Dog training goes way beyond shaking your dog’s ‘hand’ and uploading it on Instagram. Wikipedia defines dog training as:
…the application of behavior analysis which uses the environmental events of antecedents and consequences to modify the behavior of a dog.
If that sounds complex, understand this: dog training is about readying your dog for specific tasks, activities, or simply for regular domestic life through the behavioral studies and applications. No, you do not always need to be a professional trainer to get your pet’s antiques right.
Here are seven effective dog training tips that you can start with today.
1. Never cut short on your affection
Here’s the first rule: dog training does not mean you cannot smile at your dog.
Now, most of us are adequately clear in our communication with our pets when they get things wrong. That’s pretty necessary, too. So it’s also becoming that you let them if they’ve been good. Do not feel bad if some part of the training does not work well. Pet them for the things that are working – that’s the right start.
2. Listen first
Efficient training starts when you listen to your dog. If he is not comfortable doing something, don’t force him into it. If that means they are not too comfortable around your best friend, so be it. And this applies to both pets and humans. If the dog does not like another pet in the neighborhood, respect his choice.
Forcing an issue upon a pet could be instantly counterproductive. For one, avoid behaving in a linear manner with your dog.
3. Value their preferences
There is no one food that all dogs like equally. However hard a dog food brand tries to persuade you, it boils down to whether your dog likes it or not. There are some broad generalizations you can work with though. For example, most dogs like food that is soft and chewy.
Here’s a cool way to select toys for your dog. If he is a footwear lover (we know the pain!), get him toy sneakers.
4. Negatives don’t work – show them alternatives
You reserve the right to say “no” to your dog. But for one small issue – when you give them a “no”, they do not know what you expect them to. Understand it this way – most dogs like to receive affirmative commands.
So when the dog jumps to greet a stranger and you tell them against it, he gets confused. Now he tries to jump higher or jump over from a different angle. The better thing to do is tell him to walk in circles (if he can do that). Or just ask them to sit.
5. Do not expect magic overnight
It takes a lot of time, effort, and consistency to change the behavior of the dog. Actions like jumping, chewing, and barking are quintessential “doggy instincts”. Shaking these off may take weeks and months of rehearsal until you reach the point where your dog learns a different behavior/reflex.
It is also important to start training when your dog is still a pup. Just like us, our dogs learn with time and the more practice you give them, the better they get at following the behavior that you assign them. But even if it’s been a while, show some patience and give them the time to change their behavior and evolve.
6. Involve the whole family
Like we just learned, the key to behavioral alteration is practice. You can reap 5x results if everyone in the family gave the same instructions to the dog. When all the people in the family use uniform gestures and commands for the dog, it becomes way easier for them to understand and implement things.
If there are fewer people in the family (or if you live alone), try inviting friends to your place. Ask your friends to try the same gestures on the dog. If he is even half as responsive as you expect him to be, your game is on point.
7. Avoid giving in easily
Every dog is a diverse soul. Some are easier to train than others. Give them what you believe is the best training. Some things will work in your favor and some things won’t. If your dog is rigid about an inexcusable behavior, you know you cannot give in.
Keep trying different ways to correct the trait. For example, if your dog has a habit of barking when he is hungry, ask him to sit near the feeding bowl. And give them food right after. This way, the dog will know that he is supposed to sit near the bowl when hungry. And you will know that he is hungry without him barking.
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