Training is often the most confusing and difficult thing that you’re required to do when bringing a puppy into your home. Although it can be frustrating when your dog doesn’t pick up on your commands immediately, having patience and taking your time to train your new furry friend is worthwhile in the long term!
In this article, we’ve shared five simple tips to make your dog training a success, along with tips to keep your pet entertained throughout the process:
1. Be consistent
When it comes to successfully house training your dog, the key is to be consistent in the commands and tasks that you’re giving your pet. You can do this simply by using the same terms for commands, along with practicing their training exercises multiple times a day.
Training your dog sporadically is likely to delay your training as they will become confused about when they’re expected to do something. So keep your schedule consistent and develop a routine around their training to help speed-up their learning.
2. Give rewards
In order to get your dog to listen to you and complete their activity, give them rewards when they do something correctly. This demonstrates to them that they’re doing something positive and will be more likely to repeat it when prompted.
Suitable rewards can include their favourite treat, a new toy or simply verbal praise. However, it’s important to keep an eye on the amount of treats you’re giving them as part of their training as this could lead to your dog becoming overweight in some circumstances.
3. Use positive reinforcement
As soon as your dog begins to learn their new training routine, provide them with positive reinforcement – a training technique that focuses on giving the dog praise when they do something correctly, as opposed to punishing them when they do not.
Positively reinforcing good behaviour is more successful when training because the dog will learn to associate positive things when they do something. For example, you could use treats when your dog sits on command, or shower them with affection when they use the toilet outdoors.
Punishing your dog for doing something incorrectly is also likely to delay training as they may become aggressive or defensive.
4. Keep it fun!
Remember that just like humans, some dogs can have a short attention span. That means you’ll constantly have to vary the training you give them in order to keep them interested.
You can do this by practicing your training exercises in a different location, such as a local park, when you take them for their daily walk. Instead of teaching your dog to sit when waiting for their meal, give them the command and praise them with another treat.
Varying the approach that you take to dog training makes the process much more fun for both you and your pet, meaning that training is likely to be much quicker – and more successful.
5. Use short words
In order to avoid your dog becoming confused with their new training exercises, use short words for your commands. This allows them to recognise the word and pair it with the thing you want them to do.
Some of the most common cue words include “sit”, “come”, “stay” and “down”, but you can change these depending on what word you’d like your dog to recognise. However, remember to be consistent in the word that you choose.
As you can see, training your dog to co-operate with your home and daily lifestyle is easy when you follow a consistent routine. Don’t forget that if your dog accidentally has an injury whilst practicing their training exercises, pet insurance policies are available to help protect against the cost of vet fees whilst nursing them back to good health.