A big part of being a great dog owner is training them well. A well-trained dog is happy, respectful, calm, and will be much easier to live with than one that hasn’t been trained a day in their lives. They will do better at the dog park, on walks, and will be just as good with guests as they are with your immediate family.
However, training a dog isn’t always easy. You can find pups to buy that already have training (check some out here: https://www.prideandprejudoodles.com/puppies/goldendoodles-with-training/), but many will need to be trained by you and your family.
It can take a lot of work, and potentially months (if not years) of dedication in some cases. But if you stick with it, the results can be truly special. But to train the dog well, you need to know the best ways of going about things, and what to focus on.
Without any further ado, let’s go over how to teach your dog better than anyone else and ensure you are training your dog properly.
Absorb Plenty of Guidance From Different Resources
First and foremost, once you know you are getting a puppy you will want to train, start absorbing a ton of guidance from different resources. This could be books, from the internet, from videos, from your dog-owning friends, and even a vet. Getting good information is priceless and can help you answer questions and learn important things you wouldn’t have known otherwise.
The good news is, owning a dog is so incredibly popular that there are countless pieces of content out there aimed at people wanting to train their dogs. No matter what you are trying to train, or how you want to do it, there is surely a guide out there that will be able to help you out.
However, be aware of the quality of the advice you are getting. Seemingly everyone sees themselves as an expert, but that isn’t always the case. Not every opinion or article carries the same weight, so always look at the credentials someone has to back up what they are saying.
Use Positive Training
One thing that is often agreed upon by experts is the fact that using positive reinforcement and training is the best way to go about doing things. Training in a manner that is positive is almost always better than training by scolding or doing things negatively.
Positive training and reinforcement are all about using rewards to help the dog to do behaviors that you desire. These rewards can be treats, praise, belly rubs, or anything else that the dog sees as a reward. By getting the reward, they will soon associate the good behavior with the award and want to do it more consistently.
Over time, the dog’s behavior will be shaped and they will no longer need the treat to act. Of course, be careful about accidentally using positive reinforcement to reward bad behavior. For example, many dog owners will coddle their pup when it is whining, but this attention will often show the dog that if they want attention, whining will do it.
Socialize Early and Often
Another important part of training your dog well is socializing them. The dangers of not socializing your pet early are well known, so you want to ensure you aren’t waiting too long before doing so. A dog that isn’t socialized can be anxious, scared, and be difficult to take anywhere.
Also, socialization doesn’t have to be done by taking your dog around other dogs. While that can help, something as simple as taking your pup to a patio and having a coffee while people, cars, animals, and other things make noise and move all around them. Even having them experience new people, sounds, and places will often do the trick.
Socialization is all about getting your pup used to as many things (people, places, animals, sounds, etc…) as possible. The more comfortable they are around these things, the calmer and more well-behaved they will generally be.
Take it Slow and Don’t Rush the Process
When training a puppy, it is important to take it slow. While they are smart, they might not catch on to things instantly. If you try to rush them, the dog can easily become overwhelmed and show no interest in training.
If you try to train the pup for an hour at a time, they will lose focus early and often. Instead, you should limit training to small sessions of around 5 or 10 minutes, and do a few of these each day. Also, try and complete the training in a place that is quiet, and free from things that could distract the dog.
There is no “right” amount of time it takes for a dog to learn a certain skill or be trained on something in particular, either. So work with them consistently, but don’t be discouraged when things take longer and never put a ton of unfair pressure on your pup.
If you want your training to be worth it and stick with the dog, you need to remain consistent. The importance of consistency when training a dog cannot be overstated. The more you train a certain thing in a certain way, the easier it will be for your pet to learn the right things.
You should train at the same time most days, use a similar tone, and even train in the same place, if possible. Also, if the dog will be in a household with multiple people, each needs to be on the same page. If one person is training the dog one way, and another person is using different tactics, it can be very confusing for the dog and limit how effective your training is.
In conclusion, these tips will help ensure you can be the best dog teacher and trainer possible for your pups.