In all the excitement of bringing a new puppy home, you might overlook the importance of training as soon as your pet walks through the door. By the time the charm of chewed up shoes and accidents on the carpet has worn off, your dog may already be used to some bad habits.
To have a happy and well-trained pooch, you’ll want to start them out with good habits right from the start. Here are some tips for training your canine companion:
1) Be Consistent
When it comes to training, consistency is key. Discuss your training plan with your entire household before bringing your dog home. If one person has a habit for giving your dog table scraps, you’ll never get them to stop whining at your feet during dinner. Set clear rules and stick to them.
You’ll want to be consistent with how you discipline as well. If your dog jumps up on the furniture, will you scold them by saying “down” or “off?” Believe it or not, your dog will notice the difference.
Using consistent wording is the difference between a confused pup and a well-trained one.
2) Make A Schedule
A big part of consistency with training is having a set schedule. It’s easier to housebreak dogs who go outside to do their business around the same hours everyday.
Create a schedule for when you’ll feed, let out, and walk your dog. The result will be a pup who is happy and well behaved.
3) Consider An Electric Fence
Electric or wireless fences are wonderful for pet owners who don’t have fenced in yards. Most owners don’t have time to take their dog on a leashed walk every time they need to use the bathroom. Canine containment systems are a great solution.
With an electric or wireless fence, your dog will learn its boundaries. You’ll have peace of mind that your four-legged friend won’t run into the street or wander off and get lost. You’re also more likely to stick to a firm schedule of letting your dog out at the same time everyday if all you have to do is open the back door.
4) Use Positive Affirmation
Equally important to scolding your dog when they’ve done something naughty is praising them when they behave. A simple “good boy!” in a friendly tone when your pup does their business outside goes a long way. Belly rubs are also rewarding for most animals.
Basically, you don’t have to be extremely strict or harsh with your dog to curb bad behavior. Instead, you can ignore bad behavior and reward good behavior. For example, if your dog has a habit of jumping up on people, try ignoring them when they jump. They will soon see that they only get head scratches if they’re sitting down.
5) Use Treats Correctly
When it comes to doling out treats for good behavior, the key is to think of treats as rewards rather than bribes. It’s okay to give your dog a treat after they’ve done something well as a reward. It’s not a good training habit to give your dog a treat before they’ve done something well to bribe them into doing it.
A common treat training mistake is to hold the treat in your hand as you give your dog a command to sit or stay. Instead, you should keep the treats out of sight until the command has been completed. This will keep your dog focused on the task at hand until the treat has been earned.
Well trained dogs with a consistent schedule really are happier than animals with no structure. You won’t regret putting in the effort necessary to have a consistently well behaved dog.