Obedience training is one of the most important responsibilities we have as dog owners.
Making sure our pets are well socialized and teaching them how to behave properly not only makes them less of a danger to themselves and others, but it also allows them to enjoy many aspects of life with us.
Our Top Dog Training Tips
Dog training is a process that should continue in one form or another throughout your dog’s life. Getting the basics down is the first step in the process:
- Understand your pup. Your dog is not a human, so they’ll have certain mental and physical limitations depending on age, breed, and other factors. Approach each training session with a sense of empathy and understanding (check out this primer on dog body language).
- Start early. Ideally, dog training should start before a puppy is 12 weeks old in order to establish good lifetime habits. However dogs of any age and from any background are capable of learning new things. In fact, older dogs tend to be less rambunctious, so they’re often easier to train than puppies.
- Choose high-value rewards. Your dog is more likely to work hard when offered a little piece of meat or cheese, especially when there are other distractions nearby. Choose your rewards carefully based on the situation.
- Respond quickly. Be quick with treats or praise when your dog has done what you’ve asked. If the reward comes more than a few seconds later, your dog may not know what it’s for or you might accidentally reward undesirable behavior.
- Always be consistent. As with most things in life, consistency counts. Only sometimes rewarding your pet or taking too much time off from training can confuse your dog and hinder their progress.
- Be confident. Our dogs take emotional cues from us, so projecting confidence and leadership is paramount to successful training. Even if you don’t feel particularly confident, fake it ‘till you make it!
- Know when to seek help. Sometimes professional help is needed, and that’s ok! Your veterinarian can work with you to pinpoint any problems and develop a plan for success.
- Have fun! Dog training can be tedious, but learning more about your dog’s unique personality, watching them learn and grow, and developing a deeper bond is worth it in the end.
Please don’t hesitate to contact the staff at Brodie Animal Hospital with any questions or concerns!