Helpful hints for training your dogTraining your dog to be well behaved or to do tricks can be a great experience for both of you. They have an amazing ability to learn and are so eager to please!
It’s also important to have a well-trained dog when your venturing outdoors for a walk, a run, a hike, or a visit to your local dog park or dog-friendly beach.
Here are our top ten training tips.
1. Start young
We’ve all heard the old saying that “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”. It’s not completely true, but you’ll find it’s generally easier to train your dog to do anything the earlier you start. So ideally, start when your dog is a pup!
2. Consider getting them neutered or spayed
Dogs that are less aggressive and more docile tend to be easier to train.
3. Use treats
Make sure you always have plenty of treats on hand to reward your buddy during any training session. Your dog needs to understand that a click means an instant treat.
If they manage to master something especially challenging, you can give them a jackpot of treats to reinforce the behaviour. Psychologists call this positive reinforcement. It’s far more effective than negative reinforcement like yelling, or worse, some form of punishment.
4. Train when they’re hungry
It’s often best to do a training session when your dog is hungry.You’ll find they’ll be especially keen for their treats!
5. Keep your session short
10 minutes is an ideal training session length. Don’t overdo it. It’s better to do high quality short sessions more often than to try and do longer ones less regularly.
6. Don’t train when your dog (or you) are tired
You’ll find your session will be much more effective and fun when you’re both keen and alert. Early in the morning after you’ve both had a good night’s sleep could be your best option.
7. Be consistent
Be consistent with your commands and your rules. Dogs learn better when there is consistency. They need to make the association between your command, their behaviour and the outcome (a treat).
They also need to clearly understand what they should and shouldn’t do, and the best way to ensure that is to ensure that you’re consistent. Don’t ever reward bad behaviour, that will just confuse them.
8. Keep it simple
One of the best ways to keep things simple is to use repetition in your training drills until your buddy has mastered a behaviour.
9. Make it fun!
Training doesn’t have to be a chore. Think of creative ways to keep things fun and interesting for both of you. For example you could use soft toys that make noises to keep them entertained.
10. End on a positive note
That’s the most motivating way to finish for both of you. Don’t finish on a downer when your dog fails to do something. If your buddy is struggling to come to grips with a behaviour or a new trick, finish with something they know how to do instead.
How we can help
At DOOG we have a range of treat pouches and a training clicker that you can use to help make your training easier and more effective. We also have a range of toys you can use to keep things fun for both of you.