That old saying that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks is only partially true. It is really a matter of how you train an old dog. You probably won’t be able to train an old dog to jump through hoops, but the basic commands of ‘sit’ and ‘stay’ may stick. This is why you want to train your dog as early as possible. Out of all the dog training tips that anyone can give you, starting early is the best policy. Not only that, but you want to take your time – a dog won’t become obedient overnight. Plus, some dog breeds are different than other dog breeds. Here are five basic and effective dog training tips for families.
- Never use force. The moment you get angry at a dog is the moment the training has gone off course. Not only that, but dogs respond to anger with fear. If you yell at a dog for wetting the carpet, he or she will merely cower – the problem may even get worse. So, make sure that you remain patient and use kind, positive words when your dog does something you like. If the reward is love, soon enough your dog will do whatever you want.
- Start with the basics and then move on. If you think about it, you wouldn’t teach a five-year-old complex algebra, would you? The same goes for dogs. Before you teach a dog to high-five and roll over, you want to teach your pup to sit, stay and heel. These are the three critical prerequisites in the dog training world. Just ask a dog training service, like Beyond the Leash – they will tell you to start slow and work your way up to more complex commands.
- Use positive rewards. When training a dog, you want to use treats, little morsels of food, or anything that could be understood as a positive reward. A favorite toy or even a tummy rub can be considered a positive reward. Ideally, you want to give this special treat to your dog only when he or she completes a certain command.
- All dogs are different. It is important to understand that all dogs are different and they train at different paces. For instance, a Labrador may learn tricks much faster than a Chihuahua. In fact, you may want to keep this in mind before you choose a dog breed for your family. If you already have your dog, though, you may want to research its breed to see how far you can go with training – some advanced tricks may be out of the question.
- Stay diligent. It takes a good six to eight months to properly train a dog. So, you want to keep this time frame in mind. Even if your dog is showing signs of learning tricks, you still want to stay the course when it comes to training, because a dog can easily forget certain commands if the action is not ingrained. In the end, you want to make these commands and tricks seem like second nature.