I don't know about you, but my dog has his moments when he is not necessarily the sharpest tool in the shed. He tries his best, but just like all humans, he has a bit of work to do to be his very best self. Training your dog is very important; whether it is a safety concern like making sure they know to come when called, or just for your sanity's sake, you need to make sure you have the best tools to help your dog fit into your family perfectly. Here are five tips that will help you train your dog!
1. Get your dog to come running when you want them to.
To make sure your lovable pooch comes running as soon as you call, there are a few tricks you can use. Randomly, throughout the day, when they are hanging around, say their recall word (come or here). If they look at you, toss them a treat. Then, after doing that a few times, you will want to start dropping the treat at your feet, so they have to come over to you. Repeat this randomly throughout the day and your dog should start looking for you when they hear their recall word. As they get better, you don't have to reward them with treats every time but throw some in every now and then so they don't give up on you as they get older.
2. Get your dog to listen the first time
I am guilty of this, and I think every dog owner I know is guilty of this: When the dog doesn't do the trick the first time we just keep saying it until they do. The problem is this is not enforcing the behaviors you want with your dog. So for example, if you are trying to get your dog to sit you just say it once and wait. If after 5 seconds they haven't sat down, hold the treat above their head and move it backwards towards their tail. Do not repeat the command but this should encourage them to sit. When they finally sit, say "yes" and give them the treat. It's important to do these lessons in small chunks through the day so your dog will remember. Eventually you can lower the frequency of treats given, just make sure not to let the multiple commands sneak back in.
3. Use a bell to help with potty training
To avoid the inevitable pee-pee-dance by the door, set up a bell that your dog can use to let you know when they need to go outside. They usually catch on pretty quick once they realize that if they ring the bell they get to go outside. It saves you having to guess when they need to go out and saves them from confusing you with unspecific barks.
4. Three ways to help with leash training
If your dog tends to pull on the leash there are three ways to counter that behavior. If your dog starts pulling you can either stop completely, start walking the opposite direction or start walking on an angle. It might take you a little bit longer to get where you need to go but it will keep your dog focused on you while you walk instead of the distractions in the environment. Check out the instructional chart below for more information.
5. Positive reinforcement works best for dogs.
Dogs are just little bundles of love and joy and they deserve the best care possible. They don't always understand when they get yelled at, but if you reinforce the behaviors you do like, the bad ones will eventually go extinct. Just give your dog all the love they need and they will be their best. Check out this detailed chart below to learn how to use the positive technique.
Hopefully these tips will help you with your dog troubles! Do you have any other tips that would be helpful? Share them in the comments!