Having a dog in our home is something that many of us enjoy. They provide us with companionship, loyalty and plenty of love. Most of us would never even consider living without a dog but that doesn’t mean that it is completely without problems.
Many pet owners realize that without the proper dog obedience training, our faithful friend could become unruly and perhaps even a little rude. Fortunately, obedience training for dogs is something that can be done in either a professional setting or it can even be done effectively at home.
More than likely, you are looking for specific dog training tips because you may be dealing with a problem. Perhaps they are stealing food from the table or maybe they are destroying things around the home. To be certain, there are many reasons to consider dog obedience training but in the end, it really comes down to one primary benefit. When you teach your dog to obey your commands, you will find that they have the manners that make them a welcome part of the family. Not only will they know how to sit on command or come to you one called, they will understand that there are certain boundaries that need to be adhered to.
Many people have the misconception that obedience training is going to be a chore, both for the dog and for the master. In reality, when you understand how to train the dog properly, you will find that it is one of the best things you have ever done in your life. There is a certain bonding that takes place between a human and a dog when dog obedience training is taking place. In fact, many people continue to train their dog for a lifetime, even after the basic obedience training is complete.
Regardless of whether you are trying to learn puppy obedience training or how to train dogs that may have a few years of experience behind them, the rules are generally the same. Don’t worry, it is not difficult to do. You just need to follow these dog training tips and before you know it, you will feel like a professional.
Techniques for How to Train Your Dog
If there is one thing that you will learn quickly about training a dog, it’s the fact that there are many different methods out there. I’m not here to tell you that one method is better than another, but I will tell you that it is always better to take a positive approach during the training process.
Basic obedience training for dogs may actually take on a number of different forms. It typically starts with some type of obedience training that focuses on teaching the dog commands, such as sit, down or stay. At that point, you may want to get involved with more specific behavioral training.
Behavioral training helps to teach dogs how they should handle themselves around people and around other animals. It would also include the basic commands of obedience training but it is typically more specific to certain problems. Those problems could include chewing, excessive barking or digging. Even when you are taking part in puppy obedience training, housebreaking a dog is a part of behavioral training.
Agility training is another option, although it is not one that every dog owner will consider. It goes beyond the basic obedience training for dogs and teaches them how to run obstacle courses or take part in various sports. It is considered an advanced form of training and is typically done for competition. It also helps to get the dog involved, and most canines appreciate the further effort.
Finally, you have vocational training, in which the dog is taught how to do specific skills. Perhaps they are a visitation dog, which goes to nursing homes or they may work with disabled people. Prior to any type of vocational training taking place, the basic obedience training would be necessary.
There are also some specific training methods to choose from as well. Here are a few to consider:
Traditional Dog Training – These methods have been around for many years and this is typically what is considered when you think about dog obedience training. In many cases, it involves both positive and negative reinforcement, teaching the dog to exhibit certain behaviors.
Most people use traditional dog training to a certain extent but the focus today is more on positive dog training and rewarding good behavior. That doesn’t mean, however, that you should avoid letting the dog know that they have done something wrong. A balance is necessary, and it is something you would have to work out with your dog.
Positive Reinforcement – If you are looking for a way of how to train your dog in a positive manner, this is the method you may want to consider. This method focuses 100% on positive reinforcement and does not use any negative features within the training. This can work well to a certain extent, but there is something to be said for letting the dog know that they have done something wrong when they exhibit a bad behavior.
Clicker Training – This is a very popular method, although some people are very much against the use of clickers in the dog obedience training process. It can be very effective, however, and it is a convenient way to train dogs.
The process of dog clicker training uses a small device that makes a sound when a button is pressed. At first, you would reward the dog with a treat and at the same time, use the clicker to make the sound. Eventually, your dog understands that the sound being made by the clicker is a positive thing. Once the association is made, you can use the clicker as its own reward.
Necessary Equipment for Dog Obedience Training
One of the interesting things about learning how to train dogs is the fact that there is not a lot of equipment necessary to do so. All that you really need are the basic supplies, although there are some options that you would want to consider.
At a most basic level, a dog will need a leash and collar to begin obedience training. There are a number of options that need to be considered, however, including the following:
Dog Leash – The two basic types of leashes are the standard leash and the retractable leash. For basic obedience training for dogs, the standard leash will be used. It is typically made out of fabric or perhaps leather and may be up to 6 feet in length. There are leashes available with a length of chain included, but they are not recommended when training a dog. The chain could come in contact with the eye and injure them.
A retractable leash gives the dog more play, and it is typically used to allow the dog to have free reign within a limited amount of space. You would not want to use a retractable leash while teaching the dog how to walk or other basic obedience commands, as it could be counterproductive. On the other hand, a retractable leash can be a fantastic tool for teaching your dog to come on command.
Dog Collar – There are also many different types of collars that can be used during the training process. A standard flat collar may work fine for some dogs but others will be able to get loose easily if they tend to struggle against the lead. For those dogs, you may want to consider a type of harness.
Some trainers also prefer a choke chain collar or a pinch collar. These types of collars are recognized by the AKC for training purposes but there are some reasons why you would want to be extra careful when using one. You should only use one of these specialty collars during the training process. Your dog should never be left in one of these collars on a day-to-day basis. In the case of a pinch collar, it may work well for training a dog at first but eventually, you would want to work away from it.
Clickers – If you decide to take part in clicker training, you will want to choose a clicker. There are a number of different options on the market and it is best to choose one that works well for you and then stick with it. It is a relatively simple device but one that can be very effective for training your dog.
Treats and Treat Pouch – Many training techniques utilize positive reinforcement by providing the dog with the treat when they do something right. You can buy treats that are specific for this purpose. They tend to be small squares that are chewy and flavorful. Some caution needs to be exercised, because providing a dog with too many treats could result in weight gain. It is best to cut the treats into smaller pieces.
A small bag that is worn around the waist will allow for easy access to the treats while training. You can buy a bag that is specific for this purpose or use anything you have available.
Muzzles – Not every dog is going to need a muzzle, but it can be beneficial if they are aggressive while being trained. You can buy a muzzle that is comfortable for the dog and it may help to alleviate some of the potential problems while training.
Getting Started with Training Your Dog
It doesn’t matter if you are going through formal training classes or if you are training the dog at home, there are certain guidelines that will help you to do so effectively. You can think of these as dog training tips, although they are perhaps better thought of as being general rules.
Be Positive – One of the most important things to keep in mind is that dog training should be a positive experience. It is something that should be enjoyable for the dog and for the owner.
Start with the Basics – Rather than jumping into more difficult commands, it’s a good idea to familiarize the dog with basic obedience. This would include commands such as sit, down, stay, heel and come on command.
Reward – All dogs love getting rewards for good behavior. This should be especially evident during the training session. The type of reward that you give your dog may vary according to your training method. Many dogs would appreciate a small treat but some dogs do quite well with a positive spoken word and perhaps even a scratch behind the ears.
Never Stop – Dog obedience training is not something that should be done for a while and then never done again. It is an experience for both you and the dog that can be positive and rewarding. Continue with training your dog for a lifetime, even if you never get beyond the basic commands.
Puppy Obedience Training Guide
More than likely, you have heard the expression that you “Can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Actually, that statement couldn’t be further from the truth. There are some benefits, however, to teaching your dog basic obedience when they are a puppy.
Most people wait until the dog is a few months old before they begin the training process. It could still be considered puppy obedience training, but there is an issue with waiting that long. By the time a dog is a few months old, they have likely learned some bad traits. You can still teach them not to do things wrong but by that point, your puppy obedience training is going to include un-learning the bad things that they have already learned.
Perhaps one of the biggest puppy training tips that I can give you is to always use their name in a positive way. As a dog owner, there are going to be times when you need to scold your dog for doing something wrong. Try to be generic in the way that you do it and don’t use their name with a harsh tone. Why is this important?
Your puppy needs to think of their name in a very positive way, especially when it comes to the recall command. If you use their name harshly at some kinds and then try to get them to come to you by using their name, you will end up with some problems sooner or later. If you have already spoiled the name, so to speak, try using a different word for the recall command.
Dog Training Tips to Get You Started
The following tips can work quite well for both older dogs and for puppy obedience training. It will help you to get started in the best way possible and to see the greatest level of reward for your effort.
Training Sessions – When you train your dog, it is important to limit how long the training process takes place. It can be very enjoyable but when your dog starts to get stressed over being trained, it’s time to stop. Start with 15 minute sessions at first once or twice per day. Eventually, you may be able to work up to an hour or more of quality training time.
Where to Train – This is something that depends upon you and your needs. Some people enjoy training their dog with a trainer and enjoy working in a classroom environment. Other people like the convenience and the control that goes along with learning how to train a dog at home. It is really up to you, but the most important thing is to train your dog regularly.
Be Consistent – As is the case with anything you might do with your dog, it is important to be consistent. If you are trying to teach your dog one thing but you do something different one time, it is going to confuse the animal. Obedience training for dogs is all about consistency and when you show that consistency, it can really pay off in the end.
Resources for Training Your Dog
You can use the following resources to begin training your dog specific commands.
Teach Your Dog to Lie down