To start in the right place with your dog, he’ll need to know what you expect from him. This makes him feel secure in meeting the goals laid out to him in the future. When training your canine companion, you need to ensure the foundation is based on positive reinforcement. This is the process of rewarding a dog to encourage the behavior you want. Generally, the idea isn’t to bribe the behavior but to train it using ‘something’ your dog values. It would be super ok if you refrained from using punishment such as yelling or leash corrections. Punishing a dog causes it to become confused and unsure. Training a dog is a vast and complex project. However, here’s some information to get you started.
Think About What You Want to Train
This is the most critical step. If you’re not sure of what you want, it’s going to be challenging for your pup to figure it out. When planning what you’re going to teach your dog, you need to frame it in a specific way. What should you avoid? First, don’t think about what you want your dog to stop doing. Next, you’ll need the relevant training guides and eDog accessories to get started. In most cases, we fall into the trap of saying, “I want my dog to not do this and this.” Dog training experts say that you cannot train the “absence” of something. You need to give your dog specific criteria for a behavior that’s incompatible with any unwanted behavior.
The Sit Command
Any dog can learn this command if taught correctly; this makes it an easy one to start with. If your dog understands the “sit” command, it will be calmer and easier to control than dogs who aren’t taught this command. Also, the “sit” command prepares your pup for more complex commands such as “come” and “stay.” To properly execute the “sit” command, try and hold a treat close to your dog’s nose. Next, you want to move your hand up, thus allowing his head to follow the treat and causes his bottom to lower. Finally, once he’s in a sitting position, say “sit” and give your dog the treat. You can repeat this session several times until your dog has mastered it.
This method encompasses different training styles that rely on the connection between the dog and its owner. However, it requires more patience from you and your dog. Ideally, it’s primarily based on building on your dog’s current successes. One fundamental style of this method is to consider why your dog is behaving in an undesirable fashion. Next, it addresses the root issue of this behavior instead of punishing the dog into compliance.
Traditional Vs. Modern Dog Training: Which Way?
The traditional method uses a strategy dog trainers like to call “The Alpha Dog (Dominance) Method.” Since it borrows from the word “Alpha,” it’s typically showing a dog its place in a pack. An excellent example of this kind of training would be to eat before the dog. Research now shows that it’s a cumbersome method of dog-training. Recent studies have now paved the way for modern dog training strategies. The modern strategy focuses mainly on reinforcing positive behaviors instead of “correcting” the bad ones. It also borrows a few elements from clicker training to help in shaping your dogs’ behavior.
This training technique teaches your dog to recognize a particular desired behavior. It links the specific action to strategically timed verbal praise or sound signals such as a clicker training tool or food reward. Whether you use a clicker or verbal command, the training’s central part involves teaching your adult dog or puppy to want to comply. “If you sit Jasper, I’ll open the gate,” says Dr. Ian Dunbar, a veterinarian and animal behaviorist specialist; the dog then says, “I kind of love this sitting thing, whatever it is!” Dr. Dunbar explains, “teaching your dog what the word “sit” means is only a quarter of the dog training; three-quarters of training teaches your dog, “why do it?”
When Should You Start?
Young puppies absorb lessons quickly. Your puppy starts to learn right the moment he sets his paw in your home. Try and endeavor to teach him that learning is fun. Between 6-8 weeks of age, your puppy can easily understand simple commands if you teach him how to learn. Since puppies have a short attention span, you’ll need to conduct regular training for the commands to stick.
Remember: keep the training sessions short and fun. You’ll also need to end each training on a positive note. If you feel your four-legged companion is challenging time learning, assess your training frequency and reward system. If you feel like slowing down, don’t hesitate to. Finally, don’t overdo anything. It will only make life difficult for you and your pup. Over to you!