Dog training is the most important thing you can do for your dog, especially if you are dealing with a new puppy. Training your dog establishes your dominance over your dog – the sooner this happens, the better!
You can prevent many behavioral problems that your dog may have later, by training a dog out of some of these tendencies before they begin.
The following paragraphs on dog training are the more general methods of training dogs. The links at the bottom of the page will guide you to more specific problems you may need to remedy, along with any dog breed specific training information.
Main Principles of Dog Training
To be effective, any training method needs to follow some basic principles to ensure its success. These principles are outlined below.
Consistency and Repetition
Consistency and repetition are the building blocks that you MUST use when training a dog. Consistency provides the building blocks, and repetition will hold your training program together.
Consistency when training dogs means using the same commands over and over again, using the same praises and corrections each time, keeping your voice tones consistently unique according to the dog’s performance, and keep your body language consistent as well.
Additionally, it is very important to commence the dog training at about the same hour each day, and for the same length. Get your dog in a routine, and eventually, this will translate into a routine for good behavior as well!
Repetition is just as important as consistency. When training dogs, it is vitally important to repeat an action or training drill over and over again, while remaining consistent in your actions.
The saying “practice makes perfect” never has applied more than in dog training.
Verbal Praise in Dog Training
Positive reinforcement (verbal praise and dog treats) when dog training should be used instead of inflicting physical pain for negative reinforcement.
Dogs, especially puppies, should always be rewarded for a job well done. Punishment is sometimes warranted if, in the course of training the dog, it becomes disobedient. Alternatives to physical pain are discussed below.
When it comes time to dish out some punishment based on your dog’s actions, a sharp verbal “No” will usually be enough.
Water sprayers, air horns, a can full of coins, handheld vacuums, etc. can all be used to get your dogs attention without inflicting pain.
Any punishment should be instituted quickly, within 5 seconds of the act! All in all, positive reinforcement has been proven to provide better results in dog training than a program based on negative reinforcement.
Use Short Commands
All verbal commands that you use when dog training should be kept short and sweet. Also, use slightly different voice tones for each command, this will help prevent confusion.
Keep Training Sessions Short
Finally, keep the training sessions short and to the point, especially with puppies. Devoting 10 minutes two or three times daily will give excellent results for young dogs. As your dog gets older, the length of each session should increase, but not to the point where your dog loses interest in the dog training