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Dog Training Tips

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

Dog training is essential to the well-being and happiness of any dog. Most dog behaviorists recommend that basic commands—including sit, stay, come here, and so on—in addition to basic dog and social etiquette are taught to dogs in order to ensure their overall well-being. Dog training can be useful in emergency situations, such as when a dog attempts to run into the road, as well as everyday situations, such as when family or friends come to visit. Without training, dogs tend to behave in ways that are less than desirable—jumping on people, chewing on furniture, and even going to the bathroom inside of the house. In order to combat and prevent these behaviors, training is necessary. The following are some of the top dog training tips which will help a dog live a happy, healthy life.

Tip #1: Reward desirable behaviors when you see them

2_More_Dog_Training_MistakesDon’t think of dog training as being a temporary, part-time situation. Any interaction that you have with your dog can be a type of training session. If you see that your dog has sat politely instead of jumping on someone when they came through the door, reward your dog with immediate praise and affection. Let your dog know when it is doing something that you disapprove of—likewise, let them know when they are doing something that you disapprove of as well.

Tip #2: When training high energy dogs, exercise before training.

If you are attempting to train a dog with a significant amount of energy, start your session by giving the dog some brief exercise. This will help bring their energy levels down to a more manageable level, which will make it easier for them to focus on the training and not on playtime or another way to expend their energy.

Tip #3: Be realistic in your training goals

Not every dog is made for every type of training or every type of command or trick. You must take the dog’s breed and natural behaviors into account. For example: You will have a hard time training a low-energy Pekingese to perform in dog show obstacle courses—likewise, you will have a hard time training a Bloodhound to cease sniffing and hounding behaviors when walking or exercising outside. Unless the command is essential for your dog’s safety, it is best to let it go when it becomes apparent that your dog is simply not interested in learning a certain behavior.

Tip #4: Use positive reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is generally considered to be the most effective and healthy way to train your dog. In the past, corrections—often done through choke collars and pinch collars—were commonly used; today, however, most dog trainers agree that dogs can be just as effectively taught using positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcement can come in the form of positive attention, such as praise, petting, energetic words, treats, playtime, and favorite toys. Your dog will enjoy training sessions much more when they know that they will be getting positive attention.