Obedience training can strengthen the bond between you and your dog. Not only does dog training establish you as the “pack leader”, but it can also be a whole lot of fun!
Obedience training for dogs isn’t just a fun way to make your dog better behaved, though. It can also save his life. Imagine what would happen if your dog darted out the front door of your home and didn’t listen to your commands to stop or come back. He could be lost forever, or worse, hit by a car.
Plus, the right training for dogs can enable you to incorporate man’s best friend into your social events. If you can trust your dog not to jump on people, you can allow him to freely spend time with your friends and family. Or, if you know he won’t run off, you can take him to the local dog park.
While there are plenty of dog obedience classes out there, many people prefer to train their dogs themselves. You don’t have to take dog obedience classes to see success.
In fact, by following these 7 dog obedience training tips, you and your dog can have successful training sessions anywhere:
Never Be Negative
Just like people don’t like to be yelled at, belittled, and threatened, neither do dogs. If your idea of dog obedience classes is screaming to assert your authority, then screaming some more when your dog doesn’t do what you tell him – then you’re doing it all wrong. Instead of teaching your dog to follow basic commands, all you’ll be teaching him is to be afraid of you.
While some breeds may pick up commands faster than others, virtually every dog can be trained to obey certain commands. Teaching him those commands with positivity and encouragement will be much more effective than negativity.
Dogs desperately want to please their owners. Once they understand that you’re the “pack leader”, they will do anything they can to make you happy. However, confusing your dog during your training sessions isn’t the way to go.
Decide, in advance, which behaviors you want to encourage and eliminate. If, for example, you don’t want your dog jumping up on house guests, make sure that he is told “no” every time he jumps on someone.
If you let him jump on you when you walk through the door, then tell him not to jump on your Uncle Bob, your dog is going to get confused – and he’s not going to know what to do to please you.
Make Your Commands Very Basic
Professional dog obedience classes will constantly stress this, but if you’re doing your training at home, it’s something you can’t afford to forget. Obedience training for dogs can be done in one word; you don’t need a sentence to get your point across.
Words like “sit” and “stay” will tell your dog everything that he needs to know. If you start giving him lengthy commands, he may or may not understand them.
As an added benefit, one-word commands are easier to learn, so you’ll see the results of your obedience training that much sooner by using them!
The Earlier You Start the Better
While you may still be able to teach an old dog a few new tricks, younger dogs do much better in obedience training than their older counterparts do. The sooner your dog learns that he can’t simply run wild and do as he pleases, the happier all of you will be.
If you have a human baby, you understand the importance of establishing basic rules early on. The same goes for your “fur baby”.
Never Use a Crate as Punishment
Many of the dog obedience training tips out there focus on using crates – and that’s a good thing, unless they advocate using the crate as a “time out” center. Instinctively, dogs like to be in “dens”, and in your house, that’s what they consider their crate to be.
If you turn your dog’s den into a negative space – one that he associates with punishment and anger – it will really upset him.
While obedience training should be a positive experience, there will be times when your dog needs a “time out”. Just find another, more productive place to do it.
Don’t Try to Eliminate All Barking
Lots of people turn to obedience training for dogs because they want to get rid of unnecessary barking. However, you’ll never be able to completely stop your dog from barking – and you shouldn’t want to, either.
Barking is how your dog protects his home (and you!) from potential dangers.
If your dog’s barking is out of control, look for training tips that will teach him when it’s OK to bark – and when it’s not.
Don’t Spend Too Long Training
This is one of the most commonly ignored tips. However, it’s also one of the most important ones!
Like kids, dogs reach a point where they simply can’t focus and learn anymore. If you try to work on obedience training for hours a day, you’re just going to make your dog associate the training with negativity – and it will wind up being an unpleasant experience for all involved!