Dog Training

Should I Train My Dog?

The dog is a receptive being with a great ability to understand, being able to learn continuously. The acquisition of good customs or the consolidation of bad ones depends practically only on the interest which the owner gives to its training.

Should I train my dog?

The training itself has particular importance as it supports the social integration of the dog into the family life, but also in the relation to other animals and other people. In addition, by getting it to properly execute certain commands, the dog gains great self-confidence, while enjoying the emotional reward and attention from its owner.

When should I start training my dog?

Right away! If you take a puppy from a breeder, you will likely get home with it around the age of 8 weeks. At this point, your new puppy has developed about 80% of an adult dog’s brain and in the coming weeks, the brain will continue to grow.

Your puppy is ready to learn and it’s important to make sure you’re confident and consistent from day one.

Puppies have a short-term attention span and will take you repeated attempts to teach them something. But, once they learn what they are expected, you have a great opportunity to bring them to the desired level very quickly. And remember, it is easier to train now than later when they will be much bigger and stronger and they will already have some habits created.

What method of training is recommended?

The key is consistency

Train a DogRegardless of the behavioral problems, you may face with your adult dog, the basic training principles that apply to your puppies will still be applicable. The training of an adult dog that already has some formed habits, could only take a little longer.

First of all, it is very important to be very consistent with orders and rewards. It is also worth ensuring that all your family members know your training objectives and how to use the correct commands because otherwise, your dog could receive mixed messages that may be confusing.

Praise rather than punishment

Dogs learn by repeated positive action. This means that you will only achieve your goals by praising the behavior you want to encourage and showing your dog what good behavior is. Punishing the dog for bad behavior is likely to cause it to behave more unpredictably and will make it more difficult to train it correctly.

5 rules to be followed in dog training

In order for the learning process to be easily established, we should pay attention to a few details:

  • One master. The dog is the descendant of the wolf, led by the instinct of the pack. In its families, it will recognize only one master as the leader of the pack. Only this member will give the orders, and the other members will respect them and apply them exactly. Contradictory orders should never be given, because the animal will get confused and, in the end, it will not respond to any of them. This will make the pet do what it pleases, becoming the leader of the pack itself. When it is scolded, no one should interfere and PET it.
  • Training sessions will be short – dogs and especially puppies are quickly losing their interest and attention.
  • Training should be done when the animal is receptive, rested, capable of being attentive. Avoid training it after walks or when your dog is sleepy. In the beginning, it’s preferable, that the time of the day should always be at the same hour. A very good time for training could be the one preceding a meal because the dog is very observant.
  • Dressage meetings should take place in the form of play, with the aim of constantly monitoring the state of comfort of the animal. If the dog fails to perform certain requirements, it will not be admonished or hit. They feel the emotions of their master very easily, and even a higher tone of voice can lead to total failure.
  • The dog will be rewarded each time immediately after it correctly performed a trick, not before or at a distance from the moment. The feed rewards are the most appreciated. It is good that these rewards be in very small portions so that the pet can take them easily and not waste a lot of time to eat them, otherwise, it will lose its attention to the trainer. In order to avoid the risk of fattening, the rewards should have low-calorie content.

Here are some easy-to-do at-home tricks that are very useful in everyday activities:

Be prepared for a little persuasion work, a lot of rehearsals, a few rewards, and well-deserved praise. Once they can “sit” and “lie down” at command, you will be very proud – you will show what your dog has learned to friends and family – and they will love all the positive attention they will receive.

Sit – Hold a treat in front of the dog close to the nose (do not let him take it from your hand) and move it slowly back over the eyes so that the nose raises. Their body should naturally get in the sitting position. As soon as it sits, give the puppy a reward, simultaneously praising him and saying the verbal command “sit”. Repeat until you no longer need a reward; just praise after he does the exercise.

Down/Lie Down – Hold the reward in front of the dog’s nose, and slowly move it toward the ground and between the front paws of the pup. This should encourage it to lie in order to take the reward. As soon as they lie down, give the puppy the reward, simultaneously praising him and saying the verbal command ” down”. Again, repeat until you no longer need a reward, just praise after it does the exercise.

Leash walk training – It is essential that the basic training includes leash walking. Start indoors where it’s more comfortable and you can control your surroundings.

The first thing you need to do is put on the collar and, right after that, give it a reward and praise it, so he realizes that wearing the collar is a good thing.

Place a few healthy treats in a bowl in a corner of the room and let him walk with you on the leash toward the bowl. Then try to move it around the room, still in the leash, using the reward as bait.

Gradually develop this exercise and avoid holding the leash under tension, as it may start to resist and pull uncontrollably. Once you’re comfortable inside, start the exercises in your gardener, if you have one. Don’t forget to be patient and praise it every time it does the right thing. You know that walking into the leash is not something to be afraid of, but he won’t understand it until you show it to him.

Wait – The “wait” command is introduced gradually after the dog has executed the “sit” position, compensating it continuously for 4-5 seconds, during which the dog is not allowed to leave the “sit” position. Subsequently, the “wait” command will progressively extend. Initially, the dog will be shown the rewards, and he will receive them after 2-3 seconds of waiting in the “sit” position. Later, you will increase this interval until the dog does the command properly. The command requires patience and the time interval must be increased slowly so that the dog does not lose interest in it.

How do I train the puppy to do their needs on special mats?

Training Your DogThis is the case for puppies up to three months, which do not have a full vaccination scheme, in which case they are not allowed out of the house.

Absorbent mats are ideal for this purpose as they keep your house clean. They have a waterproof part that prevents dirt from spreading in the home. The mat will be placed in a quiet place, without any agitation, that will not disturb the dog when it tries to do the business, a good place being the bathroom itself.

To make this habit easier, the pups will be taken to the mat immediately after they wake up from sleep or 15-20 minutes after eating. As soon as they have done their thing on the special mat, they will receive a reward, praise, and caresses to take on this desired behavior.

At first, it also helps if you keep an old mat near the clean bed because the smell of urine will make it easier for it to find the spot.

In order to implement this habit more easily, it is preferable that meal times be at fixed hours. This way you will make it much easier for some dogs to get a reflex, but also for you because this way you will know when you need to be careful about these things.

If the pups pee in undesired places, these surfaces will be thoroughly sanitized in order to displace any smell.

The food you choose can help you in training

When you choose puppy food, look for an ingredient called DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). This is fat acid omega 3 which naturally occurs in the body, being one of the key elements in the development of the brain. When included in the diet, DHA helps puppies to become easier to train.

The key to success in training is to reward positive behaviors without punishing the negative ones too rigorously. With time, the dog will find the motivation to do good things, giving up on its own to the less pleasant habits.

Training helps strengthen the bond between you two, so enjoy every moment spent together.

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