Dog training is a wonderful experience. It feels rewarding, and it gives you and your dog the opportunity to strengthen the bond between you. It’s expected of new human members of a household to conform to certain acceptable behavior while in that house; in the same way, a dog is much better of when it also conforms to behavior that is expected of it.
One thing you have to realize about dogs is that they are actually ready to learn whatever tricks you want to teach them. It is in a dog’s nature to seek the approval of its owner and, if it figures that certain acts and behaviors achieve this, it will readily partake in them. However, it first has to be taught these acts and behaviors. Otherwise, it will just be confused most of the time at your lack of approval.
Of course, there’s a plethora of tricks you can teach your dog, many of them impressive and certain to get cheers from your friends. But there are some basic ones that you simply can’t skimp on. These are tricks you should train your dog to perform before any other. They are important because they make sure things flow smoothly between your dog and the humans of the house.
This one is especially important for dogs that spend most of their time indoors. For such dogs, potty training is absolutely necessary. You obviously don’t want to have to clean after your dog at every turn!
The process, admittedly, isn’t the most fun. You’ll likely be stressed and frustrated a couple of times, and so will your dog. However, as long as you use the proper techniques, and practice a little patience, you’ll love the end result.
Potty training is most effective when a dog is still a puppy. The ideal age is in the 3 to 4-month range. If you do it any earlier, your puppy won’t have developed the right amount of bladder and bowel control to be able to learn effectively. Any later and you’ll spend a lot more time training your dog. That old cliché about not being able to teach an old dog new tricks is a cliché because it’s true!
At the beginning of the training process, confine your dog to a small space, which you will gladly expand as the dog catches on to the training. It can be anything from a crate to a small room. There are also a few points to note:
Mealtimes should be regular – Your puppy should be on a regular feeding schedule during the training period so that it’s easier to catch onto the pattern. That means you can’t be giving it snacks when it’s not mealtime!
Take your puppy out frequently – You should offer your puppy plenty of opportunities to go outside and do its business. You can take it out for a morning walk when you wake up as well as after every meal and also after it takes a nap.
Be consistent – Taking your dog to the same spot every time you go out is a great way to get it to do its business as it will quickly recognize its own scent when it gets to the same spot where it conducted its business the previous day.
Always be present – Be sure to be around while your dog takes a toilet break. Be there until it’s done with the toilet business or at least until it’s obvious it isn’t ready to go just yet.
Reward regularly – Praise your dog every time it does its toilet business. You can even offer it a treat or, since we said no snacks between meals, do something with it that it finds enjoyable.
Training your Dog to obey
Basic obedience is a necessary trait for your dog to have. It’s cool on its own since it’s fun to be around an obedient dog. However, the more important purpose is to avoid your dog acting out of hand, especially when around unfamiliar people.
There are many different levels of obedience you can reach with your dog, but the basics will always be necessary.
Teaching your dog to sit – This will allow you to control your dog in whatever situation.
Teaching your dog to drop – This command allows you to tell the dog to drop whatever it is holding in its mouth, thereby saving it from harmful objects.
Teaching your dog to heel – This command tells your dog to stay close, whether or not it is on a leash.
Teaching your dog to stay – This command gets your dog to stay calm and still in one place.
Teaching your dog to come – This command gets your dog to immediately approach when you command it to. This is best taught as soon as the dog recognizes its own name when it is a puppy.
Of course, you should remember to use positive reinforcement as you teach your dog each of these tricks for maximum effectiveness.
Teaching your dog these simple tricks will make everyone happy, including your dog, as it will be happy to please you.