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The Do’s and Don’ts of Dog Training

When it comes to training dogs, teaching him/her that it does pay to do good things is important. They also need to know that doing things you do not approve of will have consequences. Fortunately, discouraging any unwanted behavior does not imply that you intimidate your dog or involve pain. Simply don’t reward any behavior you do not like.

While there are home trained dogs that have turned out quite well, dog training is not an easy undertaking. It requires effort and some creativity. Dogs like human beings are taught how to behave. You cannot sit around and hope that one day your dog will know what you want.

Here are some guidelines that you should keep in mind when teaching your dog what to do and what not to do.

The Do’s of dog training

Below are a few guidelines on how you should go about training your dog.

  • Focus on the dog: The training should completely focus on your dog. Therefore, try to understand his natural behaviors and instincts. Do not force him to understand yours.
  • Always be clear and honest during training: Don’t fool your dog into doing things he does not want to do. Also, avoid teasing him with the commands.
  • Give lavish rewards: lavishly reward your dog when he completes a task that you had set for him. Likewise, immediately admonish a behavior you dislike.

    Dog handlers and trained dogs

    Dog handlers and trained dogs (Photo credit: IITA Image Library)

  • Be consistent: Make sure that the words you use to give commands are the same. When you are consistent with the tone and words, your dog will be able to comply more.
  • Teach him a command at a go: You need to take it easy and teach one command at a go. Teaching him several commands at once will only confuse him.
  • Give him time to take in the command and to act: Training a dog is like learning a foreign language. When you are spoken to in that language, it takes you some time to comprehend and respond. The same applies to dogs during training. So do not be quick to reprimand when your dog takes a while to respond.
  • Enjoy the training: When you do, your dog starts associating companionship with training. You can also play with the dog after and before training sessions.

The Don’ts of dog training

  • Do not let people pamper him too much: You are the master. As the de facto ‘alpha male dog’ in your home pack, he should look up to you for leadership.
  • Never complete training with a reprimand: Keep praising your dog and remain positive. That way, you dog will look forward to the next training session.
  • Keep your anger at bay: Do not punish your dog when you are angry or having a bad day. Training needs to be a pleasurable experience.
  • Do not repeat a command excessively: Your dog might need some time to act upon the command. Do not repeat the same command until he understands it.
  • Do not reward a behavior then later on reprimand your dog for the same: This will only confuse him. You need to be consistent if you are to have a successful session.

Let a dog be a dog

You have probably taken your dog to a dog boot camp, but later realize that there were some bad behaviors still persistent. Understand that there are some things that dogs will still do, whether trained or not. Simply channel those urges in a more acceptable direction instead of trying to get the dog to stop.

Increased mental enrichment and physical activities complement training perfectly. You can try food puzzle toys, dinner hunting, encourage chew time, take long walks, play fetch etc. At the end of the day, your dog will be too exhausted mentally and physically to misbehave.

Click here for more detailed information on boot camps for dogs and what to expect.

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