Tips for Dog Obedience Training
Whether you have adopted a puppy or you have taken an older dog into your home, obedience training is an important part of pet care for you to consider. Obedient dogs are happy and safe dogs; they will listen to you in times of stress, and they will not suddenly act out when you do not expect it. Take a moment to consider some tips that will make your obedience training more effective.
Use the same words and commands from day to day; changing up the words you use only confuses the dog and creates unneeded stress. Also be firm with your rules. Certain behaviors should be either allowed or off-limits; there are no grey areas. For example, it is tempting to let your young puppy sleep in the bed with you, but unless you want the dog sleeping in bed every night, make sure it stays in its crate or in its own bed.
Short Training Sessions
Dogs can have very short attention spans, and much like children, they need breaks when trying to master something new. This is especially true with puppies. Limit your training sessions to around ten to fifteen minutes at a time. Several training sessions a day with long breaks in between work best. Always end the session on a good note such as rewarding the dog with encouragement for exhibiting a desired behavior. Dogs can remember things, and if they associate their lessons with positive and pleasant memories, they will be more likely to act in the desired manner.
Skip the Treats
Dogs are very approval-driven animals. They do not need treats to reinforce their good behavior. Instead, when a dog has performed well, praise it lavishly and show the dog how happy you are with your face, voice and gestures. Leave the treats for other occasions. You need to make sure your dog will obey you whether there is a treat involved or not.
Your Terms, Not Theirs
Do not praise a dog for performing a desired skill without your command. While it is gratifying to see the dog remember a behavior you taught it, the key to obedience training is making sure your dog responds to you and not that it can sit or heel. Similarly, make sure your dog does not try to perform its tricks for food rewards while you are eating. This is another reason to make sure you do not associate training with treats in your dog’s mind.
Take a few moments to consider how you can best train your dog!