Whether it is about puppies, or an old dog learning a new trick, we often get questions about training. Here is a brief overview of the basics of training and three key points to know before you get started.
1. CONSISTENCY is Key!
The key to ensuring your training is successful is consistency! Make sure that every time you give a command, it must be done in the same way. When first starting, make sure a successful command is rewarded. In addition, make sure all family members and other people around the dog are on the same page when it comes to training. Having several people training the dog differently will hinder the training process, often leading to unsuccessful training.
2. Positive reinforcement
A major mistake many dog owners make is punishing their dog when they have done something wrong. This can lead to detrimental consequences including fear and aggression. Never hit your dog or use a kennel as punishment. Instead of punishing your dog for when he has done something wrong, reward him when he has done something right. This reward will reinforce that correct behaviour since Fido has now created a connection between good behaviour action and a sweet treat, a toy or head scratches.
Of course, training will take patience for both you as an owner, and for your dog. Remember, he is just learning! Learning takes time! If feeling frustrated, take a break – chances are if you are feeling discouraged so is your dog.
There are also many options for training and socialization classes in and around Edmonton. There are group classes, private training and some trainers may even come to your home. Make sure you do the homework assigned by your trainer! And remember consistency, positive reinforcement and patience! Have questions about training and behaviour? Contact us today!
Written by: Jessica Sirovyak, RAHT