Tips on Training Your Dog
We prefer to use positive reinforcement when we train our dogs. Rewarding desired behavior will yield the best results. Get to know your dog – what they like and dislike before you plan your training routine. Reward your dog for exhibiting the behavior you desire. We use the “Clicker” method. When your dog exhibits the desired behavior, you click the device and give a treat. It is important to click and treat as quickly as possible after the behavior – so the dog understands why they are being rewarded. After the dog learns the established behavior, you need to remove the treat – because you don’t want them to only do what you want if they know there is a food treat involved. Replace the food treat with a lot of love and affection – and a hearty “Good dog”.
The key to a good dog is a well-trained dog. When you train together, an unspoken language builds between you through words, hand signals, whistles and other methods.
For example, you can easily use treats, games and praise to teach your dog to sit when people approach during walks in the neighborhood. If your dog is sitting, she won’t be dragging you toward the people, jumping up when they get close enough, mouthing on their arms and legs, and so on. That’s pretty efficient training-no pain or intimidation needed. Alternatively, you could grab your dog’s leash and jerk her to the ground every time she jumps up to greet people, and you’d most likely get the same effect in the end-no more jumping up.
Training New Skills
It’s easy to reward good behavior if you focus on teaching your dog to do specific things you like. Dogs can learn an impressive array of obedience skills and entertaining tricks. Deciding what you’d like your dog to learn will depend on your interests and lifestyle. If you want your dog to behave politely, you can focus on skills like sit, down, wait at doors, leave it, come when called and stay. If you want to enhance your enjoyment of outings with your dog, you can train her to walk politely on leash, without pulling. If you have a high-energy dog and would like outlets for her exuberance, you can teach her how to play fetch, play tug-of-war or participate in dog sports, such as agility, rally obedience, freestyle and flyball. If you’d like to impress your friends or just spend some quality time with your dog, you can take her to clicker training or trick-training classes. The possibilities are endless!
How to introduce your dog to a new dog: When two dogs meet – it is important for you to control the situation – and keep both dogs on a leash. Dogs are territorial and have a strong sense of boundaries. This tip is especially important when you want to bring a new dog to your house. If a new dog is coming for a visit, it is best to take the dogs out of the house to meet in a neutral area outside. Only after you see that the two dogs get along and accept each other, can you remove the leashes and let them play.