Basic Effective Dog Training Tips
Updated: Mar 28, 2018
You must teach your dog from the beginning what is acceptable or not. Leaving it to a later stage will be harder for you and harder for him to learn as he will be much more set in his ways.
Your dog is a member of your family and your best friend so having an obedient and well behaved pet is crucial.
All dog owners should know some basic dog training methods, as these aspects will be very helpful in the everyday life to train your dog various basic and useful techniques on dog obedience, developing desirable results and encouraging excellent behaviour for your dog.
Difficulty of the command. Always begin teaching your puppy or dog the easiest command(s) possible so that difficult ones would be easier to learn at a later stage
The 12 most important basic dog training commands for any dog owner are:
Consistency of the commands. Basic dog training methods can be taught efficiently and effectively by repeating with the same commands, pointing out the desired action, reinforcing the good behaviour and keeping your pet’s attention. You should do it many times during the day including during play time and while walking your dog. An excited tone should be used to encourage good behaviour and a stern voice for incorrect behaviour.
Timing Your Dog Training. Dogs respond best to short, sharp commands so training moments with your dog should be short, intense and interesting so that it does not lose his attention, interest and capability of responding to the demands.
Praise And Rewarding Your Dog. Always praise and reward your dog the moment it responds to your commands. Rewards may be represented by play time or food so that the learning process would be improved gradually.
Avoid giving in to your pet every desire. Always exercise discipline first and then affection. Never give out rewards just because your dog gives you a pitiful or cute look but only when he or she performs a correct behaviour. Once your dog has learned your commands and hand signals, begin to give lesser rewards.
Positive Reinforcement: How It Works?
Positive reinforcement is simply rewarding your dog with food, praise, toys or attention right after it performs the intended behaviour (eg sitting). When teaching a new behaviour, food is often used because it is quick and effective. By doing so, you are increasing the likelihood of the behavior occurring again. It works, is easy to use and does lesser harm than the alternative training; by punish.
As mentioned, food is positively reinforcing and therefore is a valuable training tool. To properly use food, the trainer must establish the behaviour to the point that the dog understands what behaviour it must perform on its own in order to earn reinforcement, and then, the trainer must quickly begin weaning away the food as discussed above. Because food is so successful in getting behaviour, many trainers become too dependent on it and do not reduce and eliminate it soon enough. Thus, dogs can learn to only respond when food is present.
Rewarding your dog for good behaviour sounds pretty simple, and it is! However, to practice the technique effectively, you need to follow some basic guidelines.
Timing. Correct timing is essential when using positive reinforcement. Reward should be given immediately after an action; within seconds or your pet may not associate it with the proper action. For example, if you have your dog sit but reward him after he's stood back up, he'll think he's being rewarded for standing up. Using a clicker to mark the correct behaviour can improve your timing and also help your dog understand the connection between the correct behaviour and the treat.
Keep it short. Dogs don't understand sentences. Keep commands short and uncomplicated. The most commonly used dog commands are “sit”, “stay”, “down”, “come”, “heel” and “leave it”.
Consistency is key. Everyone in the family should use the same commands; otherwise, your dog may be confused. It might help to post a list of commands where everyone can become familiar with them.
Consistency also means always rewarding the desired behaviour and never rewarding undesired behaviour.
How To Deal With Problems In Dog Behaviour
Dog behaviours problems are often misunderstood and mishandled by dog owners. Understanding these behaviour problems is the first step to solving and preventing them.
Most dogs bark, howl and whine to some degree. Excessive barking is considered a behaviour problem and one should understand the reason behind it. Consider teaching the bark/quiet commands. Be consistent and patient.
Chewing is a natural action for all dogs. However, it turns into a problem it causes destruction. Encourage your dog to chew on the right things by providing plenty of chew toys. Keep personal items away from your dog. If you catch your dog chewing the wrong thing, quickly correct him with a sharp noise. Then, replace the item with a chew toy.
If given the chance, most dogs will do some amount of digging - it's a matter of instinct. Determine the cause of the digging then work to eliminate that source. If digging is unavoidable, set aside an area where your dog to dig freely, like a sand box.
A dog's desire to chase moving things is simply a display of predatory instinct. Many dogs will chase other animals, people and cars. All of these can lead to dangerous and devastating outcomes. While you may not be able to stop your dog from trying to chase, you can take steps to prevent disaster.
Keep your dog on a leash at all times (unless directly supervised indoors).
Train your dog to come when called.
Stay aware and watch for potential triggers, like cats.
A jumping dog can be annoying and even dangerous. Jumping up is often attention-seeking behavior, so any acknowledgment of your dog's actions provide a reward. The best method: simply turn away and ignore your dog. When he relaxes and remains still, calmly reward him.
Puppies bite and nip on other dogs and people as a means for exploring their environment and learning their place in the pack. Owners MUST teach their puppies that mouthing and biting are not acceptable. Owners can help decrease the tendency for any type of dog to bite through proper training, socialization and breeding practices.
Dog aggression is exhibited by growling, snarling, showing teeth, lunging and biting. Canine aggression can be a serious problem so consult your vet to see if there is an underlying health problem or seek the help of an experienced dog trainer.
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