How to train your dog?
Most people love to have dogs as their lovely companions. However, the enjoyable moments become unpleasant when you fail to train your dog in the right manner. Dogs are close in intelligence to human two-year-olds and learn a lot like little kids. The trainers recommend dog training based on positive reinforcement by giving rewards for doing right. Fair training is an essential part of owning a dog and can be started at any age. It builds confidence, provides mental stimulation, and strengthens the human-animal relationship. Let’s learn in detail.
Top training tips
Focus on reward-based training
Reward-based training uses treats, praise, toys, and play as motivators to teach your pet some basic as well as advanced tricks. This type of training is the best way to teach your dog something new. Because it is not only effective and simple but also enhances your relationship with your dog.
Avoid punishing your dog
Punishment-based training is not advised because it can lead to other problems, such as anxiety and a poor relationship between you and your pet. As your pets behave out of fear, rather than making new connections between rewards and behaviors.
Choose a quiet place to train your dog
Always start lessons for new tricks in a quiet room in your house away from any distractions. It helps you and your dog to concentrate more on the training session.
Focus on short but regular training sessions
Break your training up into short but regular sessions so your dog isn’t overwhelmed. Limit them to 15 minutes. Focus on one task or behavior so that they do not become confused.
Train yourself to control your mood swings
Just like kids, different breeds learn differently and at different rates. Adjust your own behavior and attitude to encourage your dog’s ability and confidence to learn. If the dog becomes afraid of your bad mood, she/he will not learn anything new.
Give immediate rewards
You must praise or reward your dog within 2 seconds of a desired behavior to reinforce that behavior. If you wait too long, s/he will not associate the reward with the action you asked him to perform.
Small treats help motivate your dog to learn his/her training. When teaching a difficult or important command, use a high-value treat to raise the stakes for him/her.
Give your dog’s favorite treats as a reward
It’s important to find out what your dog really likes and what their favourite things are. Favourite treats are often small pieces of meat or cheese. The better the reward, the more your dog will enjoy training and learning.
Train on an empty stomach.
Don’t feed as large a meal, as usual, a few hours before training your dog. The more your dog wants the treat, the more focused she/he’ll be on the training.
Avoid confusion in commands
Make sure everyone uses the exact commands your dog learns in training. For example, if you are training your dog not to jump on people, don’t let the kids allow the dog to jump all over them. This will undermine all the training you’ve done.
Moreover, use the same commands for the behaviors that you want. If you use the same word but insert it into sentences differently every time you say it, your dog may not understand. For example, if you want to train your dog to lie down, you will confuse them if you say “Lie down” one session and then say “Fido, lie down or no treat” later in the day. This may create a lot of confusion and your dog will be unable to learn anything in this session.
Teach one command at a time.
Trying to teach it more than one command at a time can confuse your dog, because it may not understand what behavior is being rewarded. Wait until your dog has mastered one order before moving on to the next.
Always end training on a positive note.
Don’t scold your dog with high tones, if the training session did not go well and your dog didn’t catch on to a new command. The best is to end every session in praise to make training a good experience for your lovely friend. You can also end the training session with a command s/he’s already mastered and praise your dog.
There are five important commands that every dog should know: sit, stay, lay down, come, and heel. If you give your dog good training in the basic commands, you set the groundwork for future advanced training.
Train your dog to “Sit”
“The sit command means the dog’s hips are on the ground while the shoulders are upright. The dog should remain in position until released.” The goal is for the dog to learn that when you give the ‘sit’ command, it is time to pay attention or calm down.
- Stand upright in front of your dog.
- Get your dog’s attention, looking right in his/her eye.
- Say “Fido sit,” while holding a treat above the dog’s nose.
- As soon as she or he sits, say “Yes!” and deliver the treat.
- As your dog learns the verbal command, replace the treat with hand signals.
- Repeat until your dog responds to your command every time.
Train your dog to the command “Stay”
“This command means to remain in position while the owner walks away from the dog and the dog holds still until he’s released.” The “Stay” command is one of the most important dog commands that can keep your dog out of dangerous situations and can save his/her life.
- Start your training with your dog in the “sit” position.
- Hold the dog’s collar, place your open hand in front of your dog’s face and say “dog’s name, stay!”
- Wait two seconds.
- If the dog stays in place, say “Yes!” and give a reward.
- If she gets up, say “Oops!” and start again with the “sit” command and proceed again to “stay”.
- Repeat this until your dog stays in place for at least ten seconds and then praise it.
- When your dog learns this command well, you can start to increase the length of stay time.
- You should also have a certain command to release your dog from the stay such as “okay!” This way, your dog knows when it can move.
Train your dog to the command “Down”
“In dog training, the down command means to lie down on the floor or ground and hold that position until released.”
Down” is usually combined with “stay,” and is meant to be a stronger command.
Start again with your dog in a ‘sit’ position.
Hold your left hand above your dog’s head, palm toward the floor, and say “dog’s name, down!”
Hold the treat in your right hand.
If your dog does not complete the task gently pull out his front legs until both bum and elbows are on the floor, say “Yes!” and deliver the treat.
Train your dog to come when called.
“The come command in dog training means stop what you’re doing, ignore distractions, and go directly to the owner.” The “come” command is also known as “recall.”
- Like training for other basic commands, begin with your dog in a “sit” position.
- Gently pull the dog towards you while saying “[dog’s name], come!”
- Make sure to say in a more encouraging voice than you use for other commands, as you want the dog to want to come to you.
- When your dog reaches you, praise it using the phrase “Good come!” Plus, give him or her a nice pet on the head, showing the dog that you are appreciative of what it just did for you.
Train your dog to “heel”?
“The definition of the heel is for your dog to be at your left side, walking parallel to you with no more than six inches between you. The right side of your dog’s head is lined up with your left leg.”
- Once your dog has been trained to command “sit”, “stay”, “down” and “come”, begin taking your dog on regular walks with a leash.
- Discourage pulling by stopping immediately, when she/he starts pulling. Don’t take another step until the dog comes to your side and focuses his/her attention on you.
- Start walking in the opposite direction and encourage your dog to come with you. Once she/he’s caught up, praise and treat your dog.
- Use an enthusiastic voice when changing directions, and lavish him with praise when he comes back to your side.
Once the dog walks consistently at your side, you can give the behavior a name, like “heel” or “let’s go.”
How to train your dog “not to bark”?
If your dog barks at you when you don’t want him/her to, just ignore him/her until he/she stops, and then reward him/her with praise. Sometimes they bark at you for attention, while other times it may be out of frustration.
Do not throw a ball or toy. This only teaches him/her that if he barks, she/he’ll get you to do something s/he wants.
Don’t yell at the dog to be quiet, as this rewards him/her with attention.
How to train your dog “not to jump”?
A dog that likes to jump up to greet its humans when they come into the house can be dangerous for an older adult. To train them not to jump up at you, do not greet them or give them attention if they jump up. You should turn around, walk back out the door, and continue doing this until the dog doesn’t jump up. Keep a treat in your hand while you do this.
When the dog doesn’t jump, give them the treat, and repeat the task until your dog doesn’t jump up when you come in.
How to train your dog to “hi-five”?
Start by encouraging your dog to lift its paw off of the ground by giving it a treat. Next, put a treat in your hand and encourage your dog to use its paw to try to grab the treat out of your hand. Give your dog a treat as a reward when it does. Repeat this many times till behavior resembles giving a hi-five.
Invest in a clicker device to train your dog in some advanced commands
It helps reinforce the dog’s learning speed of good behavior. Click the clicker device, then immediately give the dog a treat. This creates a positive association with the click sound. Later, that sound will “mark” a behavior as correct so the dog knows that she/he did something right.
For example, before you ever teach your dog the “sit” command, give the click sound, a treat, and praise when you find him/her sitting. Similarly, you can also use a clicker device to train your dog to other commands.
- Always start training your dog with basic obedience like sitting, waiting, and coming back when called. It gives them the freedom to do the things they like to do.
- Dogs are intelligent animals and most love to learn, so training can be a great way of stopping them from getting bored.
- Avoid training your dog if you’re in a hurry or aren’t clear about what you want to achieve.
- Repetition is key to your dog’s learning, and following the command. The goal to train your dog is to follow your command no matter what he/she is doing when you give it.