So, he is finally home! You need to start training your dog immediately. But how to train a dog? You may ask. Statistics show that a well-trained dog is happier, provides better companionship to its owner, and allows the dog to have more freedom.
A large number of dog owners have claimed not to have trained their dogs by themselves and were happy with the results. (Usually through Puppy/Dog training classes)
They, however, agreed that they had a few strategies that helped them in training their dogs. These included;
- Choosing the name of your dog wisely – a short name with a sharp consonant sound at the end is important as the dog hears it better.
- Set the house rules – before bringing your dog home; you must decide what the dog can do and what he can not do. For instance, is he allowed on the furniture or bed?
- Set up his private place – a dog needs its own private space that is not used by another person or pet. For example, this can be a crate or a corner where he has all his stuff.
- When he gets home, help him relax – being in a new environment can cause anxiety to the puppy or dog. If it is a puppy, give him a warm water bottle and put a ticking clock near where he sleeps to calm him. You can also ask can you have the puppy’s mothers blanket she sleeps on, as this will help the puppy with adapting to their new home. It will help them feel more relaxed and less stressed.
Overall, you can train your dog on so many things, but there are a few essential skills that every dog should have.
Potty training is critical. It requires you to be consistent, positive and patient. To successfully potty train your dog, you must do the following:
Supervise your puppy or dog
As you begin to house train your dog, limit the areas he can access in the house. You can do this by closing doors to other rooms and encouraging him to his private space.
Have a routine
Ever heard of creatures of habit? Well, dogs are one of them. Condition your dog to expect to feed at a specific time of the day, have regular but consistent walks and outside potty breaks. This will help him know the set “go” times, and he will adjust accordingly.
Do Not punish your dog if he eliminates in the house
Accidents can happen, and the dog may not understand why the most common times you have problems with is nighttime. Always remember to be patient and positive, the little one is only young, clean up the mess and carry on with your day/night. With consistent training, your dog will get better.
Reward your dog
When your dog goes potty in the set spot, reward him.
Teaching your dog or puppy to walk on a leash
There is a common misconception that dogs know how to walk on a leash innately! Unfortunately, they are wrong. Walking on a leash is a skill that dogs need to be trained for. The good news is it is easy to teach this skill. Please read the following steps below on how to successfully leash training a puppy or dog:
Introduce him to a harness, leash or the collar
Begin by letting him get used to wearing a harness and leash or collar for short periods in the house while you are playing with him and rewarding him with treats.
Teach a cue
Introduce your dog to a sound signal that may signify feeding time or walking time. Pick a place that is quiet and free from distraction and with your dog on a collar and leash, make the sound, and when he looks up to you, give him the treat. With a few repetitions, you will notice the dog will not only look up to you but will also come to you while still on a leash and collar.
Make him walk to you
Call him to you while he is still on a leash and collar. As he starts walking, back up a few steps and reward him when he gets to you.
Once the puppy understands walking to you, practice walking in the house with the leash and collar still in place. Remember to offer treats and praise when he does that.
It is now time to test your dog’s skills outdoors. This will be challenging at the beginning because your dog will be curious about new surroundings and smells. Be patient and start with short walks and increase the distance slowly.
How to train and stop your dog from biting
To train your dog to stop biting will take patience. The following three tips will help train your dog to stop biting.
Redirect your puppy or dog to bite other things
This is called the redirection method. Anytime your puppy goes to bite your pants or hand, redirect him to something else. To do this give them a toy instead and make it more exciting than biting you.
-If he does not move their attention to the toy, ignore him. This you do by being still because they like to chase, but if you stand still,
they get bored and stop.
Socialize your dog
There are puppy kindergartens or socialization classes that you can enroll your dog in. You can also take your dog to the park to socialize with other dogs. Socializing your dog is vital for its development and helps make training on bite inhibition easier. If your dog is used to being around other dogs at a young age, they will socialize a lot easier when it comes to meeting new dogs. This is the same principle when it comes to meeting new people and kids.
Clicker Train your dog
This is excellent training for your dog because it enables you to consistently mark good behavior. The goal is to teach your dog not to bite all things that come near his face. The following tips can help you train your dog not to bite.
– Place your hand on your dog’s mouth. If he doesn’t bite, praise him and give him a treat and click.
– Start slowly by waving your hand, if he doesn’t bite it praise him, click and offer him a treat.
– When you are confident that he won’t bite your hand when placed its placed in front of him, you can enhance the training. This is to help train his impulse control, and it will take time. If you are consistent, your dog is going to learn to stop biting.
Training your dog to stay down and settle
Training your dog to sit and relax, especially if your dog is fearful or anxious and needs to manage its emotional reactions. To do this effectively;
– Make sure the dog is in front of you as you start.
– Hold a treat in your hand and command him to sit.
– Ensuring the dog sees the treat, place it slowly on the floor, and move it slowly away from the dog. He will follow the treat feet forward, lying down.
– Once he lays down, praise him and allow him to enjoy the treat.
– With patience, consistently repeat this until he learns.
Breaking your dog behavioral problems
There are a few problems that your dog may have, and you need to break them. This is called dog obedience training, some of these behavioral problems may include:
Many dogs like digging and if not stopped, they can spoil your lawn. When they dig, do not scold him instead, help him stop by distracting him with a toy instead when he is digging. Be consistent, and he will stop.
Dogs and especially puppies like chewing, that ends up destroying your valued things. Give your puppy chew toys instead and keep things that he can chew far from his reach.
Avoid giving your dog food from the table. Your dog will not beg if you do not provide him scraps. You can also take him out of the room when you are eating or teach him to stay in his crate during mealtimes.
– Pulling on the leash
Dogs can be hyper. Teach him how to walk calmly. If he pulls, stop moving, and he will stop too. If he comes back, reward him and praise him, and slowly, he will learn to stroll.
– Separation anxiety
Dogs can get anxious when they feel left alone. Train your dog to leave him for 5 minutes and come back. Gradually increase the time and leave him his toys. With time, he will understand that you always come back, and he will relax.
– Whining for attention
When your dog whines, ignore him. Petting or looking at him makes him think whining works. Pet him and play when he is not whining, and he will learn.
– Barking at the door
To stop barking, teach your dog a new habit. Pick a spot facing the dog and make it his place. Teach him to sit on his spot and be calm. When he does this, give him a treat and praise. With consistency, he will learn to be patient and wait for his treat.
Dogs naturally will greet you by jumping. However, you do not want your guests to be scared. Ignore him anytime he jumps on you but give him attention when his paws are on the ground. This will teach him that he can only get your attention when he is calm.
Training your dog is about teaching your dog obedience commands and not rewarding the bad behavior. You want a good relationship with your dog that is fulfilling to both of you. Teaching your dog necessary life skills will help enhance your bond as well as make your dog and yourself happier. Patience is key when it comes to dog obedience training if you stick with it, your dog and your self will lead a lot happier and healthier lives.