Dog obedience training

Wondering if you are ever going to be able to come home and not scream your head off because your dog ate your cushions, AGAIN?! I am pretty sure you've tried yelling in his face to tell him no. Pillows are not edible. You don't speak dog language well.

Having an obedient dog is any dog owner's dream. In the next 10 minutes, this short read is going to turn you into the Piped Piper for dogs. Dog training 101 is about to begin. You can thank me later.

Best tips and tricks for training dogs|Obedience training for dogs

Dogs are known to be their best when they have a routine and set boundaries. Research has shown that well trained are healthier and happier than untrained dogs. Without dog training, a dog does not know how to behave.

Obedience training is an experience to equip you with the power to be the puppet master and your dog the puppet. But not in any cruel or abusive and unusual way. When appropriately done, obedience training will create an incredible bond between you and your dog.

There are different options one should consider when thinking of dog training.

  • The first is DIY dog training. For the sake of clarity, DIY stands for do it yourself, which is when you train your dog at home.
  • The second option is taking your dog for Dog Training Classes. This is a training process where a certified professional trains dogs in a class with five or more other dogs and their owners. (Classes may vary in size depending on each trainer)
  • The third is hiring a professional dog trainer for private one on one training sessions. These you can schedule according to your time preference.
  • The last option is sending your dog to a boarding school with a trainer. Lol, yes, boarding school.

Why is obedience training important?

Listening and taking orders is fundamental. This is what obedience training is all about. Making life easier for both the pet and the owner. Look at it as teaching your dog communication skills.

The more a dog is trained, the easier it is for it to fit into social settings and environments. Training your pet obedience will give you a sense of peace because you know your animal will not bark, bite or harm anyone for no reason. Training your pet is important because animals thrive when they have a routine and are controlled.

What is the basic obedience training for dogs?

In basic dog training, there are two methods used.

The first is known as the reward-based method. The second is the aversive-based method. Both these methods are known to work wonders. So whichever one you choose to run with will not disappoint.

The Reward-Based Method

These methods use a reward only for the behaviours that you want your dog to follow. This training process uses rewards each time your dog does something you have told it to do.

Things like belly rubs, yummy dog treats, or other actions that your dog enjoys can be used to reinforce that their behaviour was exemplary. 

Aversive-based method

Some dog trainers will opt for this method for obedience training classes because it is also a disciplinary form of training. This training uses positive punishment and negative reinforcement techniques with your dog. A little confused? Let me explain.

In aversive-based training, techniques like loud and unpleasant noises, harsh scoldings, and physical corrections are used to get your dog to do as you please. This treatment may seem a little rough but works perfectly with stubborn dogs.

Basic Dog training commands

You should train your dog to come to you as and when you called it, and as soon as possible. Come is one of the most important of the basic commands.

For most dogs, the sit command is most straightforward for your dog to learn after come. After come and sit, you can train your dog to lie down on command.

Once your dog has mastered these dog training basics, you can now move on to advanced and fun tricks.

Every professional trainer works with The American Kennel Club's five basic commands. It is a rule that every dog should know them after the class sessions are done.

The commands are:

  • Heel
  • Stay
  • Sit
  • Come
  • Down

At what age can I start obedience training for my dog?

Formal dog training like guard dog training is commonly held off until six months of age. The older the dog gets, the better his attention span. However, catching them young is the best way to go about it. Puppies have the intelligence and attention span of a two-year-old human baby. The most focus they can give you is about 10 to 18 minutes on a good day. Because of this, puppy training is best advised to start anywhere between seven and eight weeks of age.

DIY |What you need to know when training your dog

Training your dog without the help possible. You need to follow a few steps, and over time, your furry friend will be a well-trained ball of joy. You will need some things to make the process manageable.

Equipment

Basic training does not require many items, but a few basic supplies will help make the process more convenient and practical.

Choose a dog harness or collar that is fitting and comfortable for your pet. There are an of collars to choose from online and in stores.

You will also need dog training food treats that your dog enjoys and are quickly devoured so that the reward is more instant. Home-made treats also do the job well.

Understand How Your Dog Learns

It is often said there is no foolish dog, just an uneducated owner. Dogs are a lot like human beings, well, more like human babies. Canines are very intelligent and can be taught many skills from a young age. But just like babies, they only care about immediate results. And again, like an infant, your dog has a specific formula that works best for his mental stimulation.

To have a well-behaved dog, you must understand the correct way to teach them good behaviour. Some breeds are more intelligent than other breeds and can master and respond to up to 250 words. But a little secret that most people do not know is that dogs primarily react to the tone of voice and not words. I bet you didn't know that.

Scientists recognize three types of dog intelligence:

  • Adaptive
  • Working and obedience
  • Instinctive
Adaptive

Adaptive learning is how well your dog will learn to solve problems from the things surrounding him and the environment.

Working and Obedience

This refers to how well they learn the challenges and commands that they are taught.

Instinctive

Instinctive learning is when your dog masters the behaviours they were born or bred with.

Choose a Method of training.

Training styles may differ slightly, but most trainers agree that dogs respond best to positive reinforcement in the form of treats they enjoy or praises. 

One widespread training method used, known as the clicker training method, employs conditioned reinforcement. Meaning the dog is given items used as rewards for behaviour that the trainer wants from the dog.

When you are planning out your training methods, don't forget about the ever so important socialization.

NB* A common mistake that many make when training is punishing the dog during training. Be sure to be patient and be slow to anger. Quickly losing your temper and showing anger will confuse your dog, especially if you are using the positive reinforcement training method.

Plan your sessions

Well-planned training sessions will allow both you and your pup to get the correct amount of basic commands on lock, at the same time allowing you to spend time together and bond.

Training sessions with your dog should not last past 10 to 15 minutes. Each session should be repeated two to three times daily. This is particularly true for small puppies, as I mentioned, because of their short attention spans. Longer sessions can cause any dog to become bored.

When training your dog, stick to one action or cue per training session so that your dog is not confused.

Try to end sessions on a good high note. In time, successful training will be achieved with patience and consistency.

Professional training

A professional dog trainer can be your saving grace if you are anything like me. Impatient. Love the results, but hate having to put too much of the heavy lifting.

Professionals use different methods to achieve results. Let's jump into it.

Attend Group classes

Group classes are the perfect way to save money for anyone looking to train their dog in an environment with other dogs and pet parents.

Group class has the same basic cues and commands as all other home or private sessions.

Socialization is taught in these classes. Your dog learns how to concentrate on his learning while in new environments with other dogs.

The first class will be challenging, seeing as controlling the dogs will be hard. But trainers will be there to teach how to handle the dogs.

Taking your young pup to this type of class will be beneficial to his behaviour. Teaching him socialization from an early age is a great trick.

Board and Train

The board and train method is a type of dog behaviour training. It usually happens at a certified dog training facility. Dogs stay there for anywhere between a couple of days up to several weeks. This all depends on the program the dog is on.

A dog trainer trains dogs on the program. They work with your dog to teach it the basics and address some common behaviour problems, e.g. separation anxiety.

At the end of the agreed amount of time, the dog's owner picks them up and takes them home. The trainer must now spend some time with the dog and his parents. This is so the owner can learn to handle the dog.

If you are considering board and training, please be sure to find referrals for any institution you may choose. And make sure they are licensed and have a good reputation.

How to train a dog with a specific behaviour

Positive reinforcement is known to be one of the best training methods. But does it help with a problematic dog? Imagine your dog likes to jump up at people when they come through the gate or even the house door.

Of course, it's cute, and we don't mind it; it is also very dangerous if you have a toddler. The baby could be knocked over, and that in itself gives me all sorts of horror movie flashbacks.

If you're wondering how you will ever train a dog with a behaviour, here is a tip. One of the best methods is to give your dog praise, treats or affection.

Remember that the most important and best reward to give them is what they want the most.

You need to know what makes your dog happy the most. Food will work much better than praises if your pet is a foodie (motivated by food). If your dog loves your attention, then affection might be the best gift for that dog.

Dog Leash manners

When you train your dog on the fundamentals of obedience, do not leave out this small but essential course. Dog leash manners refer to things that you do not want your dog to do while on the leash.

You train your dog on this to avoid behaviours such as;

  • Not to pull or drag you.
  • Dogs, kids, or even people should not distract them.
  • Be well aware that a small dog can pull on a leash too hard and injure its neck. A big dog can draw on the leash and drag you along with him. All I am saying is size does not matter.

FAQ

Is a leash necessary?

A leash/collar helps in situations where you need to leave the house and go out. If your dog is not trained correctly in socialization, it could be an absolute disaster. Imagine trying to take a walk to the park, and your dog keeps chasing other animals and people.

There are off-leash manners that you can teach your dog. This is detailed training. It is very different from the obedience skills your dog needs to run around the yard and house.

Dog training|How much does it cost?

We can begin with the national average cost, which is $50 per session.

Dog obedience training schools cost between $200 and $600 per week. Boot camp kennel training goes for $500 to $1,250 per week.

What type of leash should I use?

The bigger your puppy, the thicker and more prolonged the leash should be. The length of your dogs' leash will affect how far your pup has to roam. I suggest a shorter leash if you are still in the early days of the training process.

 Trainer VS Behaviorist. What are the differences?

An animal behaviourist is a person with an advanced college education and expertise in domestic animal behaviour. They teach the pets owner why the pet is behaving how he is. They make detailed recommendations on how to change the behaviour.

They also have a lot of scientific, research, and medical knowledge. Which means they can recommend veterinary medicine if the need be.

A trainer is a behaviour counsellor or called a pet therapist. They all possess different levels of knowledge and experience. Many of the trainers are self-taught through research and reading. Others go for professional classes. Dog trainers show knowledge of canine care and husbandry, teaching skills, and behaviour. Trainers can not recommend any veterinary medicine.

Does your dog have any of the following discipline issues?

Are you on the brink of taking your dog to a homeless shelter because you've had it up to here with the rotten behaviour?

Hold on, friend. Maybe your pup is just going through something. And because we don't really speak the same language, getting it across to you is a little bit of a challenge.

Here is a list of bad dog behaviours and how you can solve them.

  • Barking excessively

This is usually how dogs express themselves. Your dog could be excited, bored, anxious or trying to warn you of danger.

Solution

Teach your dog quiet and bark commands. This may take a while but consistency in the training and patience will pay off.

2.Digging

  • Almost all dogs dig at some point. Other breeds are more prone to this habit because of genetics. Other dogs dig because of fear, boredom, excess energy and even Anxiety.

Solution

Try and understand the cause of the digging, then work to eliminate the reason. Try exercises with your dog. Quality time with your pet will help and more training. Part of the training should include showing the dog how to dig only a specific spot or area.

3.Separation Anxiety

This is the most common behavioural problem. It shows up as excessive barking, howling, destruction of furniture and defecating in the house.

Solution

The best solutions include desensitization exercises. In some situations, medication may be recommended. Advanced methods of training e.g behaviour modification programs will be used.

Conclusion

Keep in mind that good behaviour comes from good communication and understanding of your puppy. Puppies need a little time to grow before you start to train them because of their short attention span.

To build a stronger bond between you and your puppy, try to train them yourself and they will grow to love, respect and obey you. Any good behaviours must be rewarded. A long walk is good for both your health and your dogs' socialization behaviors.

Also very important to consider is potty training for older dogs and puppies

There are many ways to train pets including personal trainers if you feel the barking will get to you. Many owners take their pets to classes for training.

Do not forget to take your puppy for regular veterinarian visits to ensure their health is in check.

I hope I kept it short and sweet and kept my promise to spill all the good tips to help you control your dog on this training journey. Good Luck.

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