Dog Training 101:How to Properly Train Your Dog
You finally decided it's time to make a wonderful addition to your life and get a dog. Now you need to know how to properly train that dog. Well, there are some key points you must remember as you start this journey.
Being consistent and making the training fun and engaging are two things to keep in mind as you get started. We will cover each at a different point in this article. We will also provide optional and general techniques you can use to better train your dog.
It is always easy and ideal to set the standard behavior you expect from your pup immediately from the start, so let’s go ahead and get started with the task of properly training your dog.
Key Points To Understand Before You Start Training Your Dog
Be Consistent: You must remain consistent throughout your dog’s training. This is important because it provides structure for the dog. Dogs thrive in well-structured environments and are happiest when the home they live in is stable.
First, you need to make up and keep a precise feeding schedule for your dog. Think of two times a day, morning and evening preferably but try to go with whatever fit your schedule.
Start feeding your dog at the same time every day. Soon your dog will become accustom to their new schedule and will know he/she can expect their next meal when it’s due.
This structure provides the dog some comfort and puts them at ease knowing they don’t have to struggle or beg for food, because it will always be provided for them when they expect it. They will be happier and more content which makes their trust in you grow.
For the sake of you and your dog, training should be structured like a game whenever possible.
Your dog always thinks everything is a game anyways so doing this may help you relate to and engage with your dog on their level.
Always remember that repetition is the key to successfully training your dog,
When they do a certain behavior, go ahead and mark the occasion by giving them some treats.
Now that we have talked about some basic things you should do to get started. Let’s take a deeper dive and see how you can train your dog to do specific things. It is going to be a long journey, but always remember to be patient, be consistent, and make it fun.
Articles on How to Train you Dog to do Specific Things at Home by Yourself
How to Train Your Dog to Sit
Training your dog is a process that takes time because it is not a one-day experience. This can be a lot of fun and you do not need much experience to do so.
Anyone can train a dog a simple dog trick, so you do not need to get help from a professional when doing basic training.
It would be best if you make the training a routine, because the dog might not learn what you are trying to teach him/her the first time.
You will need to keep repeating until they get it. There are a few items that you require to train your dog to sit. They include:
Giving a dog a gift when they obey your command is one of the most effective tactics to use when teaching a dog anything. So, when you are teaching your dog, make sure that you reward them every time they do something you like.
This will encourage the dog to continue obeying you, and it will become part of their routine. Keep some of the dog’s favorite treats in your pocket so that you always have one when you need it.
If you are training your dog to sit, you want it to learn fast. It would be best if you did it in a familiar place. This is because the dog will master things more quickly in an environment that it is used to.
When you are using a new home, you should take time to make sure that you familiarize the dog with the situation first. This can take a lot of your time, and therefore, it would be best if you started the training with a place that the dog is more familiar with.
Apart from giving the dog a treat, you can also reward good behavior. This is easy to apply if you have rewarded the dog before. The dog will know that they will always get something right when they are obedient. Rewards can be toys, petting them, or even praising them
Step by Step Guide on How to teach your dog to sit
Be properly prepared: Make sure you do enough to prepare for the training session. Get a quiet training space, be it a living room, the back yard, or any place where the dog will not have any distractions.
Make sure that the dog is relaxed and feed it. Have your treats or rewards ready and make sure that you do not have to go far when you need to give them to the dog. It would be best if you also were relaxed so that you are not in a hurry. This is because training your dog to sit, needs patience and calmness.
Demonstrate and Use Gestures: Sometimes when you are teaching a dog to do the trick, you might need to show the dog how to do it. You can also apply this technique when you want to train your dog to sit.
If you have someone to help you, they can do the trick as the dog watches, and the dog will do as they do. If you are alone, you can also demonstrate and have the dog copy you.
Tell the dog to sit and demonstrate how to do it. You can also use a gesture if you feel like it will be more effective. Make sure that you use the same gesture every time and make sure that the dog is getting it right.
Always follow up with saying ‘yes’ or ‘good’ every time the dog gets it right. Be consistent when you give a reward or a treat. The dog will know that every time they hear the word yes, or right, they will get their gift.
Guide the Dog: Guide your dog to stay in the position you are teaching them. You can do this by slightly pushing or pulling them to the sitting position.
When you first command them to sit, you should remember that they still do not know what that word means. As soon as the dog's bottom touches the flow, praise them, and reward them so that they know that they are doing something right.
Say ‘Sit’: If the dog is not getting it. Try saying sit and do it yourself because some dogs learn by repeating things that they see.
Be Persistent: Once the dog starts to get it, try teaching them without a reward or pushing them to the position. Remember that you need to be gentle and persistent. Repeat this process several times until the dog gets it. Do not forget to say yes or good every time they sit at your command.
Repeat in New Places: When you get your dog to obey your command, you need to try it in different places. Take the dog to a separate room or for a walk and try giving them the same command. Remember to have your treats with you.
Dos’s and Don’ts When You are Considering How to Train Your Dog to Sit
Dogs are sensitive, and when you are training them, there are some things that you should do.
Be creative every time you are teaching your dog a new trick. Dogs are pretty intelligent, and you can teach them to do any trick if you are consistent and patient.
Make sure that you give your dog the attention it needs so that they are always excited about learning any new thing.
Training a dog can be done at any time, and you can train a puppy or even a grown-up dog to sit comfortably.
Ensure that you teach your dog one trick at a time so that they are not confused. Dogs respond well to patience and when they are rewarded for good behavior.
How to Train your Dog Not to Jump
Jumping up is one of the most common behavior problems among dogs. There is nothing as annoying as high-spirited and energetic dog attacking you every time you enter the front door.
Besides, it can also be dangerous for little children, some older adults, persons with physical disabilities, and individuals who are not expecting the greetings of your dog.
But the best thing is that you can easily train your canine friend to stop jumping up on everyone and begin greeting people more politely.
There are many theories out there about the reasons why dogs jump, and one of the most popular is greeting and dominance behaviors.
However, the actual truth is that your dog is most likely jumping up to get your attention. Therefore, you might unintentionally be rewarding your puppy for jumping on you by offering it exactly what it wants.
Just like small children, negative attention might be better than being ignored. Your dog does not necessarily understand that when you yell at it or push it off to get down that, you are trying to punish it for jumping up on you.
Instead, your dog might view your response as the treasured attention it’s seeking from you. Therefore, your puppy might perceive any kind of attention that it gets from you or any other member of the family as a reward.
The importance of training your puppy not to jump up on people, other dogs, or other pets can’t be overstated. From creating a friendly and safe living environment to numerous health benefits, today, we are going to look at simple techniques on how you can train your dog not to jump and why it’s important as well.
Ignore your Dog
One of the ways on how to train your dog not to jump involves ignoring the dog or withholding your attention until it calms down. One of the ways you can do that is by turning your back as soon as the dog jumps up.
Fold your arms on your chest until the dog calms down, but if it continues to jump, turn the other way and wait until it stops. The other way is to go away completely. If your puppy jumps up once you walk in your front door, turn around and then walk back outside.
Also, if it jumps when you are inside the house, walk out of that room. You can wait for a couple of minutes and then step back to the room. Keep repeating that until your canine friend calms down.
When the dog has all its four paws on the ground, give it praise and attention. Jumping up on you or visitors should end all rewards and attention while remaining on the floor earns your dog some pleasurable reinforcements like treats, play, and petting.
Teach the “Sit” Command
Start your dog’s basic training at an early age and also practice with them more often. By doing that, you will not only strengthen your bond with your canine friend, but you will also provide it with an outlet for excess energy and offer you an opportunity to teach simple and basic commands to stop unwanted behaviors straight away. Walk into the house through your front door and give the dog the command, “sit.”
Once the puppy sits down, reward it. Continue ignoring the jumping behavior, and always give the verbal cue to keep the dog’s feet fixed on the floor.
You can practice this method over a couple of training sessions. The good news is that with many repetitions, your puppy will begin sitting every time you enter the room, or once they see you walking through your front door.
Practice with Other Individuals
When it comes to how to train your dog not to jump, it is not enough to practice with your puppy. You should consider involving other members of the family and friends in this training as well.
Otherwise, your pup might learn that it’s not good to jump on you, but it's okay to do it on everyone else. Involving other people in the training when teaching your dog to stop jumping, and to keep all it paws on the ground regardless of the person who enters the room or visits your home.
Increase your Puppy’s Exercise
Exercise can also help in combating the jumping behavior in dogs. Most of the dogs do not get the necessary exercise, which sets them for many extreme reactions every time something out of the ordinary occurs.
To prevent jumping, you should consider increasing your puppy’s exercise to two walks in a day that leaves it panting. you should always check with a professional vet before making any adjustments to the exercise routine of your dog.
Give your Puppy Something to Carry in its Mouth
For some puppies, simply holding an item in their mouths can prevent jumping up and down during a greeting session. However, the preferred item usually depends on the pet because some pups prefer balls or stuffed toys, while others love long-lasting chews.
You can also use pre-stuffed food puzzles to keep your dog busy. Always keep the items near your door and immediately give one to your dog whenever a guest arrives.
Reward Good Behavior
The other technique on how to train your dog not to jump is rewarding good behavior at all times. That means that you should always keep tasty treats at hand. Once your dog stops bouncing and behaves in the way you would like, you should give it the attention it is craving for and some treats as well.
Praise and reward your dog, but you should be careful not to get it too excited because that might kick in its jumping instincts again. Maintain a low key, but if it starts jumping again, go back to withholding attention until it gets settled again.
Teaching your canine friend not to jump up demonstrates in all aspects that your pet is well-mannered and obedient. Remember, as the pet owner, you’re always in charge, and you would like to establish full authority on your puppy.
That means that your puppy listens to you and also what you have to say. The importance of training your puppy not to jump on other pets will also assist in keeping your dog relaxed and calm when you leave it at a daycare facility.
A well-mannered puppy is less likely to cause any trouble for people and other dogs. We hope that these techniques on how to train your dog not to jump will help you foster a well-mannered puppy while ensuring that you’re safe and healthy, and your home is guest-friendly.
How to Train your Dog Not to Bark
Barking is usually a normal activity for every dog. It is one of the most effective and important communication tools for dogs. A dog will use its bark to express different emotions, and barking might mean different things based on the situation.
Dogs may bark to communicate with their owners or with other dogs, but at times the barking may get out of hand. And your puppy needs to understand that excessive and frequent barking isn’t allowed.
While it’s unreasonable to expect a puppy to never bark, incessant barking can also be considered as a behavior issue. That’s because it can fray the nerves of an entire family and even create mayhem in a neighborhood.
However, you should keep in mind that your canine friend is trying to tell you something through barking. Therefore, before you quiet your dog down, you should first figure out what it’s trying to say. In this post, we are going to look at why dogs bark excessively and how to train your dog not to bark.
Reasons Why Dogs Bark
Dogs usually bark for many reasons, and it is important to figure out why and when your puppy barks by closely observing its behavior.
Identify the triggers for the constant barking and then take immediate action to curb the habit before it is too late. Here are some of the reasons why your dog could be barking excessively.
Fear: If your pup is afraid, it will voice its fear through barking, and that can happen when at your home or even away when something frightens your canine friend. Some of the things that can frighten your dog include a strange situation, a loud noise like a thunderstorm, and strangers, among others.
Looking for attention: At times, excessive barking might be a signal that your dog is hungry, needs to go out, or requires some attention. Learn to read the signals.
Greeting: A dog can also bark as a way of greeting you. Sometimes a greeting bark is usually a friendly bark, but it becomes excessive when the greetings are offered to everybody your canine friend meets.
Loneliness: Naturally, dogs are pack animals, which means that they enjoy being in the company of other dogs. When you leave your puppy alone for an extended period, it might bark excessively as a sign of boredom, unhappiness, and loneliness. A bored pup that doesn’t get adequate physical exercise and mental stimulation every day can bark a lot as well.
Separation anxiety: Dogs that do not like being left alone can suffer from a common condition called separation anxiety. In addition to the incessant barking, a puppy with this condition may also have other compulsive habits too.
Territorialism: A dog can become territorial, especially if another dog or individual comes into what it considers its territory. The territory of a dog can range from its yard, its bed, or even its home. Dogs are incredibly possessive of their space and always feel the need to protect it. If you realize that your dog only barks in such situations, then that might be the main cause.
Aging dogs: It is normal for your dog to start barking more as they grow old. Some senior dogs might start barking excessively for hours without even knowing what they are doing. Besides canine cognitive dysfunction that’s mostly likened to Alzheimer’s disease.
Many aging dogs may also have vision impairments, deafness as well as body aches and pains that can lead to repeated barking. Carry out a physical examination on your dog to check for any tender spots. The dog will bark a lot if you touch such areas, which means you should consult your vet because the dog could be in a lot of pain.
How to Train your Dog not to Bark
Ignore barking dogs: You should not give a barking dog your attention or reward bad habits. If your puppy barks each time when you come home or enter through your front door, then avoid eye contact, turn your back, and do not pet the dog.
Once your dog calms down and sits, then give praise and also reward with some treats. Remember that even negative attention, such as scolding, can also increase a puppy’s barking. Also, all the members of your family must follow this rule to help curb the habit.
Teach the dog the speak and quiet commands: You can train your pup to respond to the “quiet” command by allowing around three or four barks, and then saying “quiet” in a clear and calm voice. Don’t shout, because your dog will think that you are barking with it. If it stops barking, give some treats.
Once it opens its mouth to start barking, you should put all the treats away. You should only reward your puppy for calm behavior. Make sure to repeat the quiet command while both of you are out in public places, as well as in the yard and at home.
The goal of these two commands is to train your dog only to bark on command and also to be quiet and calm on command. Eventually, your pup will understand that “quiet” usually means it should stop barking.
It might take weeks for your dog to get used to the commands, so continue with the training, or you can consider working with an expert for assistance.
Give the dog enough exercise and mental stimulation: When you embark on how to train your dog not to bark, you should understand that tired dogs bark less. Excessive barking is usually the result of suppressed energy, and taking your puppy out for exercise for approximately 30 minutes to one hour every morning can help your canine friend get rid of most of that energy.
An energetic dog can also benefit from an evening or afternoon walk as well. Some dogs also back excessively when bored. You can use some treat-dispensing toys and puzzles to keep your puppy occupied.
Block noise and views: Dogs usually get caught up in everything they smell, see, and hear. Distractions such as loud cars, loud noise, and people walking across the street cause your dog to bark. If your dog is acting out on protective or territorial behavior, then you need to limit its views.
You can consider using curtains or shades to block your windows. Also, you can crate or even contain your puppy in a quiet place when you’re not around. Furthermore, you can add some background noise, like television, music, or fans, to block all the neighborhood noises.
Change your dog’s routine: If your dog is barking out of boredom or compulsively, making some changes in its routine might help stop the behavior. If you are keeping it in your backyard and it is always barking there, then you can try bringing the puppy indoors and place it in a crate.
Also, if the pup is barking because it’s confined in a pet crate, try leaving it free in one of the rooms to see if it will stop barking.
To be a good pet owner, your dogs should know when to stay quiet and when to bark as well. Part of your role as a pet parent is to teach that to your puppy. Start working on the constant barking issue as soon as possible because the longer you postpone, the more challenging it becomes to control or curb the behavior.
Figuring out why your pup barks and addressing all its specific needs is one of the best ways to stop your canine friend from barking. Utilizing training commands such as the quiet command, helps your puppy stay calm and relaxed.
Being consistent with training methods and rewards can also assist in breaking bad habits as well as giving you and your family some peace of mind.
How to Train Your Dog off Their Leash
Off-leash training refers to teaching your dog to obediently follow basic commands when off-leash in the same way it would when on-leash. That will not only require your dog to recall the commands it has already mastered, but it’ll also require it to control itself in the face of distractions and remain focused.
Most of the time, off-leash training is utilized when teaching working dogs some specific skills such as herding a flock of sheep or cattle. However, off-leash training can also be used to teach recall and general commands in pets as well.
Off-leash training is usually done with pets to give you better control of your dog without a leash and collar, and it is an insurance policy that each pet owner should have.
This training ensures that if your pet slips their leash and collar or runs out of your house, that you can still get its attention and have it return to you straight away. This act of recalling your dog when it’s off-leash is known as off-leash recall.
In general, off-leash training and off-leash recall are not only beneficial for emergencies and outdoor situations.
But they are also useful when you want your dog to follow a certain command or take control of them in your home. Here is a step by step guide on how to train your dog off their leash and also why it is important.
Start with On-Leash Training
If you want to know how to train your dog off their leash and succeed at it, you must always start with on-leash training. There’s no way to guarantee the safety of your dog if you decide to let it off the collar and leash.
Nevertheless, advanced training can easily help you decrease the chances of your pet getting in the path of danger. Your canine friend can enjoy exploring its environment and running free, but they must also understand the basic rules. It's vital that your pet stays by your side or can easily call it to your side when off-leash.
To achieve that, you should start by laying a solid foundation when it comes to obedience training. If you are planning to let your canine friend off the leash, in the long run, clicker training can also be an excellent technique to train your dog.
Some of the commands your dog should master before letting it off the leash are loose leash walking, a reliable recall, heeling both off and on a leash, drop it, leave it, stay, look, go to its place, and a good emergency recall. Before your pet can complete these commands without its leash, it should have mastered them while on a leash.
Use a Long Leash
Once your canine friend has mastered advanced obedience training, you should purchase a long leash, also known as a recall leash, to offer your dog some more freedom. A long lead will give your puppy the feeling of being off the leash without losing the full control and safety of the leash.
You can go through the obedience commands in a safe and familiar place like your home to assess the readiness of your dog for complete off-leash privileges.
However, you should be careful when utilizing a long lead at the beach, park, or any other public or open places because these leashes might cause problems, especially when there are other puppies around.
When other dogs run into the leashes, they can not only cause them to trip or even get clotheslined, but they can also cause the pets to get entangled and even cause severe injuries such as broken legs.
Train in an Enclosed Outdoor Place
Once your dog demonstrates mastery of the basic commands on a long lead in a familiar place, then it’s time to take it to an enclosed outdoor area. Just ensure that the enclosed place you are in is a secure one.
A dog park can be a good practice area, especially if you visit during the off-peak hours. With the long lead still in play, work through the basic commands again. When they master those commands, try going through the same commands when your dog is off the leash.
Give your Dog More Freedom
After your puppy comes to you reliably, you can try working in new places that are safe but have some more distractions. Try to work up gradually to give your pet more freedom. Work through the basic commands on a long leash in a bigger enclosed area and then repeat them while the dog is off the leash.
You can practice sending your puppy out to explore something that is not far off, then call it back and reward it for returning to you. Continue practicing until you are confident with the recall skills of your dog.
Leash and Unleash your Dog in an Open Area
As your puppy becomes more and more trustworthy working off-leash, it will find it easy to respond to you in new environments as well. However, you should only train your dog in an open area without a leash if you fully trust them.
If your dog has strong recall skills, you can take them to a safe and open space and work through the commands while the dog is on a long lead. From here, you can work your way up to the off-leash commands in the open space.
However, you should always leash your puppy in busy places or if you don’t feel comfortable with the environment.
Reinforce the Training
To reinforce the learning and also make the commands more routine for your canine friend when moving about without a leash, you should incorporate off-leash training into their ordinary daily activities. That can also assist in preparing your puppy for more adventures.
You can occasionally call your dog from interesting things for no apparent reason, and give it a lot of rewards and praise for listening.
However, you should avoid getting annoyed by the challenges you meet on your trails like running into other dogs or strangers. Always remember that every challenge presents an opportunity for training your dog that you typically cannot duplicate at home.
Including off-leash training in daily activities can assist you and your canine friend in prepare well for off-leash adventures. Furthermore, your dog will also learn to respond to you all of the time, regardless of the location.
Simply give big rewards and praise for good behavior whenever you and your puppy walk, feed, play or even hang out.
Having your puppy trained to stay off-leash is important, not only for their freedom and happiness but for their safety as well. When you embark on off-leash training with your canine friend, remember that it’s usually a gradual process.
Start slowly and gradually work your way up to off-leash training in bigger places. Generally, the speed of the training should not be your focus at all when doing the off-leash work; instead, you should keep your mind on the safety of your dog at all times.
If you are not sure about how to train your dog off their leash, it’s best to consult with a professional training center or practice training off the leash in an enclosed place to determine how well your puppy will do and master the off-leash commands as well.
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