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Puppy 101: A beautiful journey through dog training

The best dog training practices are those applied with love. In order to do some good puppy training you must have patience and keep in mind several other things if you want to start potty training dogs. It’s not an easy task, but teaching dog tricks can be a lot of fun and a fantastic way to bond with your beloved pet. Here are some key elements you must be aware of.

You must change your attitude

How to take care of a puppy

Do not get a puppy or a dog for a pet if you are not fully committed in caring for it. Without commitment, you can never train your pet effectively. By being committed, as well as by loving your pet, you would have the necessary drive to do what needs to be done, in order to train him well.

Whether you are trying to train a dog or a puppy, you need to be aware that it requires time and a lot of patience, in order to get your pet to perform the things you want him to do. In other words, you need to be patient about it. Aside from that, you should never give up, so that he would be able to understand what you want and do it.

Be positive at all times when it comes to training your dog. A positive attitude will mean a lot for your pet, since he can feel when you become frustrated or angry. Being positive means that you have to praise him whenever he does something good. Aside from that, you should also believe that your pet can do it, so as to encourage a more positive atmosphere.

Before you can even get your pet’s attention for training, you have to make sure that he feels secured and safe whenever he is with you. Thus, if you have just gotten a puppy, you should consider the fact that you have just separated him from his mother. With that, you have to comfort him and situate him in a place where he won’t get hurt, so that he would feel secure.

Aside from doing your training sessions each day, you should also keep in mind that your dog learns something new, each time he interacts with you. Thus, you need to make sure that whenever he is with you, you should focus in shaping his good behavior. Inform other members of your family about it, so that they can all help in shaping up your dog’s behavior.

There are times when your dog may not feel like following your commands, since he did not have a good night’s rest, or he is in a bad mood. You should know how to tell your dog’s feelings, so that you can use it to decide whether to proceed with a training session or not. If he is not in the mood for it, then you can simply play with him, or sit down while watching the sunset.

Being consistent is very important in training your dog. Practicing consistency means that you need to use the same word for a certain behavior all the time. Aside from that, you should also be consistent punishing him for his bad practices, so that he would be able to put it in his mind.

Be prepared for the challenge

Feeding treats to your dog

Dogs love treats like dog biscuits, and such. Prior to taking the steps in training your pet, you should prepare treats as rewards for your pet, whenever your dog is able to follow your command. Make sure that the kind of treats you have prepared is something that he really likes much, so that he would really know that he has done something right.

You have to take note that dogs can get easily distracted. In other words, if you want his full attention on the trick or task that you need him to perform, then you should make sure that you are doing it in a place free from distractions. Keep in mind that your other pets can distract him, as well as other people in your household.

Some dogs may become uncomfortable whenever you put collar and leash on them. Thus, you should do it while your pet is still a puppy, so that he can get used to it early on. Walk your dog around the house with a leash first, before taking him outside, so that you can train him properly.

Focusing on a lot of training goals in a single training session would not help much. You should focus only on one goal in one session, since dogs have short attention spans. In other words, if you focus on too many goals, then you may not be able to achieve any one of it even in two sessions for a day.

You need to start with the most basic commands first, in order to proceed to more complicated ones. This is because, basic commands can help you gain more control over your dog. For example, if you have already taught him to “sit”, then you can always use that command, in order to get his attention in doing other tricks.

Pay attention to your dog’s health

How to keep your dog healthy

Before training your dog, you have to make sure that he is in top condition. This is because, a dog that is not feeling a hundred percent well would not have the focus that you want him to have. He should be a happy and healthy dog to begin with, which is why you should make sure that he eats nutritious foods, and he should be taken to a veterinarian for his regular checkups.

Walking your dog can make him happy. It can also ensure that he gets enough exercise, which would promote his health. Doing this on a regular basis would make your dog see it as a routine; and, this would make positive results in your training program, especially if you do it on a regular basis as well.

Providing healthy foods for your pet would not just ensure that he is in good shape at all times. It would also make his senses sharper, which would greatly help when it comes to training him. Thus, make sure to give him nutritious foods, and fresh water at all times, so that you would be happy with the results of the training.

Having the right kind of shelter is one of the needs of a dog that you have to provide. Giving him proper shelter would not just make him feel happy with you, but also make him feel safe. Thus, if your dog is not going to be sleeping inside your house, then you should build a sturdy shelter for him in good size, so that he would be ready to follow your commands.

Walking your dog and playing with him are just some of the examples of activities that you can do, in order to give him enough exercise. Exercising your dog would not just improve his physical condition. It would also make him feel that you really care for him, which would encourage desirable behavior. On top of that, it would also make him reciprocate by following your commands.

Understanding your dog

Dog therapy training

Dog training should just be one of the things that you do in a particular day. In other words, do not do it for all the time that you spend with your dog. Play with him whenever you can, so that he can feel that being with you is not just all about learning new things, but having fun as well.

There are certain times of the day when your dog is more active. For example, some dogs like to take naps during the afternoon; and, if that is the case with your pet, then you may want to train him in the morning or after his afternoon nap. It is best to train your dog when he is full of energy, so that you can pay attention to you more.

Keep in mind that apart from the fact that all dogs are different, they also have certain things in common; and, you can tell that according to their breeds. Thus, you should do your research about the kind of breed your dog is. By becoming more familiar of his basic characteristics, you can make it easier for you to understand him.

You need to keep in mind that you have to invest time and effort in building a relationship with your dog. It is important that you build a healthy relationship with him, so that you can gain his trust and that he is happy to be with you. Just like human relationships, you need to invest a lot of your time and effort in your relationship with your dog, so that each of you would be able to take his part in the team effectively.

To make your dog do what you want him to do, you need to build his trust in you first. Building trust with your dog should start at the first time that you meet. You need to constantly provide a feeling of security to him. Aside from that, you should also make every interaction with him a pleasant one. Never hurt your dog, since that could make him lose his trust in you and be on defensive mode.

Remember you are the leader

Training dog to sit

Dogs naturally follow a leader in a pack. Thus, you have to establish being a leader, so that your pet would follow your commands. Establishing your dominance does not mean that you have to hurt your pet. One example of it is to show him that you are the one to eat first, before giving him his food.

Use your pet’s name whenever you need to get his attention. If you have just gotten him home, then you should use it as often as you can, to get him oriented to it. Thus, whenever you are giving him his food, you should call him by his name, as well as whenever you want to play with him or take him for a walk.

Whenever you want to give a command to your pet dog, you have to be serious about it. In other words, you should not let him ignore it, since that could become habit that would cause problems in the future. If you are not ready to enforce your command, then you should give it at another time.

Your dog can tell whether you are confident or not when you train him. He can see it in your body language, the tone of your voice, and how you handle him. You need to show him that you are confident, so that he can feel more secure in following your lead. Aside from that, your confidence level can also affect your dog’s trust in you.

Your dog can understand your commands better if you make use of the tone inflection of your voice more effectively. The tone inflection of your voice is actually very important. With that, you have to make use of different tone inflection for giving your commands. By doing that, it can help him distinguish whether you are happy or not, after he does something. Aside from that, it can also help you sound more firm in giving out commands.

In order to gain more control over your pet dog, you need to be aware of the things the he wants to do. Some of which would include playing, walking, and even talking to him. Keep in mind that initiating these interactions can also be rewarding to him. Thus, you should know when to initiate them as well as to terminate them, so that you can control him better.

Whenever you command your dog to doing something, you should be the one that make the decision to put a stop to it and not him. For example, if you ask him to sit down, then you should not let him decide on his own when it is time to move from the place. This will help in establishing control over your pet. However, make sure not to let him follow a command for too long, to be fair to your pet.

Efficient Communication

How to talk to your dog

If you have just started training your dog, you should see to it that you are giving commands that have one syllable only. For example, instead of using sit down, you should use sit, so that it would be easier to understand and remember for him. Do it this way, so that your dog won’t have difficulties in following what you want.

Always remember that dogs can have a hard time in distinguishing two commands, especially if they are conflicting. Thus, it is always best to focus on one command at a time. Do not make your pet’s life confusing, so that he would have a better time in following your orders.

Learning the meaning of the words Good and No should be one of the basic things that you need to teach to your dog. This is because, you would be using these words on a daily basis whenever you interact with him. Your dog should know that whenever you say Good, it means that he has done something right. On the other hand, whenever you say No, he should know that he has done something wrong.

Nagging your dog is not something that should be done, since it would not bring any kind of positive results. If you do it to your dog, it can only mean two things to him, it would mean nothing since he does not understand what you are saying or it can mean something negative, due to the tone of your voice. In any case, it should not be done, since it would not be beneficial for both of you.

Your dog would have a hard time telling which person to follow, if two people would give him conflicting commands at a time. Even if the command is the same, it is still best for only one person to give it at a time. This way, your dog would be able to pinpoint which person and command to follow, instead of getting confused.

When you proceed with more challenging commands, it is quite normal for your dog to get confused. When that happens, you should be patient and repeat teaching the behavior. Make sure to use the same word in teaching the command, so that your dog won’t get confused further. Do it repeatedly, and be open to the possibility of having to do it again for the next session.

Saying “No” to your dog should be done at times when he does something bad. Using this word is actually quite effective, since it is very simple, which makes if easier for your dog to understand. To ensure that he knows what you mean though, say no at the instance when he does something unpleasant.

At the course of your training sessions, there are certain actions that your dog would do, in which he does it to communicate something. It is best that you know what certain actions mean, so that you can act accordingly. For example, if your dog suddenly stands still it may mean that he is not very comfortable of what you are making him do.

Your behavior is also important

How your dog sees you

Being aware of your actions is important when it comes to training your dog. You should be aware of how you waive your hand or the tone of your voice, since it can affect your dog’s attention. For example, if you are waiving your hand too much, then instead of listening to your voice, your dog may be looking at it.

You cannot expect to achieve success in dog training, if you cannot control yourself. With that, you need to practice self-control, in order to control your dog. Dog training requires a lot of self-control, since it can take a lot of effort and time, to get your dog to follow your commands.

In training your dog, you need to be aware that there would be times when you would feel frustrated about it. Whenever you feel angry at your dog though, you should not proceed with the training session. Instead, let your dog do what he wants to do, and come back when you have already calmed down.

You need to keep in mind that in training your dog, you may make mistakes along the way. There is no need to make a big fuss about it. Just go on with your training session like nothing happened, and make sure that you won’t make the same mistake again. Learn from your mistakes, since that is one of its purposes.

Recognizing the fact that all dogs are not the same can help you out with your training program. Whether you are going through obedience training with your dog, or you are teaching him some tricks, you should know that not all established rules about it would work. Thus, you need to be prepared in making adjustments, so that you and your dog would be happy in going through the sessions.

If all your efforts end up not achieving your training goals with your dog, then it may be a good idea to consider professional help for it. Choose a reputable dog trainer who wouldn’t just train your dog, but also teach you how to train your dog effectively as well. He should know how to teach you how to supplement his methods, so that you and your dog would be able to start on a better relationship moving forward.

When to reward your dog

How to reward your dog

Giving rewards to your dog should not be limited to whenever he follows your command. Whenever you see that he has done something good on his own, you should reward him to encourage that behavior. By doing this, your dog would be able to know that he has done something good, and would do it again and again.

There are times when your puppy does something bad, but funny at the same time, which may make you forget about punishing him for it. Although funny bad habits can make you laugh, you should still make your dog aware that it is not good. If you let him do it without punishing him, then that would be the same as reinforcing it. Never reinforce negative behavior, since that can be hard to get rid of in the future.

Whenever you need to make corrections on your dog’s actions, you should make it as clear as possible. Aside from that, it should also be short and well defined. By doing it this way, you would be preventing your dog from getting confused. Aside from that, it would also make him remember the corrections better.

Always remember that whenever you are giving rewards, you would be encouraging a particular behavior more. Thus, you need to be mindful of the times when you reward your pet, since you may accidentally reward him for misbehaving. Aside from that, keep in mind that rewards are not limited to giving treats or foods. Dogs can also see a pat in the back, or simply the absence of a punishment as reward.

There are lots of things that you can do in order to appropriately reward your dog after each training session. Aside from giving him treats, you can also play fetch with him, especially if he shows signs that he wants to do it. This would make him happy, which would contribute a lot in his training progress.

How to deal with punishment

Nagging your dog

Punishing desirable behavior can be confusing to your pet, which is why it should not be practiced. Keep in mind that you may be doing it, even without your intention. For example, if you want your puppy to evacuate outside the house, then you should be with him until he does it. Leaving him alone outside may make him feel that he is being punished, especially if he wants to be with you.

Calling your dog and punishing him is not a good practice, since he has just followed your command. This can make him have second thoughts of approaching you whenever you call him. Thus, only punish your dog, whenever he does something bad. Aside from that, punish him on the instance of showing his undesirable behavior, so that he would know what it is all about.

Whenever you see your dog misbehaving, you should punish him immediately, to put a stop to it. Punishing is not done by hurting your dog. One example of it is to just say “No”, or to stop playing with him, if he gets too physical. Aside from that, you can also leave him by himself, to make him feel that you didn’t like what he has done.

When you punish your dog for misbehaving, you need to keep in mind that it only suppresses it. In other words, it does not eliminate the behavior entirely. Thus, you need to take note that it is still very possible for him to repeat his bad habit again. Monitor his actions all the time, so that you can remind him that misbehaving is not good.

There may be times when you feel that your dog is testing your patience by not following your command during a training session. However, you need to remember that dogs always want to please their masters. In other words, you simply need to spend more time in teaching him about the command, for him to follow it. Do not punish him, since it would just confuse him more.

Finally, A few extra tips…

Be good to your puppy

To build your dog’s motivation in learning new tricks or commands, you have to make sure that he has the desire to spend time with you. With that, you need to build a good relationship with your dog right from the start. Dogs are known as creatures that really want to please their master, and if your dog has grown close to you, then it would do its best to follow your commands.

You need to make sure that your dog is comfortable prior to training him, so that he would respond well. To achieve that, you can let him go out first, to relieve himself, before starting your training session. Aside from that, you can also let him drink a few sips of water, so that he won’t feel thirsty.

There are certain games that you and your dog may enjoy, which can promote undesirable behavior. One of which is by playing tug of war with him, since it can encourage him to pull his leash, bite at clothes, and so on. Think about the game that you are about to play with your dog, so that you can ensure that it only encourages good behavior.

Crate training your dog should be done as soon as you bring him to your house as a puppy. To do it effectively, you need to consider the place where you want to situate the crate, its size, the things that you want to place inside of it, and its bedding. Make sure to place the crate near to you, so that he would be encouraged in going inside. Make the crate as comfortable as possible for your dog, so that he would see it as his own personal place soon.

If it is possible for you to crate train your puppy, then you should do it. This is because crate training can help out in a lot of things such as solving housebreaking problems, barking problems, chewing problems, and even separation anxiety. Aside from that, it would also help you to have more control over your dog.

One of the ways to calm down your dog if he is overly energetic, is to teach him some dog tricks. By teaching him dog tricks, he would be able to channel his energy into something better than simply running around. With that, you should learn how to teach your dog certain tricks to make him happier.

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