it the next day. Once you take on the challenge of training your dog, you have to stick with it until your dog understands its commands. Try to be as patient as possible, and continue to use the same commands each day until your dog understands what you expect.
- Use simple, short commands that can be associated with a specific action. Your dog may be surrounded by the English language on a daily basis, but according to ASPCA, that doesn’t mean it understands you when you speak in full sentences. Choose one-word commands such as “sit,” “stay” or “off.” Say the word and show your dog the action so that it understands what you mean. When you choose a word for a particular command, stick with it. You must be consistent in all aspects of training.
- Praise your dog when it does a good job and listens to a command. Pet experts have found that positive reinforcement is the best way to effectively train your dog. Shower your pet with praise and let your dog know how much you love it when it listens to you. It will encourage your dog to continue to do good and complete commands correctly when asked.
- Reward your dog for completing a command correctly. You must provide your dog with a treat immediately upon it completing a command in order for it to understand why it is receiving the reward. Choose a small training treat, and be sure that it is something that your dog will enjoy. If your dog is not obedient, do not provide it with a treat or with a reward. Eventually, your dog will understand that there are consequences for its actions and that it is in its best interest to follow through with any command you give.
- Break training down into smaller steps. Instead of trying to tackle several different commands at one time, start with one basic command and work on it until your dog has mastered it. At that point, you can move on to a new command to add to your dog’s skillset. Make training a slow and continual process. Think of it as a marathon rather than a sprint. When you are focusing solely on training, keep your sessions as short and concise as possible. This will ensure that your dog stays motivated and prevents it from becoming bored or restless while you try to work on training.
- Pay attention to your dog and take note of what it may be telling you through its body language. This is especially important while working on training and socialization at the same time. If your dog appears to be uncomfortable, stressed or scared, it is important to stop the training session as soon as possible. You don’t want your dog to have negative feelings associated with training or with a specific command, and you don’t want to force the issue because it can create larger problems in the long run.
Training your dog is a commitment of your time, energy and finances. However, it’s well worth the effort when you can take your dog in public and know that it will behave. You will rest easy knowing that visitors can stop by your house and your dog can be a part of the experience, because it is trained to act appropriately around new people. In many cases, it is easiest to train your dog while it is still young. While the old saying goes that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, that doesn’t mean you can’t spend time training an adult dog. Whenever you decide that training is the next best step for you and your four-legged pal, then it is time to embark on this exciting journey. Decide on a few commands to start with, grab a bag of your dog’s favorite treats and get to work.
About the Author
Chelsea Kampas works at Wayne Simanovich Protection Dogs as a world-class protection dog trainer and is a proud parent to her German Shepherd.