Prepare Ahead of Time
You would be surprised how many people start out training unprepared! Do you have your training rewards? How about all other necessary equipment; is it all available? Do you have the required space? Have you chosen an area with limited distractions to get in your way? As in all things, make sure you are fully prepared! The training process will go so much more smoothly if you are.
Allocate the Time When Training A Dog
Training a dog requires patience and time. Some things, like the ‘recall’ (if properly done) will begin to take hold the very first day. You should still reinforce this on an ongoing basis. Other things, like ‘perfect dog walking’ can take weeks to establish, even if done the proper, recommended way. We are kind of reverting the natural process when asking a dog to walk our way.
More importantly, educate yourself! Do your own research so that you know exactly what you are doing! Don’t let some PetSmart trainer, who is probably just doing things some other trainer told them work, tell you what to do. Learn for yourself, or at least research their methods!
Easy VS. Hard
There is an easy, quick approach at dog training, and it is indeed very effective in the short run. And there is a time consuming, sometimes difficult, right way. Not so long ago, perhaps during the time of your grandparents and beyond, people thought it was a good idea to inflict pain and discomfort to teach a dog a lesson. It made sense; no intelligent animal is going to place pleasure over self-preservation; the dogs responded almost immediately.
That form of training also promoted fear and ultimately aggression in the dogs; many trainers were injured, and many dogs were destroyed for responding naturally to the handler’s mistakes. How fair does that seem to you?
Be Patient When Training A Dog
The theory today is- ‘Make the dog to want to behave a certain way, rather than fear the outcome if he doesn’t’. Though training a dog may take a little longer for the associations to be made, the dog is enjoying himself with fun, positive experiences! Not only do you have no danger of creating a fearful animal, this is a perfect opportunity for bonding and socialization!
Consistent, Repetitive, Conditioning
The entire training idea centers on conditioning, requiring constant repetition. Be consistent, and do the same thing every time! In this way, dogs learn like human children. Consider a child learning a language; he needs to hear words spoken a certain way with certain references often enough to form associations. What if we decided to play a trick on our child, and suddenly start replacing ‘the’ with ‘branch’?
- When training a dog, you want everything in the same clear, cut and dry fashion in order to promote correct associations.
- If you reward your dog once, reward every time; that is their incentive to perform (other than the praise you should be offering).