With some basic obedience training you will develop a better relationship with your dog and will prevent tragedy.
Training is a lifetime process and can be started at any age but it happens to be much easier and quicker if training is started as a pup. Although training is an ongoing process it doesn’t have to be formal and should be integrated in your daily routine (ex.: have the dog at a sit/stay when brushing your teeth, have the dog fetching a ball when getting dress, have the dog in down/stay when having your meals, have to dog heeling when you move from one room to the other, etc.)
A good training program will promote the learning of social skills and will develop confidence. Behavior/temperament training and obedience work should be done with training games plus rewards (food, toys, praises…). Pups must be allowed to play with other puppies and dogs and need to interact with a wide range of people, including children.
Remember, it’s so much easier to teach the dog as a pup. You and your new pup will have fun doing it!
- Enrol in local obedience training class to learn the basics.
- If you are not comfortable with the method used for teaching something don’t do it and ask for a different way of doing it. Good instructors have many tricks in their bag of knowledge.
- Training should be fun and rewarding for both you and your dog.
- Training should be part of you daily routine. (see example above)
- At first, start training in a familiar place with less distractions as possible.
- When the dog knows the commands and can perform them repeatedly you can add distractions. You can also start going to different areas.
- Keep your training sessions short and fun.
- Use lots of rewards/praises/toys.
- Be patient and consistent.
- Reward for a good response to a command, the more time the dog is rewarded the quicker the dog will learn.
- It is very important to also reward/praise a good behavior (ex.: no barking when dog is outside, for laying down quietly and chewing his toys instead of your shoes, etc.). Make a point of noticing these good behaviors as well, reward and/or praise will maintain the good behaviors and will prevent problems.
- Words like ‘NO’, ‘Get Off’, ‘Bad Boy’ are too often used and make reprimands meaningless.
- When you need to reprimand get the dog’s attention on something else and reward for that good behavior instead. (ex.: dog chewing your shoes tell him ‘leave it’ and immediately directing the dog to his toys. Praise for this good action.)
- Reprimand word is short and sharp.
- Reprimand only when ‘caught in the act’.