January is National Train Your Dog Month and we’re celebrating by sharing some of our favorite training tips with you. A well-trained pup makes life less stressful for you and your dog. Whether you’re at home, outside on a walk, or at a dog friendly spot in the valley like OHSO, your dog will enjoy themselves more when they feel calm and relaxed. Following these tips will ensure your dog is ready to take on whatever the world has in store.
Perhaps the most important aspect of training your dog is consistency in what you ask them to do. Dogs will do whatever we enforce, and slack on tricks or commands when we don’t enforce good behavior. For instance, if you don’t want your dog on the sofa, letting them on the sofa every once in a while is going to send them mixed signals. One day you’ll realize they don’t really know if they’re allowed on the sofa or not. Decide what commands and rules you have early on and stick with them. It will get increasingly easier for your pup to remember rules when you remember them as well.
Treats, treats, treats!
The best way to enforce your dog’s good behavior is with treats. Because dogs are food motivated, training them with treats in hand will keep them motivated and learn tricks or commands faster than without. Buying higher quality training treats will help them focus more than using generic treats.
When you’re working with your dog or puppy on a trick or certain command, it’s important to pay close attention to their actions so you can reward the good behavior as soon as you see it. If you wait too long to reward them, they might not know which behavior is being rewarded. To combat confusion, combine verbal praise with a treat. This will keep them excited to learn more.
A trick we like to put into action is to have treats in your pocket while training. That way you can still use your hands, but their treats will be readily available to you to praise them.
Watch For Good Behavior
Every moment can be a trainable moment if you watch close enough. Through the day, during play time, or during walks, if you see your dog exhibit positive behavior reward them for it.
Take It Slow
At the end of the day, remember that a well-trained dog doesn’t happen overnight. It’s going to take a lot of practice, positive reinforcement, and patience to help your dog learn new tricks and commands. By taking it slow, you will help your dog stay stress free and remain excited through the training.
During National Train Your Dog Month is the perfect time to teach your pup a new trick or command. Start the new year with a fresh mindset and some quality time spent with your furry family member. If you have any questions about training your dog, please contact us.