Having a dog is like having a best friend, a baby, and a cuddle partner all rolled into one. However, it is crucial that you start training your dog early on to make the experience more rewarding for you and your new pet. Here are 5 tips for dog training at home.
5 Tips for Dog Training At Home
A dog can make everyday life feel happier and more fulfilling. However, a new dog requires a little more effort on your part, especially if you’re new to it. But even if you’ve had dogs in the past or already have more dogs at your home, it doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be able to handle the new one well.
Just like humans, each dog is different. Therefore, you need to understand your dogs’ unique behaviors and quirks to learn how to handle them.
You may hire a dog trainer to train your dog as well. Yet, taking some time out of your day to teach your dog a thing or two is important. This way, you will also be able to build a stronger bond with your dog.
Here are some things you can try to start your dog’s training at home today.
1. Understand That You’re Dealing with an Infant
Before you start training your new dog, it is vital that you understand your dog’s mental and emotional strengths and weaknesses. Most people are aware that dogs are an intelligent species. This leads to higher expectations when it comes to training them. However, it is important to note that dogs are intelligent when compared to most other animals; they’re not as smart or clever as humans.
Essentially, you’re dealing with an infant or toddler dog, not a miniature adult. It doesn’t matter what age your dog is; it would always remain a baby for the most part. Hence, you should adjust your expectations accordingly. And unless you’re adopting an older dog who was already trained by a previous owner, you’ll have to start from scratch.
2. Create a Distraction-Free Environment
When training your dog, always create a distraction-free environment. Even the most minor distractions can pull your dog out of the zone and delay the training session significantly. Therefore, you want to minimize distractions as much as possible.
If you have the space, try to dedicate a room specifically for dog training. Make sure that this private den is quiet and relatively empty. If you don’t have any such space, train your dog in any empty room in the house and tell your family or roommates to stay out of the area for a while.
3. Dogs Aren’t Born Understanding Language
As much as it seems like dogs can understand what you’re saying, they do not understand the language you’re speaking. Instead, over time, dogs develop an understanding of the sounds and inflections of your words, as well as your body gestures. As a result, it appears as if your dog understands what you’re saying.
If you shout “No!” at a new dog, there is a very low chance they would understand what you mean and drop what they’re doing. Unless they’ve already been trained by their previous, you will have to show them what you want them to do. For this purpose, it is also essential to learn about dogs’ body language.
4. Reward Good Behavior
It is easy to get angry and scold your dog when you get mad. However, this can have a harmful effect on the dog. This won’t actually teach them that their behavior was bad but will make them more fearful of you. Instead of getting harsh when they do something bad, reward them for their good behavior.
Reward-based training is the most effective way of training your dog at home. You’ll be surprised to learn how hard a dog would work for a piece of chicken breast, liver, cheese, or their favorite dog treat. So when you reward them for their good behavior, there is a higher chance they will repeat it in the future.
5. Understand That You Reinforce Your Dog’s Behavior
Is there any annoying habit that your dog possesses? Even if you can’t stand that habit, chances are that you’re the one who caused it. Without even knowing, a lot of dog owners reinforce all kids or undesirable behavior among their pets.
If you leave food unattended on the counter, your dog will get lured by the smell and try to reach it. And if it finds something desirable there, it will make an effort to climb the counter every chance it gets in hopes of finding something else. So if you notice any annoying behaviors in your dog, try to map out what led them to develop the habit in the first place.
However, if your dog was already older when you adopted it, there is a chance that it may already have some bad habits. In this case, you will have to reinforce better habits while slowly edging out the bad ones. It may take some time, but it is possible.
Training a dog can be hard in the beginning. You’re essentially learning how to do things as you go while also ensuring the safety and comfort of your dog. However, once you understand your dog and form a bond with them, things will get easier over time. In the long run, you will be glad you put in the effort to teach your dog all the things it needs to learn.
That being said, having some professional help will also be beneficial. So if you’re planning on adopting a dog in Dallas, consider visiting All Dogs Unleashed. Not only do we provide in-home and outdoor training for dogs of all ages, but we also offer grooming, daycare, and boarding services.