Tips for successful dog training

Training your dog isn’t rocket science. However, it requires discipline and perseverance on the part of you AND your dog. Here are some key training tips for success for both you and your dog: 1. Partnership. You are your dog are a partnership, not a competition. Naturally, you are the teacher and he is the student, but you are both working toward the same goal. You need to continually and frequently interact and practice with your dog in order for the lessons to be reinforced and remembered.

2. Attitude is everything. It costs nothing to praise your dog, so praise him frequently. Not just when he does something spectacular, but even for something as simple as just paying attention to you, or sitting quietly when asked. Just think how you’d feel if all you ever heard was correction and a stern voice from a teacher or boss. Well-timed praise will go a long way in your dog’s training process.

3. Fairness. If you don’t understand what’s expected of you, imagine how frustrated you would become. The same goes for your dog. Make sure he understands what you expect of him, and be sure any punishment fits the crime. Don’t release your anger on your dog. A correction can be as simple as withholding praise. Before punishing your dog, be sure to ask yourself if you are being fair.

4. Consistency is key. Imagine learning a foreign language. If today your teacher tells you the word for “blue” is “azure” but the next day he tells you the word for “blue” is “rock” and then the next day the word for “blue” is “orange” — well, let’s just say you’re never going to learn the language this teacher is teaching you. Remember, keep your training consistent, always use the same language when training your dog. If you mean “sit” don’t say “down.” If you mean “down” don’t say “No!” It’s especially important that “sit” ALWAYS means “sit” and not just when you’re in a training session, but every single time. And always the FIRST time you say it, not when you’ve repeated it several times.

5. Slow and steady wins the race. It’s important to take it slowly, but you should always try to build on his learning. Teaching him to sit is an important first step, but next teach him to sit until you tell him he can move…..gradually building until you can actually leave the room and he will remain seated until you have released him from his sit.

6. Never ending story. Dog training is about more than completing a training class. Dog training is never over. It is a constant, ongoing process of teaching, practicing, reinforcing, and correcting. As a dog owner, you must constantly be training. The lessons you and your dog have learned in training class or at home must be used over and over in your dog’s everyday life so that they are never forgotten.Just like humans, your dog’s training must constantly be refreshed, or he will forget it. Do you remember learning Algebra? If your 7th grade son asked you to help him with an Algebra problem today, and you haven’t done an Algebra problem since you received your high school diploma, chances are, you’re going to have forgotten most of the Algebra basics. If you don’t use it, you lose it. The same with dog training.