How Quality Dog Training Can Benefit Your Pet
Look, we all know that dogs aren’t the most self-sufficient pets – their life depends on you doing your best to make sure that they are healthy, safe and happy. A well-trained dog is usually more relaxed and happier, and this is definitely something that will reflect on you, as an owner. Dogs actually enjoy structure, and are more than happy to master new skills – working with you towards a common goal is a dream come true for them, and affection and praise are the biggest rewards that a dog can receive.
Stick to the rules
Deciding on your rules with regards to your dog isn’t at all heartless or harsh. As mentioned, dogs are huge fans of structure, and being inconsistent (overindulgent) won’t to them any good; on the contrary, inconsistency is likely to confuse them and make the entire process a million times more difficult. Teaching your dog manners and reinforcing them is one of the pillars of dog ownership.
Baby steps are the key
Structure requires small steps and a ton of repetition; much like working out in the gym, you can’t expect huge leaps in progress instantly; achievements take patience, otherwise they wouldn’t matter as much.
The same goes for dog training: small steps, repetition and rewards are essential here. The very foundation of this philosophy is showing them the behavior that you’re expecting and rewarding them for it. Coming when called is an excellent first step here – get down on your dog’s level and say a simple word such as “here” or “come”, enticing your furry friend to approach you with playful and friendly gestures and slightly move away from them. When your dog finally comes, reward it with your favorite snack, and don’t forget to praise: a “good boy” and some petting will help reinforce the training.
In addition to “come” and “here”, you’ll probably want your dog to be able to respond to a couple of additional basic commands, such as “sit”, “stay”, “drop it” and “no”. The principle here is pretty much the same, the main difference being that this can end up being a matter of life or death, so practicing these commands should be your top priority.
Keep an eye on the body language
Yes, of course dogs have body language – in fact, they’re much worse at hiding it than we are. The furry creatures use their entire bodies to communicate, so you should learn the basics of dog emotion. An open mouth is usually a good sign, while a tail held low and ears back are signs of unease and concern. Training is best approached when your dog is happy; avoid forcing them if they are unhappy or uncomfortable, because this may have a counter effect on them.
Make no mistake, dogs are very social animals – the fact that they are curious about everything makes this rather obvious. Exposing them to new situations will help them build up confidence and experience, which is essential in helping them cope in social environments. Don’t refrain from taking your dog to useful Canine Counselling sessions – the experts will help you learn how to build up the social characteristics in your favorite pet.
Enjoy yourself with your dog
Always keep in mind that every training session will be manifold more effective if you’re really into it! Do not think that your dog won’t be able to tell if you are stressed out – keep in mind that dogs are extremely empathetic. Instead of looking at it as an obligation, think of dog training as playful bonding sessions with your best friend!
Taking things slowly and being consistent are the pillars of dog training. Keep an eye on your pet’s body language, teach it all the basic training cues, work on its socialization and, perhaps most importantly, enjoy yourself during the process!