Opening up your home to a pet is rewarding in many ways, but it can also be frustrating when you’re having to deal with typical animal-like behaviors and habits that have yet to be broken (i.e. excessive barking, chewing, digging, aggression, etc.) Obedience training is the key to making your dog a comfortable part of your family. This will not only help to establish you as the one in command and allow you to effectively get your point across, but also create a more enjoyable relationship between you and your furry friend. You’re likely to hear a variety of opinions on how training should be done, but here are a few recommendations that most everyone can agree on.
Determine Your Goals For Training
The clearer your goals are for training, the more you and your dog are bound to get out of it. More than likely, you want more out of obedience training than just teaching your pet to sit, stay or heel. Good communication between you and your dog will let them know exactly how you expect them to behave, and there are some important skills that can be learned beyond the basics, for example, how long you want them to perform the command you’ve given or how to recognize physical cues as well as verbal ones. If you have specific habits you want to address, like leash pulling, jumping, socialization, etc., make sure you’ve signed up for classes that will focus on those particular issues.
Maintain a Consistent Training Schedule
Consistency is a must in order to be successful with obedience training. Not only should you be sure to attend every class during your training session, but also keep up with the lessons at home. Designate and stick to a time or two every day that you can devote to working with your dog on commands and it will help them begin to recognize when that time is coming and get ready to learn. It’s also important to stay consistent with your commands so as not to confuse your pet with different expectations at different times.
Avoid Negative Feedback
Rewarding positive behaviors is a great teaching method for dogs. It allows them to associate the positivity with doing something correctly. On the other hand, giving them negative feedback and punishing them when they don’t catch on as quickly as you’d like can actually counteract what you’re trying to do with training and make them nothing but fearful or stressed out. Every time a command is followed, your dog will learn they’ve got it right if they are rewarded with a treat or extra love and attention.
Don’t Carry Out Training Sessions For Too Long
Dogs can get bored just like any human, and their attention spans don’t last for an immeasurable amount of time. So to get the most out of your training and keep your pet engaged as much as possible, you’ll want to keep the sessions fairly short instead of dragging them out for long periods of time. Make it fun for them to learn and you’ll find they grasp and retain your instructions much better.
Keep in mind that successful obedience training doesn’t just fall on your dog to accomplish, but rather it’s a joint effort between the two of you, which will strengthen your bond and enhance your rapport with one another.