Jordan Walker is the lead content curator for Coops and Cages and other pet-related blog sites. As someone who is very passionate about animals, he has written several articles about the subject matter. In this post, he tackles strategies that can make your dog training easier yet enjoyable.
For every dog owner, having an obedient and a well-behaved canine friend is essential. However, dogs do not simply learn how to sit, stand, or come in just a snap of a finger. You will have to invest time and effort in training your dog.
As soon as they hear the word “training”, some people will immediately associate it with a tedious process that is no fun. While consistency and repetition, the two important keys to a successful training, can kill the fun aspect of an activity, it does not have to be that way all the time, especially with your dog training. You can add up some spice into the process so that you and your dog will not lose the interest or end up frustrated.
Know Your Dog
It is important to know your dog or at least, find out its sweet spot. Rewards are among the things that motivate your dog. By using these repeatedly, eventually, they’ll be able to learn good behavior.
If you know what your dog wants, then you can easily let them do what you want. Although dogs are always eager to please their masters, you should also know how to show your appreciation of their good behavior. And the best way to do it is through giving them rewards.
Start with a Positive and Friendly Approach
It is scientifically proven that a dog’s ability to learn, remember, think, and make choices can be affected by stress, fear and anxiety. Thus, reprimands and punishments, especially when inflicting pain, do no good in the training process.
From the very beginning, you have to keep a positive and friendly approach so that your dog will be constantly motivated to make good choices, especially during the early stages of training.
Take It Easy; There’s Still Tomorrow
This doesn’t mean you should procrastinate. Instead, you should take baby steps. Dogs learn best when the tasks are broken down into smaller parts. Do not overwhelm your canine friend with a very complex skill, especially on the first day. Begin with simple skills at a slower pace, and gradually level up with shorter intervals. If you start with a huge or complicated skill, you and your dog may end up frustrated and losing interest.
Choose a Conducive Training Environment
If your dog is constantly distracted, your training will never advance. You may start inside your house or anywhere quiet and free from distraction. And then, when your dog is getting used to the activity, you may try to change things and take your training to a new location, such as a park.
By doing this, your dog will not just associate training in one specific location. A new environment will surely bring excitement to you both.
Teach Your Dog a New Skill
Consistency and repetition are two essential aspects of dog training. But then again, if your dog has already mastered the same old skills it has been doing since day one, it’s time to try something new, like dog agility. This way, you will be able to keep the interest and the excitement.
Do not Over Do It
In everything that we do, we need to take a break. We need to get the load off our shoulders to avoid getting exhausted. This goes the same with your dog. You don’t want your canine friend to simply shut down. Do not think that taking a break goes against the essence of repetition. In this case, it only means taking a time off from the formal training process. During your come back, it is then when you’ll realize both of you are much more energized, refreshed, and excited to take on some more trainings.
Remember to Always Have Fun
Yes, it’s a training. But remember that trainings should also be enjoyed so that skills will be learned faster and will be retained for as long as possible. A training session should also serve as a time for you and your dog to bond more. Therefore, you have to ensure that both of you are having fun while learning.
Here’s a suggestion. Add in some games, friendly competition with other dog owners, and anything that will make your dog happy.
For some people, dog training is never really exciting because they think it is just a tedious job. While it certainly requires time and effort, it being tedious and boring will depend on you. If you try to keep things light, maintain a positive attitude, and add some new and interesting stuff every now and then, you and your dog will definitely have a great time throughout the training.
Author: Jordan Walker
Jordan is the lead content curator for Coops and Cages as well as a couple of other pet-related blogs. His passion for animals is only paired with his love for “attempting” to play the guitar. If you would like to catch more of him, you can follow his Twitter account: https://twitter.com/JordanWalker82