Are you planning to do canine training yourself? If you don’t want to hire a professional dog trainer, then you should make sure you’re doing it right for your sake and, more importantly, for your pet’s sake. But, don’t worry, even though dog training can be a tad challenging, you’ll love and enjoy every moment of it! Plus, it will strengthen your bond with your dog. Some people are okay hiring dog trainers but don’t know where to start.
Before anything else, we highly encourage you to do your research. Whether you plan to train your dog on your own or hire a trainer, you must know everything there is to know about dog training because if the wrong training methods are used, you won’t get the results you want. It would be a complete waste of time and energy both for you and your dog. So, we’ve compiled some easy steps that can serve as your guide if this is your first time considering dog training.
#1 Hire a Professional Dog Trainer
We’re not going to lie to you, the easiest and most convenient way to train your dog with minimal effort is to hire a professional dog trainer. Hiring a dog training doesn’t mean you won’t be involved. It will still require your involvement but the good thing is that dog trainers know what they are doing. Therefore, your first step is to find a skilled, experienced, and reputable dog trainer. If you have a puppy, you can enroll your pet in a puppy kindergarten. After kindergarten, you can sing it up for training class followed by obedience class.
There are plenty of classes to choose from! There are private classes, one-on-one classes, group classes, etc. Talk to a trainer and ask about your options. These trainings will teach your dog basic commands such as stay, sit, and come among others. Once your dog masters the basic, your trainer will offer more advanced commands for it to follow.
#2 Choose Positive Reinforcement
When you start reading blogs and books about dog training you’ll encounter different dog training styles and strategies. Make sure you pick positivity over all other training methods. Positive reinforcement is by far the most popular dog training method because it’s dog-friendly and more importantly, it works! This is the only training that your dog will surely enjoy because it’s fun. According to animal behaviorists, the old ways of dog training which used physical pain and harsh corrections may have worked once, twice or thrice but it’s not safe to use in the long term because your dog will never be able to comprehend why you’re angry.
According to a study done at the University of Pennsylvania, when aggressive dogs were trained using aversive techniques, confrontation, and aggression the effect wasn’t favorable and in the end, it backfired and the dogs became even more aggressive. In other words, the aggression wasn’t addressed, it was only made worse. On the other hand, non-aggressive training methods like providing rewards for good behavior significantly reduced aggressive response.
Positive reinforcement helps you better communicate with your dog since it is clear that when you give a reward it means you are pleased with the behavior. Your dog will likely repeat the behavior to get another reward. The reward may come in different forms like treats, toys, a walk in the park, or petting. However, make sure you provide the treat soon after your dog performs the command so it can relate the reward with its obedience.
#3 Training Sessions Should Be Kept Short
Don’t train your dog on the first day it arrives in your home. Git if a few days. Let it settle and allow it to familiarize with the place and everyone in the household before you start training. Also, keep in mind that training sessions should be short. The ideal time frame for training is between ten to fifteen minutes for every sessions. You may repeat the session in the afternoon or in the later part of the day but just make sure to keep it brief. Don’t get discouraged easily if your dog doesn’t get it during the first try. It usually takes a series of trainings until your dog masters the command.
#4 Don’t Train If Your Dog Is Not In The Mood
It’s useless to train a dog that’s not in the mood because it will not be receptive. The best times to train your dog is when it’s. not tired, hot or just came after a long playtime. If your dog isn’t focused, you’ll only waste time with training.
These tips should help get you to a good start. Good luck! It’s not going to be a walk in the park but you’ll enjoy the process nevertheless.