Dog training is a fun bonding experience with your dog, and it should be enjoyable for both owner and dog. Following some tried and true tips helps lead to a successful dog training experience.
The most important thing to remember for successful dog training is that it should be a lifelong journey. It is not just about teaching your dog how to sit. Rather, it is a process of learning, enrichment, growth, trust, and leadership.
Dog training should begin as soon as a new puppy comes into someone’s life. Ideally, if a person has decided to add a puppy, they have selected a puppy that has been socialized, handled, and enriched with life experiences.
Puppies begin learning the moment they are born, and they certainly should begin learning the ropes of a new home the day they arrive. Training a dog helps build trust in an owner and establishes a sense of leadership and order. Dog training also helps to establish rules of the home. Examples of rules might be: staying until released to eat dinner, sitting before exiting the door, waiting behind a boundary so guests can enter the home, etc.
These rules, and the training behind them, should continue and advance for the life of the dog. A dog never stops learning, and if you don’t teach a dog what you would like them to know or do, they will fill it in with perhaps conflicting ideas.
Consistency may be one of the single biggest factors in determining how successful someone will be at training their dog. It has to be the same way every single time.
Lack of consistency only will confuse a dog about what is expected of him. He will have trouble learning new tasks, and more importantly, he will retain bad behaviors. For example, sometimes owners do not like their dogs jumping up on people. In order for this behavior to not occur, the dog can never be rewarded for jumping by anyone. Rewarding may be considered positive or negative. Instead, lack of attention is the key.
Training a dog with motivation ranks highly as an integral component of successful dog training. Motivation based training is really using what the dog values in its life as the main element of training. Motivation is different for individual dogs. Think about what motivates them in any given moment and use this knowledge to shape their behavior. This is known as life reward and it could be anything from toys and playing games to verbal and physical praise.
The majority of dogs falls somewhere in the middle. This gives their owners a variety of tools. The best way to work with individual dogs is to determine the main things they value in their life. Then, use all of those items sporadically, rotated to achieve two things:
1. A dog that comes to know the person/people in his life have expectations about how he should behave.
2. A dog that knows that his behavior determines the positive things he would like to have and work for.
A dog that is trained consistently, the duration of its life, and has his life full of motivating reasons to work hard for an owner is by far the most successfully trained dog that one can live with.