Dog Training Education Month: Effective Training Practices
Each February, we celebrate Dog Training Education Month. Now is the best time to learn about the best training practices! Knowing how to simplify training can make life so much easier for you and your dog. A trained dog is normally a happier dog, and a trained dog is less likely to bite or have other behavioral issues. Take advantage of these simple, yet effective training tips to make the most out of your relationship with your furry companion.
Pretty much everything about your dog’s behavior is related back to how your dog is environmentally conditioned. They will develop a learned behavior over time with what you are consistent with, so it is important to get all household members on the same page. If you say “down” when they jump and someone else is saying “off”, while another is allowing it, the mixed messages will only confuse your dog. Everyone must take consistency seriously in order to see any progress.
Your dog must be clear on what is expected of them. Be as direct as possible with what you want your dog to do. For example, if you tell your dog “no” during greeting jumps, they still aren’t sure what they should do. Your dog may just assume they are jumping incorrectly and needs to jump in a different direction. Instead, provide them with a command of what they should do, such as “sit”.
Be patient with your dog. Training takes time and requires realistic expectations. Eliminating the most common unwanted behaviors (such as barking and digging) often takes the most time to perfect. Also, addressing behaviors that you were previously fine with will take longer to set in stone. Keep in mind that consequences must be given immediately after the action takes place. Stay consistent, direct, and patient. You will get what you reinforce, and the sooner you do the reinforcing the easier it will be.
Is your dog a leash puller? It is common for dogs of every breed to get a little too excited to be getting out of the house. You may want to use a clicker, verbal commands, or a treat to assist you in training your dog not to pull. Try not to overstimulate your dog before leaving. You may want to have them sit for you to open the door, and sit periodically for them to be able to get what they want.
Using treats as a reward is another effective way to train. Your dog will do what works for them. You can also use the environment around you, and think of every interaction as an opportunity for reinforcement. Be sure to reward your dog for good behavior frequently with praise, touch, games, and walks.
To avoid destructive behavior, let your dog know they must gradually earn freedom in the home. Block off rooms when necessary, so they will gain the respect for the space provided to them.
There are many reasons a dog may bite, and it’s not always 100% preventable. In addition to financially protecting dog owners from dog bite claims, our Canine Liability Policy also covers other injuries to people, including scratches and fall injuries caused by dogs and injuries to other animals. Please contact us today for more information at (407) 865-7477, ext. 101.