Posted 7 months ago ago
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We all want a well-behaved dog but that is only possible if you prepare for the upcoming uphill battle.
When it comes to training, there isn’t a universal guide that fits every dog. Some prefer toys over treats; some are good listeners and others remain distracted. You have to tailor your training to your dog, so if something isn’t working just try a different technique or tool.
Though you need to keep a firm grasp on consistent training, allow yourself to be flexible if your dog isn’t responding.
There is no doubt that the most important tool is you and your communication with your dog. Using the correct language gives them the best chance of understanding. Keep your commands clear and concise as not to confuse them. Your tone is a massive help when training because it explains to your dog when you are being commanding, excitable, praising etc.
Body language is great to help indicate towards something. If your dog is struggling with a command, the extra visual might help understanding.
Your training will drag on a lot longer if everyone around your pooch has different methods of teaching. Uniformity is a key tool that you need to take advantage of, as well as repetition to reinforce your training.
Food, glorious food - the way to a dog’s heart, and their mind. You want your dog to realise that good behaviour results in a reward. Special treats can be a positive reinforcement tool to help condition them into obedience. Make sure your training treats are extra special; the higher value the treat, the more worthwhile it is for your dog to complete their task.
A clicker is used to help specify to your dog the exact moment that they have acted correctly. The sound indicates that a reward is coming, bridging the gap between action and reward so they aren’t confused over what the reward is for. Clicker training relies on you conditioning them to know that the sound is a positive reinforcer.
There are so many different toys that can help train your dog. Some of our four-legged friends would prioritise tennis balls or their specific fluffy animal over anything else, and you can use that to your advantage. Whatever they value the most, use as the reward when training.
You can train your dog to use their mind more than their instincts with games that require more thinking to retrieve the reward.
Crates are a popular tool for training because they provide your dog with a safe space whilst also teaching them about separation, respect and boundaries. They need somewhere to relax and feel comfortable if they need to calm down.
Potty training pads
Obviously you need a lot more tools when your dog is a puppy as training reaches further than just tricks and commands. Disposable training pads are essential when potty training for more control and easier cleaning. You can gradually move them closer to the door, then outside until your dog no longer needs them.
There are a range of collars and harnesses to try when you are training walking obedience, like front-chest harnesses and half-check collars. Try to choose a shorter lead so that you have more control, but you can use a long training lead when doing recall training to allow your dog partial freedom.
Though it sounds more like a fashion accessory, you need to have easy access to your training tools when you are outside. There are so many distractions and triggers that you have to compete with, so reactions need to be as fast as possible. It isn’t helpful to successful training when your dog is waiting so long for a reward they have forgotten what they’ve done correctly.
Recall is one of the most difficult training tasks. Some like to use a whistle in their recall as it has a high frequency and can be heard easily. Initially you’ll have to combine it with a command so your dog understands the concept of the whistle, but this shouldn’t add on too much time to your training. It means you have a recall specific tool which is necessary for perfect training.
Training doesn’t have to be expensive. The difficult part is finding what works for your dog’s training, but figure that out and you’re one step closer to a well-behaved pooch.