For most people, training a dog becomes a subject in their life when they cannot cope with some challenging behaviors that the dog shows. They hinder the harmony existing in the dog’s relationships with the owner, other dogs, or other people.
And yes, you would like the training, first and foremost, not to cause physical or psychological damage to your beloved pet. The second requirement is that the training should work. So you can observe a change in the dog’s behavior and attitude.
#1 Get a Balanced View on Training
Training based entirely on punishment was popular in the past. Trainers corrected behaviors such as jumping at people, nipping, or digging holes through physical measures that involved slapping or forcing the dog in one way or the other to cause him discomfort and even pain.
Given the desire to avoid this legacy of improper training, today’s training methods are moving in the opposite direction. Frequently pet lovers deny any idea of correction or punishment. They claim that the behaviors the dog exhibits are only unacceptable for humans, and we should leave dogs as they are without trying to “humanize” them.
There should be a balanced view on this matter as punishments and rewards exist in nature. Using correction in a balanced and not cruel way, you can let your dog understand clearly that certain behaviors are harmful and should be avoided.
#2 Understand Dogs Have Training Needs
By balanced training, you can establish a clear structure and ground rules for all members of the relationship, which will help the dog feel safer within your home. Dogs are pack animals. They crave leadership.
If you do not provide balanced training and leadership to your dog, this will make him feel anxious and want to take charge. Behaviors like jumping at people, barking at passers-by, running first through open doors, and pulling on the leash indicate that.
#3 When to start the training?
The training begins as soon as your dog is home. Some dog owners are concerned about starting training for their puppy too early, so they wait for some time. Others refrain from training their pets because they say they are too old to take in any training.
Once your puppy is home, it is time to start training. Today’s training methods are not as rough as in the past, and young puppies can benefit enormously from them. It is also never too late to start training.
“Every time you interact with your dog, you teach her something.”
People misunderstand the training process, but every time you interact with your dog, you are training her something. Often, dog owners are teaching their pets all the wrong lessons, and they are not even aware they are teaching anything!
#4 Are you training your dog wrongly?
You train your dog wrongly whenever you leave an inappropriate behavior without consequence. This way, she learns she can engage in the behavior without any result.
Another example of wrong training is giving a consequence that is not significant for the dog. If you refrain from petting your dog as a form of correction, and the dog does not care much about petting, this won’t work.
You also give your pet confused signals when you are not consistent with your training. If you object when your dog jumps at you when you are dressed up for work but do not protest when you are wearing more casual clothes, the dog would not know if jumping at you is appropriate behavior for you or not.
#5 Learn Basic Terms on Dogs Training
Here are some basic terms that will help you to understand the dog training world better:
This is the need, drive, and desire that makes your dog do something. It can be positive or negative. Here are some examples for both:
Positive: walks, attention, petting, rubs, food treats, playing with toys, going outside, scratches
Negative: corrections, not getting food treats, raising your voice, loud noise, citronella spray, being ignored, losing toys
Positive – This provides a positive stimulus when your dog engages in the correct behavior.
Negative – consists in removing something unpleasant the moment they adopt the correct behavior.
It must be something meaningful for the dog to get or to avoid
This is a penalty imposed as a result of wrongdoing. This, for sure, must be associated with the behavior, not the person performing it, and by any means, it must not cause physical or emotional harm. A punishment stimulus is a consequence of particular behavior. It will decrease the likelihood of that specific behavior occurring again. Again, it must be meaningful for the dog.
This is something the dog wants to avoid – like a correction – presenting a negative consequence to an undesirable behavior the moment the dog engages in the unwanted behavior. This requires practice and timing. Punishment after the behavior has been done will be ineffective and counterproductive. It is advisable to seek the aid of a professional trainer to get this right.
This is removing from the dog something desirable the moment she engages in improper behavior. It can be refraining from petting, giving toys, or a treat.
Here are just a few essential tips for starting training your dog. Every dog is unique, and it might respond differently to different stimuli. It requires work, dedication, and a lot of love to learn and grow with your four-legged friend. Suppose you are determined to take on this journey together. In that case, you can explore the topic further or visit a dog school nearby where you can get professional advice from an experienced trainer.