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If you want to create a meaningful relationship with your dog, you need to take time to train him. The training process keeps your pup mentally stimulated and strengthens the bond you share with him. Although training can be intimidating and overwhelming at some points, it's worth implementing to ensure your dog is well-mannered. Here are four of the most effective training methods for you to try.
If you just got a puppy, you know how difficult it is to get your pup to walk on a leash. Your puppy may pull on the leash, chew on it or lunge at other animals, all of which are indications that training is required.
Consider trying long leash training, a process that requires you to use a leash that's between 15 and 30 feet long. This training aims to teach your dog to obey your verbal cues when on or off the leash.
During leash training, make your dog feel like he has room for exploration by giving him some extra rope. However, you need to limit where he can go, so it's best only to give him a little bit of slack. When you call him to come to you, use treats for positive reinforcement. Keep extending the distance he can go to make sure he is handling recall from distances that are farther away. Once he masters this skill (and any other skills you're training him to do), he will be ready to transition to an off-leash status in safe and appropriate areas such as a dog park or your backyard.
If you want to try clicker training, use a clicking device when your dog exhibits good behavior. The click needs to come directly after the desired behavior is accomplished. Make sure you pair the click with a treat. Dogs are intelligent; even though it may take some time, your dog will begin to associate specific behaviors with clicks and these clicks with rewards.
Once your dog understands the click method, introduce verbal cues. Begin by using the cues with the click sound every time. Then, slowly fade the clicker out and continue saying the desired command until the clicker is a thing of the past.
Another valuable form of training is positive reinforcement. If you want positive reinforcement to be successful, you need to convince everyone in your household to participate and be consistent during training. This type of training works by rewarding good behavior with praise, toys or treats immediately so your dog realizes that there's a connection between certain behaviors and rewards.
Another part of positive reinforcement is that you don't acknowledge your pup's bad behavior. Ignore this conduct unless it needs to be corrected. The way to punish poor behavior is to take rewards away, such as your pup's favorite toy. Yelling at or striking your dog are never necessary or helpful reactions when addressing poor behaviors.
Dogs love to play, and people love to play with their dogs! While training is a serious topic, why not make it fun? Get your dog engaged in a game of fetch with his favorite toy. Calling him back to you allows him to practice the recall command. When he comes back, reward him for his excellent behavior. If he drops the toy at your feet, that's another action worth recognizing.
If you want to practice your dog's abilities to sit, stay and come, engage in a game of hide and seek. Choose your pup's favorite squeaky toy and hide with it. Let your dog discover your location by squeaking the toy. Once your dog finds you, reward his hard work with the toy, treats and extra cuddles.
Don't view training as a complicated process; instead, consider it valuable time spent with your pup. Although some parts of the training process will be more challenging than others, as long as you push forward, you will have a well-trained dog in no time.