Getting a puppy is a great experience! The new companionship, the sound in the house and a paw to hold at every step of life, the experience is surreal.
What you need to understand is that most dogs come untrained. When you adopt a street dog, they know little about how to behave in a house. For this reason, it’s important to start training him/her immediately.
Training is not just a basic need, but it is also a form of mental stimulation for your dog. At first, it might seem overwhelming, but when you approach it step by step, it’ll be fun for both of you! Some pet parents hire a professional dog trainer to train their pooch. However, if you cannot afford one, or want to do it yourself, here are some secrets to help you get started right away!
Secret 1: The name’s Bond. Bond with your dog.
The best way to teach someone something is to do it with love. For the longest time, it was believed that training is best done by domination. But if you start dominating your dog in order to teach him something, your efforts will not just fail, but your dog might turn hostile towards you.
Build a relationship of partnership with your dog and build mutual trust. Train him with love and care and reward him every time he does something positive. Yes, bonding may take a lot of time, but if done right, your pup will trust you and be at your side forever. When there is a mistake or bad behaviour, do not engage in severe punishment with hitting or not giving food. Your dog isn’t evolved to understand that you’re upset and will start avoiding you. If you’re a first-time dog parent, you could use some of this advice.
Secret 2: There’s a lot in a name!
In a pool of human sounds and words, only a few are very well known to dogs. So when you repeatedly call out their name while looking at them, they will be able to associate themselves with the name and will always respond when called.
Secret 3: Live in the moment!
Unlike human beings, dogs live in the moment and do not have a long-lasting memory. Just a minute after they’ve done something, they will forget about it. So if you are planning to reward or punish them for a specific behaviour, do it right then and there, while the memory is still fresh in their mind. Saving it for later is fruitless as they won’t be able to connect the reward or scolding to that incident.
Secret 4: Teach them to be away
As you spend a lot of time with your dog in the initial days, he might grow really attached to you. At a later point in time, when you need to leave you pup for long periods of time, he will be restless and stressed about the separation. Therefore, it’s best to dedicate only as much time to your pooch as you’ll be able to maintain. Teach your dog to be without you for a while. This way, they’ll be used to you being away and will react normally towards it.
Secret 5: Enthusiasm is the key!
If you have a dog, try calling him/her right now in a low-sound, monotonous voice. No response, was there?
Now try with an enthusiastic voice and they’ll come rushing into your arms!
Dogs are sensitive to moods and quickly associate emotions with incidents. Always remember to maintain a good mood while interacting, and especially training your dog. To make it simpler, while calling out your dog, remember to use the same pitch and tone as you would when you win the lottery!
Secret 6: Say no to biting and nipping!
Playful mouthing is normal dog behaviour, but when it reaches the extent that it’s violent or harmful, you need to discourage such behaviour right away. The best way is by portraying that you’re under a lot of pain when they bite or nip you. Let out a sharp, loud yell and pair it up with the right facial expressions. Your dog will associate pain with that behaviour and will learn to not repeat it.
Additionally, you can get them pet-friendly chew toys to nib on. Check out The Dog Box.
Secret 7: Hitting will never help!
If you are training your dog to not be violent and physically aggressive, you need to practice what you preach. When your dog doesn’t behave in the way you expect them to, never hit them. They are most likely to associate that pain with training and may never want to train with you again. Moreover, some dogs might get violent when hit, and may harm you back.
If he’s barking a lot for no reason, here’s how you can stop it.
Secret 8: Patience is always the answer!
Even as human beings, you cannot trust yourself to learn everything at once. It is only fair to not expect that from animals. While on some days, your dog will learn everything in one go, on the others, he/she might forget everything taught before. Don’t panic, it happens to everyone. Be calm and try again. Your dog will eventually come through.
Secret 9: Climax is the most important!
After each training session, reward your pup. This could be a new toy, a treat, or even 5 more minutes of play. Have a range of treats readily available and find out what your dog goes crazy about and keep those for the most difficult training sessions. Remember, the value of the reward must always equal the effort. This way, they will associate training to positive reinforcement and will come wagging their tale for the next training session!
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