The Importance of Training
Training is an essential component of having a fulfilling relationship with your dog. It strengthens your bond and builds communication; it gives your dog a job and prevents boredom, and it builds confidence on both ends of the leash. A trained dog is a safer dog. A consistent recall could prevent being hit by a vehicle, door manners prevent them from bolting out the door, and impulse control could keep them from eating something possibly toxic. Training decreases or eliminates behavior issues that are the primary reason dogs are relinquished to shelters. Who wouldn’t appreciate a more enjoyable companion who can accompany you to public places and be trusted to remain quiet and well behaved? A well-trained dog is a focused and devoted dog; that’s the dog all of us want.
Key points to remember:
Build a relationship with your dog
- Talk to your dog, walk your dog every day, and spend time with your dog.
- Teach your dog fun tricks.
- Jump into clicker training because positive training helps create a bond.
- Don’t forget that your dog is ALWAYS learning something, whether it be good or bad. Training never stops.
- Dogs live in the moment so timing is everything.
- All rewards or reprimands should be given within one second of the dog’s action.
- If you can’t deliver in that amount of time, don’t deliver at all.
- Dogs are creatures of habit.
- Repeat training even after your dog learns a behavior to keep it fresh in its memory. Learning never ceases.
- It’s better to prevent a behavior than have to correct it later. Prevention is key.
Keep Sessions Short
- It’s about quality, not quantity.
- Always finish training sessions on a positive note.
- Begin training in an area with no distractions.
- As your dog is successful, slowly move to areas with more distractions.
- If your dog begins to have trouble, take a step back to where they were last successful and begin again.
- Don’t be afraid to take these small steps backwards. If you don’t, you’ll take leaps back later.
- Your dog determines the reward.
- Some dogs are motivated by treats, others enjoy toys, and some are happy to work for praise and petting.
- Eye contact is crucial because dogs communicate with each other this way. A dog will look int o your eyes to determine hat you’re asking.
- If you’re training outside, never wear sunglasses. Your dog needs a clear view of your eyes.
Learn more about Clicker Training:
Learn more about Place Training:
Things to remember about place training:
- Keep sessions short. Once relaxed on place, reward your dog by letting them off to play. They’ll soon realize that settling quietly is the key to a reward. Build duration over time.
- Choose a release cue and use it every time. A simple “out” or “off” will do. Give them the cue before asking them to leave place. If you let them leave without the cue, they’ll learn they can exit the defined area whenever they choose. To teach this, say the word while gently encouraging them walk off the bed with your hands.
- For larger dogs, you can use a leash to gently guide them back to place.
- Remain quiet during training. Work in a room with no distractions. Set your dog up to succeed.
- Work on place after a walk or play session. Your dog will be ready to relax.
- Don’t let them break from place and self-reward by getting food, water, or a toy. Place them back on the bed every time!
- Don’t leave the bed you’re using for place training down when your dog has free roam of the house. They could get on the bed then choose to get off on their own. It will condition the act of breaking from place as acceptable.
Learn more about Crate Training:
- Crate Training: A Guide To Getting Your Dog Acquainted To The Crate
- Foolproof Guide To House Training Puppies
- Oopsy! There's a Poopsy! What To Do When Your Dog Has An Accident
Things to remember about crate training:
- Take your dog straight outside as soon as you take them out of the crate.
- Never scold or punish your dog while inside the crate.
- Never force your dog into the crate.
- Keep the crate door open when your dog is not crated and is allowed to access the rest of the home.
- Praise your dog when they enter the crate voluntarily.
- At times, put your dog in the crate to rest when you’re in the room.
- Provide toys inside the crate to reduce boredom.
- Do not allow anyone to taunt or tease your dog while inside the crate.
- Never clean the crate while your dog is watching you.
- Never put your dog in the crate with a collar on or if a leash is attached.