Be fair and firm, but always have fun when dog training
By Laura Pakis, Certified Professional Dog Trainer and Blogger,
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!
Spend time with your dog
- 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. Usually about 15 minute sessions 2-3 times per day is plenty.
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.
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