One of the most essential and rewarding tasks as a pet parent is teaching your pup effectively, yet this task may seem overwhelming at first. At Red Lantern Dog Training, we recognize the important role dogs play in our families. Our mission is to ensure your pup and you both enjoy every moment of life together by providing them with the local dog training needed for success. Here are some helpful strategies to get you started on this rewarding journey!
What are the Advantages of Training My Dog?
Training your dog to obey basic commands such as sit, wait and come back when called allows them to explore what interests them most: running off leash, accompanying you on socialization trips with friends and family while feeling secure and in control.
Additionally, dogs possess an inquisitive nature and enjoy learning, so training them can be an excellent way to break up boredom for them.
How Do Dogs Learn?
Training should always be rewarding-based. When your pup displays a particular behavior, rewarding them with things they enjoy – like toys, food or praise – will increase the likelihood that they’ll repeat it again and again.
It’s essential to know your dog’s favorites and what motivates them. Popular treats tend to be small chunks of cheese or meat. The more rewards you give your pup, the greater his enjoyment will be during learning and training!
Utilize positive reinforcement techniques
Most veterinarians agree that positive reinforcement training is the most effective method for dog training. This method rewards your pup for good behavior rather than punishing them for misbehavior.
If your dog consistently displays positive behavior and responds to commands from you, reward them! By rewarding positive reinforcement for good deeds, you are reinforcing the relationship between positive reinforcement and other rewarding experiences.
Discover the reward that is just right for you.
Certain dogs are highly motivated by food, and will often respond enthusiastically to any kind of reward. Some are more selective though: soft chewy snacks usually garner more approval than hard, crunchy treats.
Certain dogs, however, do not seem to enjoy food at all. If this applies to your pup, try rewarding them with other rewards like playing with a pet toy or simply showing them some affection.
Consistency is Key
Consistency in your training is paramount. This should be evident in how you teach your dog; using similar words or tones when asking them to do something.
It is essential for everyone in your family to adhere to the same schedule. Dogs require consistency to learn new behaviors, so if one person doesn’t let their pup sit on the couch but another does, confusion could ensue.
Train less frequently but more regularly
Dogs sometimes struggle to interpret commands for different locations or circumstances (i.e., knowing that “sit” at home may differ from asking for “sit” on a busy street). Therefore, practicing your training at different locations with different people and levels of distraction is beneficial so your pup learns how to respond correctly each time the same command is given.
The construction phase is executed in phases.
Small steps can be invaluable, particularly for more complex behaviors like “stay” or when trying to alter an undesirable one.
Break your behavior down into smaller, achievable steps. For example, when teaching “come,” praise and reward your pup when they take even one step toward you. After they become habituated to this behavior, gradually add more steps and gradually build upon it until it becomes automatic.
Make it fun
Training should be enjoyable for both you and your pup! Be positive, experiment with different approaches, and add short play sessions into each repetition for added excitement.
Consider training your dog to perform tricks in addition to regular obedience classes. Humans usually get more excited by seeing a dog running around than when they sit still, and our pups seem able to pick up on this energy and start showing us tricks!
Stay Appreciative for the Little Things
Be sure to acknowledge and reward your dog for any progress, no matter how small. Focusing on the ultimate goal may be easy, but rewarding small victories helps keep both of you motivated.
Integrate training into everyday life
Making training your pet part of your regular routine makes it much simpler to fit in several short sessions. For instance, you could ask them to settle or follow another request before offering them their meal, taking them on an outing, or playing with them.
Utilize Your Hands
While we’d love to think that dogs could understand language like humans do, the fact remains that dogs do not. Therefore, some dogs respond better to hand signals than verbal commands. You can combine the two techniques or start with hand signals first and add verbal commands later on.