Have you thought about into dog obedience training?
It’s not as hard as it sounds, don’t worry!
In fact, you can even do it by yourself, which is a great bonding experience!
To make things easier for you, check out our quick guide to dog obedience behavior training.
You may also like: What is Positive Reinforcement Dog Training?
Dog Obedience: A Guide To Behavior Training
These tips apply to all breeds of dogs. Use them for sporting, leisure or working breeds.
You can even use them to get dogs ready for competing in shows.
1. Be Consistent
Consistency is the #1 rule of dog training. If you’re all over the place with your commands and enforcement of the rules, your dog never knows what to expect.
That not only makes training virtually impossible, it also makes for a very nervous pup. Dogs crave routine and consistency.
To achieve this, use the same commands for the tasks that you want your dog to perform.
For example, if you want him to come say “come.” Don’t say, “come” one day and “here, boy!” the next.
2. Timing is Everything
Timing is critical to determining whether or not you’ll succeed in training.
Always praises the moment he has done something right.
If you can’t praise immediately, consider clicker training to “mark” the behavior.
Likewise, correct him immediately when he gets it wrong.
Do not correct him hours- or even minutes- later.
In other words, if you come home to a chewed-up mess, don’t scream at your dog.
While you should never scream at all, doing so then makes him associate your return with bad things. He doesn’t know that you’re mad at him for chewing your sofa.
3. Give him attention at the right time
Like humans, dogs also love attention. The problem? They don’t really discern between positive and negative attention.
Example- if his barking elicits a response from you, he thinks he’s done something right.
So, the next time he wants a bit of love and affection, he’ll let loose with the yaps. Before you know it, you have a dog that bark excessively.
As tough as it is, you need to ignore those demands. Instead, wait until he calms down, THEN lavish him with love.
4. The right frame of mind
It is important to be in the right frame of mind before you start a training session.
Never do it when you’re tired, grumpy, or feeling a bit short in the fuse. Remember, dog training is an exercise in patience.
Likewise, don’t try training when you’re not “in your right mind.” In other words, don’t train drunk. 🙂
5. Socialization is key
Sure, we want to keep our dogs all to ourselves, but that’s not good for them.
They need socialization to learn how to behave around other people and animals.
Consider enrolling in a puppy training class, as it’s a “two birds, one stone” type of deal.
If that’s not feasible, take him to a dog park, join a puppy playtime group, or even just invite friends with dogs over.
6. Redirect, don’t punish
I can’t say it often enough- do NOT punish your dog. Punishment isn’t something they really understand, after all.
Let’s take chewing, for example. By nature, dogs like to chew on things since it helps strengthen their teeth and gums.
Part of your dog obedience training should be providing him with toys and chews that are acceptable.
When you see him chomping down on your favorite shoe, say “No,” and swap it out for one of his own toys.
It takes a little time- and you may need to hide those shoes for a while- but he will learn what’s his and what’s yours.
7. Cope with separation anxiety
Separation anxiety often affects young dogs, especially if they are brand-new to your home.
Understand, it’s a challenge for them to adapt to a new environment and family dynamic.
So, start house training by setting boundaries, introducing him to new areas slowly, and just establishing your routine.
8. Be patient!
I can’t say this enough- patience isn’t just a virtue, it’s absolutely vital to dog obedience training.
Potty training, leash training, and the like are never achieved overnight.
You’ll need to use plenty of praise, rewards and encouragement to get your dog to do what you want.
Never yell at or hit your dog. Violence doesn’t solve anything, and it will make your pup terrified of you. That, in turn, can breed aggression.
9. Keep it fun!
Life with a dog should be fun, and that goes for training as well.
If you’re not having a good time and feel yourself constantly getting mad, consider calling in an expert.
There is no shame in admitting that dog obedience training just isn’t your forte.