As the popular saying goes, dogs are man’s best friend. They offer unconditional love and comfort, as well as provide safety to our homes. There is no question why tons of people choose to have a pet dog at least some time in their lives.
Training your dog is an important aspect of pet care and responsible ownership. This is because dog training will allow your dog to be well behaved and equipped with essential commands for a comfortable life as a pet. However, training a dog can be a challenge sometimes. Taking this into consideration, here is a quick guide and tips on how to properly train your pet dog.
Essentials of Dog Training
1. Types of Dog Training
There are generally two types of dog training – aversive-based and reward-based training.
Aversive-based training is the inhumane practice of using so called, “positive punishment” and “negative reinforcements”, as a way to “correct” the behavior in dogs.
Such reinforcements often include the use of prong collars, electric collars (shock collars), shaker cans, spray bottles, yelling, hitting, and other aggressive manners towards our fluffy best friends.
The prong collar has been banned in countries such as Switzerland, Austria, Australia, NewZealand, just to name but a few. While the electic shock collars have been banned in many places like Germany, Denmark and Sweden, among others.
We shouldn’t even need to say how psychologically harmful yelling and hitting your dog can be. It can damage beyond repair the trust your dog has in you. It can even make your dog so scared that they’ll become aggressive to you, or even worse, to a stranger or small child.
Believe it or not, this medieval way to train dogs is still unfortunately going on. Please do not be tempted to try it, as there are much better ways to train your furry best friend.
Reward-based is incredibly easy and gets great results fast. This works by offering a reward for the positive behavior that you want your dog to follow.
Such rewards can be treats or be as simple as belly rubs or dog-pleasing actions and compliments.
Through this simple positive action, your dog learns to associate the correct behavior with a happy feeling or emotion. We believe training dogs should leave them feeling happy and content. They should be excited at the thought of training, rather than fearing it, or fearing you.
2. Basics Dog Commands
Besides learning how to train, it is important to know which commands you are supposed to teach your pet first. Dog training can start as early as 7 to 8 weeks old, but this should only include basic obedience commands as puppies tend to have shorter attention spans. Ideally, start training your dog young and continue the training program while slowly elevating each command’s difficulty and complexity.
Through this, you would be able to instill wanted behavior and solidify these behavioral patterns through adulthood. Some of the most basic dog commands that you can start teaching a puppy include:
- Leave it
Tips on How to Train Your Dog
1. Learn How Your Dog Understands Training
Dogs are very intelligent creatures, it takes serious brainpower to work out how to lift the toilet seat for a refreshing drink. However, before you throw yourself full steam into dog training, it is important to know that teaching dogs is a bit like teaching a two-year-old. They require a lot of patience and understanding, they make mistakes, pee with excitement, and get very easily distracted. Dogs don’t have a very big vocabulary, but they do rely on our tone of our voice to understand if what they are doing is correct.
Our furry friends are often categorized into three different groups of intelligence:
- Adaptive Intelligence is what we mean by our dog’s problem-solving abilities. For example, a dog’s ability to recognize a situation, a person, or perhaps an object, and then work out by themselves the next correct step.
- Instinctive Intelligence refers to behaviors that have been genetically bred into them. You can see this in particular dog breeds such as guard dogs, hunting dogs, companion dogs, herding dogs. This is why you’ll see a Border Collie suddenly attempt to herd a group of wandering toddlers.
- Working Intelligence simply means the ability to focus and learn the tasks that you are teaching your dog.
2. Cater Your Training Style to Your Dog’s Personality
Your dog’s personality greatly affects the quality and overall effectiveness of your training. Aside from the different learning styles, it would help if you also acknowledged the nuances and personality differences that either help or stop your dog from learning.
Highly sensitive dogs are highly attuned to their owners and tend to learn quickly. However, since they are sometimes too focused on you, surprising movement and loud noises can flatten their learning.
While full of energy, easygoing dogs still require gentle and sensitive directions when it comes to training. However, it is important to remember that their high tolerance for change and excitement often hinders them from switching from energetic to a more laid-back behavior at an instance. Take your time teaching them commands and allow some time for them to react to follow before reinforcing with a reward.
As mentioned earlier, dog training can become complex, especially if you are trying to teach advanced commands to your dog. Regardless, it is important to remember to start training your dog as early as possible so that there is more time to grow and instill these behaviors into adulthood. Hopefully, this article provided you with enough information on how you can start training your dog.
All information in the article is for educational purposes only and is not meant to replace your veterinarian’s advice.