Dog Training Tricks

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  • It is easier to develop good behaviors than to change bad ones
    • Start off on the right foot- encourage good behaviors from day one. It is much easier to reward good behavior than it is to fix a bad behavior.
  • Take training in small steps – go at the pace of your dog
    • Taking on too much at a time can be confusing and frustrating for your dog. Break your training down into smaller steps to ensure success.
  • All dogs are different and learn at differing rates
    • Every dog will learn at a different rate. Do not compare your current dog to any other dog you have had in the past. Your dog is an individual and should be treated like one.
  • Even the cleverest dog can encounter difficulties
    • Don’t get frustrated if your otherwise brilliant dog gets stuck on a particular command or behavior. Move slowly and make everything as clear as possible.
  • We are always training
    • Your dog is always watching and learning. Make sure you are always enforcing and rewarding good behavior, while simultaneously discouraging unwanted behaviors.
  • Set your dog up for success, not failure
    • Do not put your dog into situations in which he is not ready for. Make sure you are not biting off more than you can chew. Don’t take your dog to Disney World if he cannot behave in the library.
  • Even dogs have days off
    • Watch for your dog’s overall health. If he is ill, has an injury, or is tired give him a break. Even dogs should get a “weekend”.
  • Stay calm and remain patient
    • Your dog will respond best if you remain calm and patient. Training can be frustrating, so take your time. If you feel yourself getting frustrated, slow things down, and put your dog in a position in which he can learn. If needed breath slowly and count to 20. If that doesn’t work, end on a good note and come back when you are in a better state of mind.
  • Always remain confident and positive
    • Your dog can sense your emotions. If you are discouraged and frustrated he will know, and as a result he will not respond as well as he could.
  • End your training sessions on a high note
    • If your dog is doing great, end the session on a high note. Let your dog thing about all of the successes he just had.
  • Spend time with your dog – develop a trusting and respectful relation with him
    • Spending time with your dog can help build his confidence, and feel comfortable with you. If you can gain your dogs trust and respect you will find that training will go much easier.
  • Training is exercise
    • Training does not have to be boring. Incorporate fun activities into the training, or even play games while giving your dog commands. Training also stimulates your dog mentally, which can often be more exhausting than a physical workout.
  • Short and successful sessions are more effective than long, tiring ones
    • Keeping your sessions shorter can help your dog retain more information. Also, pushing your dog too hard for too long can cause mental fatigue, which can affect how well he responds to you.
  • Never correct out of frustration or anger
    • If you have to correct, always be fair. Correcting out of frustration and anger can be considered as a form of abuse. It is easy to fly off of the handle and accidently injure a dog. Never train if you are upset or angry. Do not hold grudges with your dog. After you correct him, show him what you want, and then praise him. Your dog should be happy to be training with you, not afraid or intimidated.
  • It is perfectly acceptable to go back to the basics
    • As we progress and our dogs are behaving well, we have the tendency to become slack with them. Dogs can read this from you and will manipulate you if given the chance. Don’t be afraid to go back to the basics to show your dog he still has to follow the rules.
  • Be fair and firm, but always have fun
    • If you and your dog are not having fun then you may not be doing something right. Training should be taken seriously, but it should also be upbeat and energetic. Your dog will learn much faster if things are kept fun. You want your dog to be excited to train…and you should be, too!
    • After correcting your dog be sure to immediately show him what you want him to do.
      • If your dog is confused then it is up to you to show him what is required. After correcting your dog, don’t be afraid to help him out. Make sure he understands what you are asking of him.