5 key principals for training your dog

Black and Tan Puggle puppy sitting

Training your dog is a fairly straight forward process and even seemingly complex tricks or behaviours can be taught by most owners at home. There are a few things to keep in mind when training your dog.

 
 

Simplicity

When dogs are taught in simple steps, even complex behaviors are easily learned. Therefore, it is important that you keep things simple to teach him faster. For instance, say you want your Puggle to go back to his crate when a guest arrives. The first thing he needs to learn is the location of his crate, followed by teaching him how to stay in it.

These are the two things you need to focus early on. If your dog learns how to stay within his crate, you can start introducing guests in the home and start teaching him to stay when the guests enter. Breaking a complex behavior into simple steps makes things easier and quicker for your dog to learn.

 Positive Reinforcement

Practice positive reinforcement to motivate your dog to learn faster. You should not yell at your dog if it does not do what you want the first try. Rather, show the dog what you want him to do and how he can do it. This approach is still related to simplicity and follows the reward system. You have to know what the dog enjoys most such as food or praise and give it once he does something good.

Repetition is the Key

Just like any other form of learning, repetition is the key to training especially when it is about something new. Repetition and practice can be used interchangeably in this scenario. However, you need to keep in mind that each dog is unique thus there isn’t really a fixed number of repetitions before the dog learns. You just have to follow the principles of simplicity and positive reinforcement until your dog leans and performs the desired behaviour.

Consistency Builds Behavior

When you are training your dog, consistency is a very important key in building behaviors. It means you have to make rules and stick to them all throughout the training process. Most well-trained dogs are being trained under consistent owners. Without consistency, the dog just ends up confused as to what is expected and does what he wants. This does not reinforce positive behavior but emphasizes bad habits instead. These bad habits get worse over time until they seem almost impossible to correct. If you want your dog to do what you want, you have to be consistent about the rules and reward him for good behavior.

Physical and Mental Exercise

It is important that he is physical and mentally fit. He can only achieve this if you give him all his physical and mental needs. Training your dog can be very exhausting for him and it keeps him in good shape, both mentally and physically. Physical exercise is a great way to burn off some extra energy but providing mental exercise, on the other hand, is a better approach in training the dog. If you give him a 10-minute training session per day, it can be equivalent to about 30-minute physical exercise. Repeating the mental exercise 2 to 3 times in a day is recommended. The session may include standard obedience exercise and teaching new tricks. Incorporating both mental and physical exercise in one session such as learning to retrieve will provide both the mental and physical stimulation to keep your dog well behaved.

 

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