Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Dog Training Tips

1. Everyone in the household should be involved in your dog’s training. Everyone should say the same command words, agree to the same rules and modify the behavior the same way.  

2. Be consistent, and don’t give your dog mixed messages. For example, do not allow your dog up on the couch one day and yell at him for going on it another day.

3. Keep training sessions short (about 5 -10 minutes). Get in the habit of incorporating training in your daily activities. Have your dog do a “sit” before he eats or before you let him go outside. Have your dog do a “sit” or “down” before playing fetch. Practice commands while you are on a walk with him.

4. Always end your training sessions on a positive note. Perform a command your dog already knows and reward him for it.

5. Start training in a distraction-free environment.  Practice in different areas of the house.  Once your dog knows the command, practice where there are more distractions, including the outdoors.

6. Use treats or something else really special that your dog enjoys when he is showing good behavior. Maybe show him some extra attention.  

7. Redirect inappropriate behavior by showing your dog an acceptable alternative. Afterward, praise him when he performs the desired behavior.

8. Do not use after-the-fact discipline; your dog will not understand why you are angry. If you have to correct your dog, do it at the time your dog is doing the bad behavior. A firm verbal correction is usually all that is needed. Use words like “off” or "leave it" in an authoritative tone and re-direct your dog’s behavior as needed. Never hit or yell at your dog. If your dog is repeating the same inappropriate behavior then he either needs to be trained or re-trained for the appropriate behavior.  

9. While teaching a new command, practice the command several times.