How to Train Your Dog 101
Why You Need to Train Your Dog 101?
- Keep him safe
- Decrease behaviour issues
- Builds confidence in shy dogs
- Help your dog be more sociable
- Reduce your stress levels
- Provides mental stimulation for your dog
What Essentials Do You Train Your Dog?
- House training
- Leave it
- Lead walking
Finally, How Do I Train My Dog?
Before we go any further, lets explain the brain of a dog and what they retain and what they respond to.
Dogs only listen to the first word you ever say, so before you start any training, work out the single words you are doing to use. Dogs also have no long term association memory. Ok, so what does that mean? Well if your dog has had an accident in the house some hours earlier, you coming home and finding it and telling him off – he has not got the foggiest what on earth you are talking about. Yes, he might look guilty so you think he understands, however, he is merely responding to the tone of your voice – something they are very good at.
Also, contrary to what some might think, training a dog using a soft voice that gives praise gets better results than one who screams at their dog and fails to reward.
Ok, so rewards then – do I always have to give him food?
No, dogs respond to praise. The initial phase of training might involve food, but when you have lodged the thought in their brain, they simply need a bit of encouragement and praise to carry on learning.
Noise is also a good association, such as a whistle to recall your dog when they are a distance away, or a click of the fingers to make them sit.
Zak George makes a good example of this in the video below.
Successful dog training is all about consistency – make time each day to take your dog out and train them.
Of course, house training is slightly different.
Dogs are a creature of habit and it won’t take you log to work out when your dog needs the toilet.
Make a decision if you are teaching the dog to immediately go outside and take them on a regular basis, or if you are using paper that will gradually move towards the back door.
Most nowadays use crates to help them contain their puppies. Make it a welcoming space and they will learn to see it as their own space, which is safe and comforting place to be. If you are not a fan, whilst you are house training, a dog pen or stair gate to confine them to rooms that have easy clean floors will reduce your stress, which will then pass on to the puppy and make it easier for them.
Yes you will have the occasional accident – it happens even when they are seniors, but don’t forget – never scold, and let me disabuse you now about the rubbing their nose in it will work. It won’t!
When you are teaching your dog any command – use exaggerated hand signals – help them realise you are actually giving them a command.
Teaching a dog to walk on a lead without pulling is probably one of the most asked questions.
I speak from experience, in that there is nothing worse than aching arms, and being pulled over in the mud.
There are a lot of tools out there to help you – from figure of 8 leads, to halters, to harnesses etc.
First of all, you need to work out which one you feel your dog needs.
You might get several behaviours, that will need stopping, when your first go out. Perhaps your puppy grabs the lads and chews on it, or sits down and won’t move, or simply jumps up at you all the time. All these things might and do happen and you simply need to reassure your dog and get them to stop. So it might be using the sit command for instance to make them stop jumping up.
To teach your dog to walk to heel, its a simple case of having a short lead and as they set off, to say ‘Heel” to them so they realise thats what you want from them. When they do good, rewards, and when they don’t, simply keep at it.
Dogs really are not that stupid and do pick up things quite quickly.
Some don’t like to use fresh meat as a treat, and of course you shouldn’t be using human treats or sugar versions to reward them, so just take our a small bag of their food and use that to reward them.
I will say it again – BE CONSISTENT.