If you’ve recently welcomed a new furry friend to your family, you probably immediately realized how difficult it could be to properly train them. Just like a newborn baby, a puppy is a blank slate.
Whether you’re hoping to potty train them or teach other tricks such as how to bark, sit, or lay down on command – there are specific steps you should follow to making the training as efficient as possible.
We’ve put together these helpful tips that’ll help not only first-time dog owners – but veterans as well. Our goal is to get you to apply these tactics to your everyday training to help you optimize your dog’s potential.
There are plenty of methods to follow when it comes to training your puppy, from training collars, to positive reinforcement and even click training. However, the thing that matters most is that you remain consistent in your methods.
If you are continuously jumping between methods, this will do nothing but confuse your furry companion. Checking out the professional equipment made by eDog Australia can help make sure your training methods remain consistent. However, when we say consistency, we don’t always mean with the training methods.
Consistency should also be applied to the area where the training is happening. Make sure it’s a space your dog is familiar with, and ensure that the reward your dog is receiving is always given in tandem with the same skill or trick.
Consistency will familiarize your dog with the schedule until it becomes an internal response to external stimuli.
The easiest way to make sure you keep a consistent training schedule is by notifying everyone in the household of the rules you’ve implemented and go from there.
Find the Ideal methods.
We touched on training methods when discussing consistent training, but you still may be trying to figure which method to be consistent with. We recommend researching the topic and finding the training practice that will work best for you and your dog.
Here is an overview of just a few common methods:
Positive reinforcement is exactly what it sounds like. It follows the idea that if a dog is rewarded for good behavior or performing a trick – they’ll learn to associate the two and perform the tricks for their reward.
The reward needs to be given immediately following the behavior in order for them to make the correlation. Rewards can be anything you want them to be, treats, toys, a game of catch the list goes on.
Clicker training uses a device that releases a high-pitched noise when you press the button. Using this method, the owner presses the button when the dog has performed the desired trick or behavior. The noise is then followed by a treat.
The cool thing about clicker training is that the noise can then be shifted to verbal cues like “sit” or “speak.”
Collar Training is another popular method, although it should be properly researched before implemented. This method has garnered controversy but has still found success, especially in guard dogs.
It works by having a dog wear a collar that shocks or sprays citronella when a dog is not behaving appropriately. It’s important to research the equipment your buying for ethical reasons if you decide to go down the collar training route.
Create a Calm Environment
We lightly touched on creating a calm environment for training earlier but let’s delve in a bit deeper.
It’s important to introduce your dog to an environment that is free of as much distraction as possible. You want the most interesting thing in the room to be you and the reward you have for good behavior.
That’s not to say the trick cannot be performed elsewhere at a later date, but in the beginning stages, it’s important that you have your pet’s full attention.
Indoor environments tend to work better than outdoor ones. Dogs tend to become over-stimulated outdoors and won’t be able to grasp what you’re presenting them with.
Figure Out What Motivates Them
All-in-all it’s important to keep your dog motivated. Make it a fun environment for them to be in. Just like humans, things don’t feel like work when they’re having fun.
Don’t be afraid to test out a few reinforcements in the first week to find out what really sticks for your pet.
Remember not to expect perfection from both yourself and your pet every day – but it’s important to keep your stance. Repetition and consistency are key. Have fun!