Dog training is vital to help your dog understand what’s required of him… remember, dogs can’t speak our language so good training, in a way the dog understands, will help show your dog what you want him to do - and, what you don’t!
Dog training is a necessity if you want to live a harmonious and happy life with your dog. Without basic training your dog won’t know how to behave properly, which could lead to all sorts of problems, and, in some cases, a lack of dog training can be dangerous – particularly where larger breeds are concerned. Before your dog can be trained though, you will need to undergo a little training yourself…
Dog Training Schools/Classes
Dog training schools will actually teach ‘you’ how to train your dog – this is because you will be doing the majority of training yourself at home, hence the dog training school (or the dog training articles) need to make sure you know what to do! Avoid any dog training classes or schools where they seem to take over rather than actually teach you how to train your dog and it’s best to choose a dog trainer that is fully qualified – you can contact the APDT (Association of Pet Dog Trainers) by calling: 01285 810811 to find a registered dog trainer in your area.
Training Articles & Books
If you feel comfortable about learning how to train your dog from dog training books or articles found on the internet, then there are some very good resources you can refer to. We have various dog training articles here on Dogsey and don’t forget there are always the Dog Training sections of our forums where you can post a question if you need other members opinions on a specific matter.
Basics of Dog Training
The very basics of dog training revolve around voicing a command, praising your dog when he does what you want, and giving him a treat (in that order). Consistency is the key, so choose a word for a command and stick to it. “Sit” and “sit down” will sound like different commands to a dog, so it’s best to stick to one word for one command.
NEVER punish your dog by hitting him, not only is it illegal, it does nothing but frighten your dog and could in fact be the cause of some serious behavioural issues which may surface later in life. Needless to say, avoid any dog training schools which you feel are being too harsh or rough with your dog.
A slight variation on the dog training method mentioned above is ‘Clicker Training’. This is where you buy a small inexpensive device called a ‘clicker’ which makes a ‘clicking’ sound when you press it. During training activities, you ‘click’ at exactly the moment your dog carries out the desired action or command - you then praise and treat your dog. The thinking behind this is that it’s easier to pin-point the desired action with a click (because it’s instant) and as the clicking sound is consistent, there’s no confusing your dog. As the click happens exactly at the time your dog carried out the action, it makes it easier for your dog to know ‘why’ he got the treat – thus speeding up the training process.
Make it fun!
Dog training should ALWAYS be fun for your dog, so if you or your dog begin to get tired take a break and come back to it later. Generally to begin with, training sessions last for around 15 minutes, which you increase as your dog gets older and the training progresses – just long enough for the dog not to get bored. It’s common for people to start taking their pups to puppy classes when they reach 6 months old – however you can always start your own training at home well before this.
So.. what can effective dog training teach your dog? Well, the world’s your oyster really! You can teach your dog the usual sit, lie down, up, stay, roll-over, give me paw, etc all within months! You can then go a step further and use hand signals to act as the commands for all the above! You could go on to compete in Dog Agility events or partake in another dog sport by joining a class that specializes in that particular field - there really is little limit to teaching your dog new tricks and commands if done properly and consistently, and in a fun way that the dog looks forward to.
Don’t be disheartened if it seems you are not getting anywhere with your dog training, because it generally takes us longer to learn how to train our dogs than it does for our dogs to be trained! They certainly are clever!
Good luck! Woof Woof!!