Each dog has different needs, strengths and weaknesses. It's important to know therefore exactly what those areas are that your dog needs training in, and then seek to find the best advice for how to do that. Perhaps contrary to the belief of many, dogs are not nearly as smart as people like to believe they are. In one way or another when you see a well behaved dog, it's because they have been trained in certain ways to respond in the way the owner wants them to. The nature of a dog is such that it wants to please but doesn't know right from wrong until it is shown what is acceptable to you its owner. So if they could talk they would say, "show me", "teach me", but don't scold me or yell at me about something I don't understand or have or haven't done right! Train me to do the things you want me to do and I won't do the things you don't want me to do. So here's just 5 Essential Dog Training Tips, to help you achieve your goals.
On these issues there is no need to try and re-invent the wheel, as there are already basic tried and proven dog training methods that anyone can apply.
1. The Alpha Position - settles the "Who's Boss Issue". Now you might think you're in charge, but are you, or is it your dog? Always remember your dog will seek to convince you that it's him, he's the leader of the pack! So this is the first basic issue you have to deal with and you won't make a home run until you make it clear to your little friend that it will always be you. Also remember that a dog doesn't have a clue what you're saying until you teach him by your actions what it is that you are saying and what you want or don't want him to do. Then you will discover they are smart enough to relax and let you be responsible for looking after them and obey your commands. Showing that you're the one in charge doesn't mean it's necessary to yell or hit your dog for wrong behavior, for as well as confusing the dog, it can also lead to more anger and aggression. Being in charge means that first you take control of your own reactions and emotions (the Alpha Position), and in a calm and controlled way be assertive and use firm gestures such as pulling back on the leash - restricting your dog's movements, without harsh yanks or yelling as you do. Just show by control, who IS in control and this will work effectively.
2. Leash Training - Most dogs that have issues with a leash is simply because they are allowed to run and pull on the leash. So if you are having leash problems with your dog, just make them sit by your side and wait before walking again. By doing this they will learn that they can't do the very thing they want to do which is going for a walk, until they stop pulling and running ahead. It will also help keeping them in a more controlled, calm state to respond to your commands without getting too excited and distracted.
3. Crate Training A Dog - is all about providing a familiar place that is exclusively theirs. Therefore it's important that the crate never be used as a means of punishing your dog. Also it's important at the beginning of using a crate that you spend as much time as you can to be around your dog as it is getting accustomed to it. As most good dog training advice will tell you, you can make the process of training your dog in areas like - house breaking, barking control and general anxiety issues, so much easier through the use of a crate.
For older dogs, crate training can be more of a challenge especially if there has been any previous negative experiences with confined spaces. If you know or suspect any such experiences, try putting your crate (usually a suitably sized box or marked off area), in a quite place away from where there are distracting noises and people traffic. Make sure there is some familiar clothing, blankets and especially identifiable toys it knows is his or hers. Gently lead your dog to this area or allow it to discover it for itself. Most times a dog will realize it is his domain and bed, and begin to use it from then on. If they show some hesitation, it will still be relatively easy for it to take ownership of this area as you give it special affection and fuss when they are in it.
4. Obedience Training For Dogs - is best achieved by taking your dog to an obedience class. It's always easier for you when you're not only told what to do but are shown how to do it. Such classes will show you how to achieve and maintain the alpha leadership with your dog, as well as how to give them meaningful, strong and specific commands that are obeyed. A class is always supplementary to your own training, but the best dog training advice for anyone struggling with gaining control over their dog, is to consider an obedience class.
5. The priority of Consistency Where it can all so easily break down is in failing to be consistent. Just like raising a child, how many times do you have to tell them to brush their teeth? Now years later, do you still have to tell them that? (I hope your answer is no!) Now they do it automatically, why? Because of the consistency of your asking. Same for a dog, (not brushing their teeth) but through the process of constantly requiring certain responses from them, eventually you may only have to give them a certain look and they'll know what to do. If you set a rule, be consistent with it and also require that everyone else does the same. Yes it requires effort and time and patience on your part and will often be harder for you than for your dog, but in the long term, you'll be ever so glad you did.
Hi, it's Anthony here and what I have shared with you has been the result of applying the many excellent strategies and advice that were given to me with the 4 very different dogs I have grown up with. Each had their own very distinct unique personality and also very determined, must conquer, stubborn wills. The fact of the matter is, we all need good training, as well as our dogs!!
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