DOs and DON’Ts in Dog Obedience Training

How many of you thought that dog obedience training is next to impossible to do on your own? Probably too many… but dog obedience training doesn’t have to be a hopeless undertaking between you and your dog. Start by knowing the DOs and DONTs in dog obedience training, and graduate to using proven techniques to implement with your dog.

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The DOs in Dog Obedience Training

1. Reward, reward, reward

Dogs respond very, very well with rewards than they do with punishment. So reward your dog within seconds when he or she does something good. If treats are not within your reach at that time, praise it with exited voice and a belly rub. Dogs are a sucker for belly rub. The point being… know what your dog wants and use it as reward: e.g. cookie treats, fetch the ball, or the belly rub.

2. Repeat

Repetition is crucial in dog obedience training. Repeat the same command to your dog over and over; never change it the next day or next week to avoid confusing your dog. And no dog could learn one trick in one session, so repeat the same trick or dog obedience command until it’s become second nature to your dog.

3. Be consistent

Be consistent does not only apply to your, but to everybody in the house, too. It’s crucial that you tell everyone how you command your dog to sit, roll-over, or what have you. You don’t want to confuse your dog by using one dog obedience technique and the rest of the gang doing their own techniques as well.

4. Be the pack leader

In the wild, dogs follow one pack leader. In your home, the pack leader should be you – not your dog! So without punishing, be firm at the same time be caring with your dog. Whether good or bad, reinforce a behavior immediately: reward for good behavior and reprimand for bad behavior. You can reprimand by gently nudging the lead and shaming the dog by saying “bad dog” and giving it a stern look.

5. Make the training fun

And of course, you must make each dog obedience training session fun for you and for your dog. It’s important that both of you are in the mood to learn new tricks or commands. So don’t train your dog if you’re not in the mood or if your dog had just his or her territory marked by the neighbor’s poodle, for example.

The DON’Ts in Dog Obedience Training

1. Use punishment

Punishment contributes absolutely nothing to dog obedience training. It will only discourage your dog to look forward to another dog obedience training session. Remember, the dog can’t understand anything if it’s shaking like a leaf inside, afraid of receiving a slap for reasons it has no idea about.

2. Start with complex commands

Like all beginners class, do not set the bar high during the first session. Start with simple tricks or dog obedience training command like sit, stay, or quiet. Especially if your training pups, be considerate enough to not teach it to hop on one leg, for example.

3. Rush things with your dog

If the dog doesn’t follow a command, don’t repeat immediately. Pause for few 15 to 30 seconds by talking to your dog and then give the command again. Never bombard your dog the same command like a machine gun firing. It will render the command useless to your dog. And make each session short – a good 5 to 10 minutes in the morning and another 5 to 10 minutes in the afternoon is good. As you progress, you can lengthen your dog obedience training sessions a little longer, but don’t spend the entire afternoon training your dog.

4. Force your dog

If you see your dog playing merrily with a toy or with your son, don’t pull him or her on the side for a dog obedience training session. Let the dog enjoy what it’s doing first; there’s always a time later to teach the dog some tricks.

5. Lose patients

And remember, not all dogs learn quickly. So don’t lose patients with your dog, and continue doing what you’re doing. Eventually by doing things right, your dog can get the command and do what you want him or her to do.

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