Nothing compares to your little furballs of happiness running around the house with a sloppy little lick on your face every morning. Pets are a great company to be with, especially dogs. But sometimes being a first-time dog parent can be a little difficult. Dog-parents can go all crazy and worried about their first-time experiences. This makes dog training, a very important step to begin with.
Why Is Dog Training Required?
Dogs are very friendly and one of the kindest creatures. It can be very overwhelming and thrilling to home a dog. However, as a dog parent, it can fill you with anxiety and nervousness too.
You would want to give your little one a very safe, comfortable, and happy environment. Besides all that, you would want them to grow happily with you. Hence, it is important to realise that dog training is very important for a puppy. Let’s see why –
- Dog-Owner Relationship Grows: Misbehaved dogs can lead their owners to behave harshly and firmly with them. This, eventually, makes them “bad owners”. The entire process of dog training does not just benefit dogs but also helps the owner to understand their dog’s needs. The training ensures a dedicated time for the dog and its owner. Hence, this helps them to grow as a team and understand each other deeply and unconditionally
- For The Dog’s Safety: A well-trained dog can look after itself even when its owner is not on watch. But, if the dog is not well-trained and has aggressive tendencies, one might consider giving the dog away which might deprive it of a homely environment, love and affection
- Makes Your Dog More Social: Training makes your dog more social and teaches them to respect boundaries. You need to understand how to stop puppy biting and how to stop a dog from barking. This leads to a healthier interaction in social situations and events. Hence, this creates a good rapport with fellow dogs. You will observe that once your dog is comfortable socially, both of you can enjoy such events and expose your dog to a more socially active environment. This is very important for developing its personality and growth
- Smooth Boarding Of Dog: Sometimes, there can be situations where you can’t carry your dog everywhere. For example, you could be required to attend a meeting out of town and have no one to take care of your dog. In such situations, the social likeability factor we previously mentioned plays a crucial role. A social and well-mannered dog will be able to survive better even in your absence. Therefore, make sure you learn how to stop a dog from barking or how to stop puppy biting
Essentials Of Dog Training
1. When Should You Start The Training?
- American Kennel Club advises dog parents to start the dog training anywhere between twelve to sixteen weeks. Puppies can start learning praise and appreciation and how to wear a collar by the time they are eight weeks old
- Start potty training your dog once it attains 4 months of age
- House training is one of the first steps of the dog-training process
- As a dog parent, it is very important on your part to stay consistent and treat your dog with all kindness and love and inculcate in him, good etiquettes, and behaviour
2. How To Train A Puppy?
It is very important to know how to train a puppy or how to train a dog. Whether old or just new-born, it is never too late to train them. Most puppies or dogs enjoy the level of confidence and etiquette that comes with dog training.
- Introduce A Crate: The first week of training is a good time to introduce a crate. The crate is a good tool to manage your dog’s behaviour when you aren’t present to supervise them.
- Establish A Routine: It is crucial to realise that dogs thrive on routine. Make a routine for meals, walks, playtime, and sleep. If you have a dog-walker or supervisor, make sure they are aware of and stick to this routine.
- Reward Your Dog: Dogs are children by nature. They need appreciation and rewards for small achievements. You can make use of treat food and toys to motivate them to do and learn better
- Teaching Commands: Teaching commands is one of the most important elements of dog training. A Dog or a puppy needs to know how to respond to its owner to be safe. Teach them commands for simple actions like – sit, get up, walk, lie down, etc.
- Walking On A Leash: Another important thing is to teach your dog to walk on the loose leash. This helps the dog to comfortably walk along with its owner. It also makes the dog feel free and happy if appropriately practised and mastered.
- Choose A Trick: Tricks are not compulsory but can be a fun thing to do with your dog. If your dog grasps basic commands, you can proceed with complex ones.
Types Of Dog Training
How To Train A dog?
Various dog-training methods sometimes can provide a dog-parent with a lot of choices to work with. To help you analyse and decide which training method suits your dog, we have enlisted and explained major dog training methods that come under dog obedience training. Training your dog to be obedient to you and your commands have never been easier.
Let’s Learn How –
- Positive Reinforcement: Positive reinforcement is the most popular dog obedience training adopted by owners and trainers. It runs on the fact that dogs repeat good behaviour when it is treated by a reward. A need for correction can be expressed by the removal of rewards. Positive reinforcement requires consistency and hence, it is important everyone in the house uses the same commands and rewards.
- Home Training: Home training is a type of training method in which dogs are trained or taught to piss or poop in a specific surface, environment, or location. This prevents it from doing their business at any unwanted surfaces such as the house floor, couch, bed, etc. Some tips on how to potty train a dog or how to potty train a puppy are –
- Keep Puppy/Dog Within Eyesight: The dog/puppy is likely to inculcate habits at home. To make sure it doesn’t inculcate bad ones, always keep it within your eyesight. It is important to give 24*7 care for the puppy at least until it has gone consecutive four weeks without soiling the home
- Create A Schedule: Teach your dog where to do their business by taking it to that location frequently. This allows it to sniff around and adjust to the place. This also helps them understand that they have a designated place to poop or pee and that doing so at any other place will have consequences. It’s always better to create a habit and time table to schedule walks before or after a meal, a certain number of times a day to make this a practise it would follow.
- Reward Good Behaviour: Praise your dog after it eliminates and say some encouraging words. You could also give him some treat food. Accidents may happen and that is okay
- Clicker Training: Clicker training is a modified form of positive reinforcement. A clicker is a mechanical device that conveys the dog about good action. Clicker acts as a reminder/alarm since the mechanical voice is easy to remember for dogs. Clicker training, first of all, requires that a dog should know that a click means a reward.
- Mirror Training: Mirror training makes use of the fact that dogs learn through their observational skills. They are more likely to mimic the actions that they watch or observe. This method is particularly important when it comes to how to potty train a puppy or how to potty train a dog. So, a trainer must have another human or a video of a human, praising them for completing tasks on command or scolding them for unwanted behaviour. The model can also act as a rival so that they can show the dogs or puppies how they have to compete with rivals to earn a reward. This method uses their instincts and skills to learn from example and operate socially instead of working against them.
- Relationship Oriented Training: This type of dog obedience training works on the principle that the relationship between the dog and its human drives everything. It is to understand the needs of the owner and its dog to foster a stronger bond between them. It’s about being mutually beneficial.
Some basic commands are a very important part of the “how to train a dog” or “how to train a puppy” phase. From stopping the dog from barking to help it overcome its biting stage, there are commands for every action to know and practise. Let us look at some basic commands:
- Sit: This is the first and one of the easiest commands. Learning this command also helps the dog learn how to respond to training.
- Down: This is great for all dogs, but especially for large dogs. When your dog learns to be comfortable in a down position, you can take it to the park or a small outing. A publicly well-seated dog is not a threat to others.
- Stay: The stay command is useful when you need your pup to stay put while you go to answer the door or sit down to wrap holiday gifts or go to a public washroom.
- Come: This command is often used to call the dog. It is a lifesaver in many situations where the delay can cause much harm. For example, traffic, neighbours, and encounters with other dogs.
- Off: This command is a way to teach your dog how to stop a dog from barking and climbing on guests. This command will tell them that jumping on the furniture or running around will not be rewarded.
- Do Not Touch: This command is usually used to keep the dog off things or people. This teaches them how to stop puppy biting or to let go of found articles when you say “don’t touch” or “leave it.”
- Heel Walking: If your dog is comfortable in walking, then you can proceed with heel walking. This is to pace up the speed while the owner is brisk walking or jogging.
Training Dog Tricks, Tips & Techniques
As first-time dog parents, there are a couple of dog training techniques that you can make use of to train your pet in the best way possible. This helps it become an enjoyable moment for both of you:
- Listen To Your Dog: You need to listen to your dog and understand their needs for fluent communication. This is one of the dog training techniques that will help you to establish a stronger bond
- Be Generously Affectionate: Dogs are like children, they may mess up but, instead of focusing on the bad, highlight their good behaviour. Praise them for its achievements, play with them, cuddle with them and love them
- Be Considerate: Try to be considerate and thoughtful while deciding on rewards, treats, and toys for them. Ask yourself: whether your little ones would like it or not
- Say Yes, Not No: Try to avoid saying “no”, if you feel there is something they shouldn’t do, instead of no, tell them what they could do instead. This would also help them avoid doing that specific action in the future
- Be Consistent: Make sure everyone at home uses the same commands and give the same treats or rewards. If not, this could lead to your dog’s showcasing different behaviour towards different members of the family
- Stick To The Schedule: It is very important to follow the routine that you have established for the dog. At least until the dog is mature enough to get completely into it, your dog’s routine should be your mastery
- Good Quality Food: Make sure to feed your dog well with good quality food. This will ensure good health, steady growth and will also allow the dog to respond well to the dog training techniques. Also, take your dog for health check-ups regularly
- Reinforce Things: Reinforce things that you want your dogs to register into their minds. Keep repeating them in intervals so they do not miss them out and follow them in future
- Let Them Be Free: Everybody loves freedom. Do not cage them. Let them roam around freely but keep them within your eyesight until they are mature enough to be left alone
- Avoid Violence: Ocassionally scolding your dog for bad behaviour is okay, but refrain from violence. Do not hit dogs as punishment, this can make the dog either a rebel (an angry dog) or a very scared and timid dog where they will do drastic actions, like harming themselves in order for you to not find out.
Parenting dogs can be a thrilling experience, but it needs appropriate guidance. Especially if you are a first-time dog parent. Use dog training tips, methods, and commands at the right age so that your dog grows up to be well-behaved and socially likeable. This can be a little exhausting at the early stages, but seeing your little buddy grow up beautifully and safely is a special feeling. Your furballs need your love and patience and this is what will ensure a fruitful training experience. We hope both you and your dog earn a lifetime of memories.