If you own a dog, it is advisable to train it correctly from the start. In this article we will discuss effective and creative dog training tips that will help you create a complicit and respectful relationship with your animal.
By providing a good education to your dog, you will also give him a sense of security, because he will know what behavior you expect from him. The following will guide you on when to start puppy training and how to do it.
Creative dog training: when to start?
The arrival of a puppy arouses wonder. Despite all the delight you may experience in front of this adorable little creature, you must be careful not to miss a key period in his life and the best opportunity to start training him. Indeed, between 6 and 7 months, the dog is ready to be conditioned to orders. At this age, he is able to concentrate long enough to memorize commands such as “lie down”, “sit” and “not move”. However, that does not mean that he does not learn anything beforehand. Indeed, dog training is far from being limited to the sole obedience to orders!
Getting the puppy used to its new environment is one of the first steps in dog training. Little by little, make him discover unknown objects and unusual noises, so that he does not react with fear, even with panic. The puppy must learn where it belongs in the house: where are its bowls, which it will recognize by the smell of its food, etc. He must learn to socialize with family members and strangers, but also accept that they touch him so that the visits to the vet go well. Begin at this time to show your puppy the first limits by teaching him what he can do and what he is not allowed to do.
How to train my puppy?
As with children, a trusting relationship with your dog is the foundation of all education. The puppy must feel secure with his family in order to grow up fearlessly. Surround him with a lot of affection. Pet it every day and ask your friends and acquaintances to do the same. Your companion will gradually get used to contact with strangers and will accept more easily that the veterinarian examines him. Using the same procedure, get your puppy used to his bed as well. Lay him down in it when you notice he’s tired and continue to pet him for a while. From the start, he will associate his bed with a place of love and security, and he will like to sleep there.
Be careful, showing affection doesn’t mean you have to give in to every puppy’s wish. When he behaves well, reward him generously to consolidate what you have shown him.
To educate a puppy, it is important to take small steps. Ten minutes a day is already enough to get good results while making the learning process enjoyable to the puppy.
Creative dog training tip: walking your dog for the first time
Initially, it is not yet a real walk but rather a training process. The walk should last the equivalent of 5 minutes per month of age, i.e. a 6-mth old puppy should take a 30 minute walk. Also, it’s important to let your dog discover his surroundings in peace and slowly get him used to the leash.
Creative dog training tip: Reward and punishment
When it comes to training, the right balance between reward and punishment is important. Dogs are used to be part of a pack by nature and follow a very strict hierarchy. When a dog lives with human beings, the owner and the family are his pack and he must learn to accept them as his leaders. If you want to teach your dog a certain behavior, you need to be authoritative and strict. If your dog obeys you, nurture the desired behavior with rewards. Dogs are opportunists, they always behave to their advantage.
When your dog behaves to your expectations (he came when you called him for example), he must be rewarded with a caress, a treat or a toy. This will show him that he reacted correctly. If, on the other hand, he has not responded well, it is advisable to punish him to show him that his behavior is not appropriate. Of course, I am not referring to a physical punishment but rather a clear sign from you that you disapprove his behavior. This is done by putting your in an uncomfortable situation, for example, loudly throw a bunch of keys near him. He will find your reaction unpleasant and will likely associate it with his unwanted behavior after a while.
In order to succeed in his education, your dog must first of all associate the reward or the punishment with the right situation. Your dog should immediately understand what is right and what is wrong. This is the only way he can learn. The clicker is an effective method to let your dog know that he has done something right and that you are going to reward him.
Four training tips for best success
Training should teach your dog to respond to calls, and to behave properly both at home and away. Here are some tips for getting your furry friend’s attention:
Consistency and timing
Dog training should be done every day. Set the time for training and stick to it. An adult dog will quickly integrate training time in the flow of his daily life and will know when to concentrate. Training can only work when the dog is fully focused. If your dog is agitated, excited or playful training won’t have much of an effect, as well as if he is tired or hungry. A dog that just had his meal, on the other hand, will be difficult to reward with treats. Be sure to choose a convenient time.
A dog will assimilate information more easily if he learns while having fun. Start training with one game and end with another one, preferably after getting positive results. If your dog doesn’t pass a lesson, don’t pressure him, and move on to the next one! The feeling of success is important for him to maintain his desire to learn.
Formulate simple and short orders. Say words and not whole sentences, for example “come” and not “come here now”. It is helpful to associate the commands with a gesture, such as clapping your hands when asking your dog to come to you.
Adapt to the Dog
You will get good results if you don’t rush through your training plan, but rather adapt to your dog. To do this, you need to know your dog and understand his body language. Don’t hesitate to get outside expert help to learn how to correctly interpret your dog’s behavior.