Congratulations! You’re a dog parent. Before settling into a routine with your new pet, you need to set some ground rules. Whether you’re training a new puppy or just brushing up on basic commands with an older dog, dog training makes life with a pet better. Even if you plan on hiring a professional dog trainer, you should still have a handle on some basic dog training tips to help make the process go more smoothly.
1. Establish Rules Right Away
Establish what your dog is and is not allowed to do right off the bat to avoid any confusion. Before your dog even arrives home, set them up for success by determining the rules and having alternative solutions ready. For example, if don’t want them up on the bed at night, then set out a crate or doggy bed next to the bed to encourage them to sleep there. Learned behaviors are likely to become habits if you consistently enforce them.
2. Be Consistent
Puppy or dog training only works when you enforce the rules every time. To make sure you aren’t sending any mixed signals, everyone in the household should be on board with the rules. If one family member rewards your dog with belly rubs after they jump up in bed, that teaches the dog that rules can be broken. Instead, have all members of the home agree to stick to the rules to make training go more smoothly.
3. Use Positive Reinforcement
One of the most basic dog training tips is to always reward good behavior and ignore bad behavior. Praise your dog with lots of pets, encouraging words, and treats when they do something good. When your dog engages in bad behavior, such as jumping up to greet you, turn away and ignore the behavior. Your dog will learn that to get your praise and affection, they must follow the rules.
4. Think Like A Dog
Unlike humans, dogs don’t have the ability to make associations between an action and a consequence unless one occurs immediately after the other. That’s why addressing any bad behavior in a timely manner is one of the most important dog training tips. For example, if your dog jumps up on off-limits furniture, address the situation immediately by telling them to get down. Scolding them later will do no good because they will have already forgotten the incident and will not be able to make the connection.
5. Teach Commands “Come” and “Stay”
Not only can dog training help ensure a lifetime of good behavior, but it can keep your furry companion safe in the face of danger. “Come,” “sit,” and “stay” are usually the first commands we teach dogs, because they are useful in many situations. Teach your dog to obey these commands before going on to any other tricks. Here are some dog training tips for teaching these commands.
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