Training your dog can be difficult, but that is only true if you are unsure how to do it properly. Much like anything else, dog training requires you to take proper steps and educate yourself on the subject matter. The ways to train your dog are numerous, but the article below should be of some help to you in providing you tips on how to be successful.
When your puppy is 7 to 12 weeks old this is known as the "fear-imprint period'. If your puppy experiences trauma at this time, he may have the fear associated with this trauma for the rest of his life. Because of this, your puppy's early weeks should include human contact, and contact with other animals. It should also be a positive experience for him, with little punishing, if any at all.
Reinforce desirable behavior from your dog. Don't just rely on treats though. You can reinforce these behaviors through positive attention as well. Petting your dog and talking to him in cheerful tones can be a good incentive too. So can a new squeaky toy or a trip to the park.
After each training session, spend a few minutes playing your dogs favorite game with him. If you do this every time, your dog will know it's coming after the training sessions and will be excited when it comes time for your daily session. The more excited he is, the better he'll do.
If you have a dog with separation anxiety, you can train him out of this anxiety by varying your routine. If you act like you're leaving the house, but then don't or store your jacket in the car instead of the closet, you can break the cycle of actions, that get the dog hyped up with anxiety to begin with.
If you want your dog to bond with a favorite toy, such as a lovey or chewing object, make the toy a treat. Filling the toy with a wonderful smell or treat, such as peanut butter, can make it very enticing for your pup. If the toy is a kong style, fill it with his kibble for meals.
One tip to keep in mind when training your dog is to never play tug-of-war style games with it. This only enforces aggressive behavior - something that you rarely wish to bring out in your dog. This can involve anything from pulling on a bone in your dog's mouth to playing with a toy. You also run the risk of injuring your dog with excessive force.
Walking should be a time for you to work on your relationship with your dog. Your dog shouldn't totally ignore you in lieu of squirrels, trees and other interesting things. Instead, keep him occupied with commands and rewards for great work. This will encourage heeling and attentiveness in your dog.
Teach your dog hand targeting for a fun and new task that will bring you two together. Hand targeting is a way of teaching your dog to follow and touch your hand. This behavior can be built upon and turned into retrieval behaviors later on down the line. It makes for a fun project for most breeds!
Make sure that your pooch is obeying commands. If Spot is ignoring you when you tell him to sit, do not give up. Follow-through until you get the action that you expect. If you are going to give up without getting the action that you requested, don't bother giving the command in the first place.
Set a routine as much as possible when training your dog. Dogs respond well to regular activities such as exercise or bathroom breaks, so putting them on a routine encourages good behavior. Feed your dog at the same time each day to further establish a routine, and be as consistent as possible.
Swimming is a great way for your dog to expend energy. It is easy on his joints but still helps to keeps him in great shape. Not all dogs like to swim, so make sure to take him to a nice, shallow source, until you are confident that he is comfortable in the water.
Practice walking your dog over to a rug and asking him to sit whenever a doorbell rings. To do this, have a friend or family member ring the doorbell. Guide your dog by his leash to a rug or spot and have him sit. Praise him and offer a treat. Repeating this exercise will help him to remain calm and appear more polite when guests come over.
When training your dog make sure you never stop training. This may sound silly but it is actually very sensible. Your dog may learn tricks quickly and not forget them, but dogs never stop learning so you need to take advantage of this by teaching often. Also, it never hurts to reinforce what has already been learned.
Before you begin training your dog, make sure that his diet is the best it can be. Just as humans can feel lazy after eating junk food, a poor diet for your dog will affect his behavior. A healthy moderate diet will give him energy and concentration to learn what you are teaching him in training.
Rewarding good behavior doesn't require tons of dog treats. Often your dog is happy just to get your praise and affection. When your dog performs well, give him lots of love and attention. Your dog will associate the action with your affection and be willing to repeat the good behavior, even without a treat.
Start out using a clicker for dog training rather than voice commands. Dogs do not understand human language easily. Using a clicker at the beginning of training allows the dog to easily associate simple clicks with positive behavior. Once your dog understands simple clicking actions, you can replace the clicks with very simple voice commands.
Dog training really depends on two factors for success: your willingness and your dog's understanding. Make sure to really take an open approach to training your dog and accept advice when needed. The tips from this article are a great way to start and by no means are they the only way to successfully train your dog.
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