As you train a puppy or help an older dog learn the proverbial “new tricks,” we’re sharing with you five training tricks that work every single time.
But before listing them here, we’d like to remind you about the following when it comes to training a dog:
- You always should be positive when training a dog.
- Remember that your dog can’t read your mind or your lips, so be very clear what you want him to do.
- Keep your training sessions shorter rather than longer.
- Make training your dog part of the dog’s daily routine.
- Focus on what you want the dog to do, not what you want him not to do.
A well-trained dog is a happy dog.
Now on to the training tricks/tips!
As you work on training your dog and doing so with positive commands and rewards, remember that timing is critical when it comes to ensuring that positive reinforcement works.
Make sure you reward your dog immediately, as in, within seconds, so that your dog understands that the positive reinforcement or treat is because he did as you wanted him to. For example, let’s say you want the dog to stand up “and beg,” but you don’t reward him until he sits back down before you give him the reward. Do that and the dog likely will correlate his reward with the sitting, not the standing.
Use a clicker to “mark” the right behavior.
Using a clicker as well as giving him his reward immediately helps him associate the correct behavior with his reward.
When heading outdoors with your dog, make sure you assert yourself as the “pack leader.”
Making sure our dog sees you as the leader of his pack actually helps keep the dog free from stress. Weak pack leaders could mean your dog becomes anxious and he even could show what is called “fear aggression.” So you need to be in control. You can show your dog you’re the leader by making sure you’re the first to exit the home when the two of you leave it. You also should be the first to enter the home.
If training your dog in the proper “walk” mode, use a short-ish leash.
Keeping a short leash helps keep your dog from pulling on it because the shorter leash lets them know he only has so much leash leeway. Make sure the leash is the same length at all times as you perform walking training with your dog. Save the retractable leashes for later, until the dog is a pro at walking right at your side, or even slightly behind you.
Make sure you remain the pack leader, even after the two of you return home.
Command your dog to sit quietly when you first enter the house and wait for you to put the leash away, etc. Doing this helps your dog understand that you lead him both indoors and out.
The most important training technique? Consistency! Always be consistent in what you ask of the dog, how you reward him when he does well, how often you train him, how long your training sessions are, and so on.
Spending a day or two as an overnight guest at Barney’s Ranch isn’t a reward in the strictest sense, but it is a great treat for your dog. He gets to run around in our large outdoor yard, play with other dogs and our staff, all the things dogs love to do!
For more information on day care and overnight boarding services, call us at 469-450-7040 or send us an e-mail at info@BarneysRanch.com.
Image courtesy of photokanok/FreeDigitalPhotos.net