Every dog and every dog owner has his or her own unique dog training
challenges. Each breed of dog has a different temperament as does each
individual dog. And dog owners are no different. Despite the
differences, there are some basic things in common for training all dogs.
No matter why you have a dog, he should at least have some very elementary
dog training. No one wants a dog who isn’t housebroken, who runs away or
into the street, who won’t sit, come or stay when you want him to. Both
you and your dog will be happier with a little common ground on obedience
One of the first things to take into account when dog training is that
dogs are programmed for a world of leaders and followers. You have to be
the leader in your relationship. Signs of a leader are absolute
consistency. Know what you want your dog to do and keep that constant
from day to day and training session to training session. Don’t shout.
That is a sign that you have lost control. And keep your dogs attention
focused on you during the entire training session.
Attention is the second important thing to keep in mind for dog training
and one of the hardest to maintain. It has been said that ninety percent
of dog training is getting and keeping his attention. Dogs are very much
like small children and have short attention spans. Keep training
sessions short – 20 minutes is fine, or even a couple of 10 minute
sessions. Work with your dog in a quiet environment that is free of
distractions. Talk to your dog in a quiet voice. Use his name and
explain what you want him to do. He may understand no more than, “Blah
blah blah, Toby”, but your voice will keep him focused in your direction.
Experts have found that positive dog training is more effective that a
system of rewards and punishment. A dog who looks forward to training
sessions as fun and full of rewards is a dog who will learn faster and
better. Reward accomplishments with treats or words of praise or pats.
As your dog learns new skills, you can reward him for each step along the
way. If he doesn’t respond the way you want, rethink what you are asking
him to do and how you are asking him to do it. What worked as a dog
training method for one dog may not work as well for the next. Your dog
may need to review some more basic dog training lessons before going on to
new lessons. Rather than punishment, a stern NO, blocking a movement with
your hands, or withholding rewards when he doesn’t perform, and remaining
consistent are the best ways to encourage your dog to exhibit the behavior
you want. Remember that it is in his nature (as well as yours) to want to
test limits and see how much he can get away with. Consistency in dog
training and rewards are what get positive results, not punishments.
Dogs are very much like us. They want to follow a leader they respect.
And dog training is just like school. They like to do things that are fun
and make them feel good, where they get rewards for accomplishing what is
asked of them. And they want the same thing their owners want, a happy
and safe relationship with the ones they are love. A little dog obedience
training will go a long way in making this happen.