Any dog can be trained whether he is a puppy or a rescued adult. Training can happen at puppy school, but it should be reinforced at home. Training adult dogs may take longer than puppies because they already have some reinforced habits. Training is important if you want to have a harmonious home environment. Some dog breeds must be trained otherwise they have trouble with socializing and controlling their behavior.
Whether your dog is in puppy school or you are just training him at home, here are a few tips to remember.
- Make a list of what you want your dog to do. Before you start to train your dog, you need to know what exactly you expect from him. If you don’t know, how must he know? Basic commands like ‘sit’, ‘down’, ‘stay’, and ‘come’ will probably be on your list. Also, think about things like begging for food, jumping on the couch, licking people in the face, etc.
- Always be consistent. Your dog needs consistency to understand what you want from him. You will get nowhere if you want him on the couch today and tomorrow you yell at him when he jumps on the couch. Decide which behaviors you will accept and stick to it.
- Reward good behavior. Rewards are an important part of training your dog. However, giving treats is not the only way and sometimes it is a bad idea. Your dog wants to please you and he wants attention. Attention, praise, love, and ear scratches are often more effective than treats. Consider using a combination of treats and attention to train your dog.
- Listen to your dog and pay attention to his behavior. It’s all good and well that you want to teach your dog tricks and commands, but you must pay attention to what he wants. Some dogs may be extremely uncomfortable or scared to meet other dogs or cats. Don’t force him to that. Rather find another way to socialize him and let him get used to the idea. You want to train your dog – not traumatize him.
- Be patient. Training and changing behaviors take time. You need to be patient and allow your dog to learn. Consistency will go a long way as will affection and understanding.
Training your dog should be fun for both of you. Be careful that you don’t over-stimulate your dog or make him do things that are bad for him. If you have trained dogs before, send us your opinions or experiences.