Puppy training can start as soon as your dog enters his new home. In fact, the
way you receive the puppy is already a training-starting period, allowing you
to set the tone to what is about to come.
Use praise and rewards.
As you are implementing the steps above, practicing repetition, being consistent, establishing a routine and setting attainable goals, it is time to focus on rewards. It is human nature to work on a reward system. People perform actions because there is a pay-off in the end. That doesn’t mean all actions are done with selfish motives as sometimes the payoff is that the actions make another person feel good.
But rest assured there is always a pay-off, be it a warm fuzzy feeling, a paycheck, staying out of trouble or some form of gratification or relief. Dogs function on the same level. They work for a pay-off in the end. It is easiest to begin with the payoff being in the form of something they can see, taste and chew.
Give your dog his reward treat immediately upon completion of the task but do make sure it is not given until the task is completely finished successfully.
Especially if you are doing a good bit of regular training, be sure that the treats you are giving are healthy ones. Read the labels.
Some of the most popular brands are the worst for your pet. It is worth spending the extra money to ensure that you are giving your dog treats that aren’t laden with bad ingredients and are healthy for him, instead.
You can limit the size of the treats by buying smaller ones or breaking off pieces of larger sized ones. In addition to giving treats, it is a good idea to bask him with love and affection.
Praise him and let him know you are pleased and proud. This goes a long, long way with a dog whose very ancestor domestication evolvement stemmed around working for and being needed by humans.
It is in his genes to want to please. In fact, it is believed that years and years ago, dogs adapted to being useful as workers and as a means of survival. In return for work or for being helpful, they were rewarded with food, shelter and generally, affection as well. The instinct to please people is still in most dogs.
Learn to tap into that trait and use it in your training sessions and you will go far. After your dog has caught on to the trick at hand, wean him from the treats as the sole means of reward. If you don’t wish to continue using treat rewards, that is fine.
Even if you do plan to continue rewarding with treats, though, it is still best that you follow this step every now and then to get him away from the mindset that there must be a treat in front of him in order to perform the task.
That thinking can be dangerous if you are in an emergency situation where he needs to obey immediately and there is no time to grab a treat. When you are weaning him off the treat system, do so gradually.
Every other accomplished trick or task gets a treat and every other warrants a shower of affection. Advance to every third time gets a treat with two rounds of affection in between. Be sure the affection turns are hearty and that they last at least 20-25 seconds.
As your dog matures with the concept of learning, you can lessen the energy behind the affection and the length of time of it as well.
Just as a parent praises a child for learning a task like riding a bike or learning to count, eventually the amount of recognition dwindles and it becomes something that is just done and not acknowledged each and every time the activity is performed.
The slight difference is that you will want to acknowledge your dog each time but it can certainly graduate to a minimum.
As the trainer, you are in charge. You set the tone, which is the overall mood of the sessions. Your tone will greatly determine how your dog feels about the lessons in general.
Your calm and cool, assertive demeanor will help him to enjoy the lessons rather than dread them. Don’t think you can easily pull one over your dog. They are quite attuned with nature and with how their master is feeling, physically and emotionally.
If you are having trouble getting into the proper mode, take some time to wind down. Meditate, take a run, talk to a good friend or read a book to get you distressed and focused on the session. Keep the tone of your training times consistent.
You don’t want to be up one time and down another, in a good mood one day and a bad mood the next. Such variations will only confuse and upset your dog. Keep the mood the same each time so your dog knows what to expect.
It is a good idea not to be too energetic and excited when training your dog because you can easily excite him and make it difficult for him to pay attention and focus on the lesson.
At the same time, being too serious and mundane is not a good idea, either. Keep your tone right in the middle and the two of you will do fine.
Everyone responds better when positivity abounds. Children learn better in positive situations and with teachers who point out good things rather than bad. It is a proven fact that bosses who treat their employees with affirmations have much better workers. Dogs react very well to positive strokes, too. Be sure to keep your sessions positive.
Each and every trick or command you give should be done so in a positive manner. Rewards or corrections should be done in a similar way. It is not enough, though, to only be positive in training.
You must also carry that into everyday activities so your dog does not ever fear getting on your bad side or upsetting you. If he does, he will be paranoid and worried during sessions which will be a huge distraction. A positive atmosphere promotes fun and when your dog is having fun. he is automatically going to be on the same page as you.
The two of you will be in tuned without even trying because, it just takes over. Consider Colby Jack who lives in the mountains of Colorado. He takes his dog everywhere in a dog-loving village where he lives. The two have a great rapport and an unbreakable bond so it is only natural that his dog, Dakota, follows his instructions when asked to “slide”. Dakota goes up the short stairs all by herself and slides down the slide, time after time.
She loves it because he and Colby are having fun. And if you think that is too complicated and advanced for you and your dog, you might reconsider. “It was incredibly easy to train Dakota because she loves to have fun and loves to please me,” says Colby.
Colby is just thirteen years old. When you think of training your dog as fun and enjoyable, your dog will believe the same. Dogs are very intuitive.
Not only are you teaching your dog new things, you are preparing him to be a great citizen who will be well received.
The two of you are spending quality time together and are getting a chance to bond. You are blessed to have your dog and in return, your dog is blessed to have you. What is there not to love about the honor of training your pooch? Make it positive because…it IS positive! Positivity is contagious.
When you keep your sessions optimistic, you are confident in your dog’s ability to learn and that will spill on over to the way he thinks. He will pick up on your attitude and most likely adopt it for himself. As the saying goes, if you think you can, then you really can. So give your dog the positivity he deserves.
The Perfect Pro to Train Your Dog
When it comes to training your dog, there is a pro that is highly recommended. YOU! You are the dog’s master, You are the one he is with the most and whom he is most attached to.
so it makes sense that you are the perfect match when it comes to being his trainer.
With the tips and techniques lined out in the easy steps within this book, you will be able to be as professional as any other trainer you might seek out.
“Anyone can be trained to train their dog,” states Gena Zaby who has been training dogs for more than thirty years.
“You must become one accord with the animal you are training and the rest is a piece of cake. Knowing your dog and your dog knowing you are great bonuses you have to your advantage but I can meet any dog and immediately begin to train him and with the tools you can learn in dog training books like this one, you can do the same.”
Dog training for dummies is an approach for those who know little about dogs and even less about training. Even if you fall into this category, there is something that can teach you so you can master the task and gives you clues on the secrets of dog training even if you feel less than qualified.
Following the easy steps in this dog training book is a practically fool-proof way to train a dog like a pro, even if you are far from being one.
There is nothing wrong with having someone else train your dog, like a licensed trainer and there are situations that warrant such like an aggressive dog or one who is up for getting licensed to give assistance.
But in general, since you will be the one with your dog and the one who will be giving him the commands or requesting him to do the tricks, it is optimal that you be the right one to teach him.
And besides, the bond between a dog and his master will enrich the relationship that binds the two of them together.