There are many schools of thought on the best ways to train your dog. Whether you believe your dog should be allowed to sleep with you in your bed or if you think that your dog is a pet that should stay off the furniture, you can teach your dog basic obedience and commands.
Dogs quickly learn whether or not you really expect them to respond to your commands every time or if they might be able to get away with not obeying on occasion. Don’t send false messages! Don’t give your dog a command unless you are prepared to follow through and insure your dog obeys that command.
When you are training your dog, do not repeat commands over and over to get the dog to obey. Rather than teaching your dog to do what you say, repeating the same command when your dog doesn’t listen gives them an attitude of indifference. Give your commands firmly, once, and insist the dog do what you say.
When bringing a new puppy home, plan to keep him on the leash and in your sight for a few days. When you can’t be with him, have a safe place for him to go. This will help you to find your pet’s trouble spots and teach him the house rules.
Create an environment that is learning-friendly for training sessions. Remove distractions such as children, TV or anything else that may pull focus from you. Young children love to help but they can be your biggest hindrance in the process. When distractions are removed you will not have to constantly redirect your pet, and this allows for easier learning.
An often overlooked necessity with dog training is family training. Your dog will be confused and dismayed when multiple members of the family give commands in a variety of ways. Train your spouse, children and anyone else who will have consistent contact with your dog on the proper commands and techniques you employ for training.
Inform yourself on any specific grooming issues with your breed. Some breeds require a lot more grooming than others, sometimes on a weekly basis. Grooming keeps your pet clean and happy, and it reduces its risk in acquiring disease.
If your family includes four-legged friends, consider an “invisible fence” pet containment system. These fencing systems place a wire around the perimeter of your property in which you wish to contain your pet. Your dog or cat is then fitted with a small, discrete radio collar. When the animal approaches the perimeter, the collar will emit a warning sound which induces the animal to remain within your yard.
It’s easy to let your dog run free when you bring him home for those first few weeks, only to want to later correct behaviors when they aren’t adorable anymore. Avoid communication breakdown by starting your training schedule immediately with your new dog, so he has the right idea from the start.
Your opinion on what truly means a dog is “trained,” may differ from your neighbor, friends, or even dog training instructors. Whatever your beliefs, by training your dog to follow basic commands and to obey your instructions, you will create a happier, safer home for you, your pets, and other members of your family.