It’s like a mantra almost every dog owner chants to themselves when they go to pick up their pup. Whether it’s a true puppy or an older dog, we say to ourselves, “This time…this time I’m going to make sure they’re well-trained. I’m going to make sure they are so well behaved, all other dog owners will be astounded.” And then we get that new dog and the whole training plan goes out the window because we’re too busy taking care of them to actually get them properly trained. It’s an odd sort of self-denial that many dog owners indulge in…but it can be a costly one in the long run. You don’t want your pup running rampant through the house, damaging the property, disobeying commands, running off every possible moment, or jumping up on strangers, do you? Much less dealing with the whole house-training issue.
This month is National Train Your Dog Month, so we’d like to take a little time to show how you can get started on this process in an efficient and effective way. After all, a well-trained dog not only gives you greater peace of mind, but also ensures they’re better protected from the hazards of the world (by listening to you and staying out of danger).
- You must be consistent. A lot of poor dog training comes from people beginning the process with the best intentions and then letting the schedule lag before throwing it out altogether. Or they are inconsistent in the commands they give and the manner in which they give them. Apply the same training times and strategies at all times for the best results.
- Reward them! Dogs respond best to rewards rather than punishment. Don’t rely on negative responses to make them try to “avoid” a certain behavior. Instead, have plentiful treats and praise on hand in order to make them “want” to gravitate toward desirable actions and responses.
- Check your attitude! Your dog picks up on and responds to your attitude more than you might guess. So if you are angry or harsh in training, they’ll feel punished. Whereas if you project happiness and fun, they’ll respond in kind.
So where are you and your pup at in the training process? If you’re struggling, there’s nothing wrong with getting them into a training class or taking them to see a coach who might be able to point out trouble spots in your approach or in the dog’s behavior. In the end, have a well-training dog is beneficial for them, you, and your whole household. So what are you waiting for?
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