3 Important Dog Training Tips for New Dog Parents
Being a dog parent is a lot of hard work and responsibility. You have to feed it, bathe it, take it to the vet, play with it and give it love. You also have to raise it to conform to acceptable behaviors like not defecating or urinating anywhere and following instructions.
The whole household is better off if the dog can take commands. It’s not going to be an easy ride because training a dog takes a lot of time, effort and patience. However, the end results are wonderful. Below are dog training tips, especially for new dog parents:
I. Decide on house rules
This is important to do early on; if possible, even before you decide to bring a dog home. Decide on what it can or can’t do so you can implement them right away. When you set rules early, you can avoid confusion and inconsistency, both for you and the dog. Use the guide questions below to help you:
- Is it allowed on the couch or the bed?
- Can it go upstairs?
- What parts of the house are off limits?
II. Be clear with your commands
You can say “no” to a dog, but it doesn’t give him much information. Instead, you can give clearer commands. Tell it what to do exactly. For example, when a dog is jumping around out of excitement, a “no” won’t stop it from jumping. A better command is to say “sit.”
Below are some common commands you can teach your dog. When you teach these tricks, make sure you are in an area away from distraction. Even the smallest of things, like a butterfly, can distract your dog.
This command is one of the first things you should teach because it helps you control your dog in any situation.
- Get down on your dog or puppy’s level.
- Hold a treat to its nose and say “sit” as you slowly raise the treat higher than his head. As it lifts its head, it will either lower down its bottom , or move back.
- If it moves back, place your other hand on its end and guide it to a sitting position.
- Praise your dog and give it a treat as soon as it is sitting, even if it was with help.
You will need to repeat the process a few times until your dog masters it. Use the command before meals, before leaving for walks and during times when you want him calm.
Use this command to tell your dog to remain in place.
- First, ask your dog to sit.
- Then, gesture with an open palm of your hand and say “stay.”
- Slowly take a few steps back and reward it with a dog treat and some affection. You can gradually increase the number of steps back you take.
As soon as your dog recognizes its name, you can teach it to respond to “come.” It could potentially help you protect your dog from harm or even if you just want to play.
First, lower yourself to the dog’s level and open up your arms wide and say “come.” If your dog moves towards you, give him verbal affirmation, using a happy voice. When teaching this command, avoid sudden movements that may frighten the dog.
You shouldn’t reach out and grab it because it might cause confusion for the dog. But when it is close enough, you can slowly reach out and offer a stroke and verbal praise.
This command teaches your dog to stay close to you when walking. In an intense and more traditional dog training, it means the dog should walk on your left said, with its head near your knee. However, you can make it more relaxed and comfortable.
If you like, you can say “let’s go” or “forward” instead of heel. Whatever word you choose, be consistent with it to avoid confusion.
- Begin by standing next to your dog while holding the leash. On the opposite hand, hold a squeaky toy and use it to guide our dog while using your command. Move forward while keeping the toy in front of it making it move forward with you while still following the toy.
- If your dog gets distracted, use the toy to get its attention back. Give verbal affirmation if it looks up at you.
- Give the toy to the dog whenever it gives you attention for at least 20-30 seconds. Play for a little bit to ease the tension and give it praise and love.
- You can gradually increase your walking time and slowly stop using the toy. Sooner or later, your dog will enjoy walks with you, even if on a leash.
For some it can be so difficult that they resort to training schools, hunting dog training collars, or even give up on having a dog. However, we encourage you to not give up and be patient.
As we said earlier, training a dog will take time, patience and a lot of effort. But we assure you that in the end, it will all be worth it. You’ll find that having a dog is one of the best things to happen to you.
III. Consistency is Key
You can tell your dog to get off the couch but if someone else is allowing him to stay on it, he’s not going to learn it right away. Consistency is very important especially when you’re expecting a certain behavior from your dog.
Get other family members involved, especially with the rules to avoid confusing your dog and to help the training process.
Having a dog can be stressful at times, especially in the beginning. You have to adjust your routine so your dog gets love and care. At the same time it also has to adjust to your rules and routine.
Every dog and person is different so the training process can vary. However, these three things are basic tips to help start you out. If you have questions and concerns, use the comment section below and we’ll get back to you when we can. Feel free to also share tips and tricks that worked for you.
Written by Liam Lesson from Yourpetland.com