Training a new puppy, or even an older dog, is one of the most important aspects of owning a pet. There are countless reasons why a good training routine is essential, but here are just a few:
Gives you peace of mind
Knowing your dog won’t act destructively at home, in public places, or at the dog park allows you to enjoy your time together much more. Bad habits such as jumping up on people, biting, and barking uncontrollably can be limited or even stopped entirely with patience and consistency.
Helps you communicate with your dog
When your dog learns a new command, such as “sit” or “stay,” it is opening up a line of communication between the two of you. Since dogs can’t speak, you must teach them a few words they can understand, which will lead to a happier relationship overall.
Provides mental stimulation
Dogs are incredibly intelligent. Smart minds need challenges. Dog training gives your dog the opportunities to be challenged mentally and physically by focusing on the task at hand and be rewarded when he succeeds. The mental exercise that training provides is just as important as physical exercise!
Why do dogs need dog ramp training?
Just like with every other new piece of equipment made for your dog, there is a bit of learning to be done. After all, your pup cannot read the instruction manual, so it is up to you to teach him.
Some dogs might take on to it very quickly, while some others will require daily training and approval to understand what the ramp is for and why they should use it instead of jumping up and down the furniture.
Patience and determination are of the essence, but not to worry, your dog will get there eventually.
When should I start training my dog?
According to the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior, puppies can start socialization classes as early as seven or eight weeks old, after getting at least one set of vaccines before socializing with other dogs or puppies. However, given their very young age and short attention span, it isn’t recommended to start formal training before six months old.
If you are interested in training your older dog, don’t fear! Although it might be best to teach a younger puppy, dogs can learn commands and tricks at any stage of their life!
Training methods and starting tips
The two primary practices used to train a dog are the use of a reward, such as their favorite treat or toy, or a clicker. Either method reinforces good behavior.
Reward and consequence
A dog lives in the present; reward and consequence need to happen immediately for your dog to understand what comes from which action. If he doesn’t perform as expected, take the prize away. If he does successfully execute the task, praise him and reward him immediately so that he associates the reward to the successful action.
Keep it short
The younger the dog, the shorter the attention span. Keep training sessions short (about 15 minutes) to keep your dog entertained and maintain focus. If you start to see signs that your dog is getting frustrated or tired, end the session and try again later. If the training session is too long, your dog could start to develop negative associations with training.
Take it slow
It’s essential to start with the most basic commands. Just as a human can’t learn to do something as complex as ballet without learning the necessary feet and hand positions first, your dog will not be able to understand more complex tasks without breaking them down in the beginning.
Training on the dog ramp
Start by placing the ramp at a low height setting in the area where you plan to use it. Leave the ramp out for a few days before you start training; this will tell your dog that this new piece of furniture is safe and is now part of his environment.
Let him go around it, sniff it, inspect it, get comfortable with having the dog ramp in his space.
After the initial discovery of the ramp, you can begin training.
Block off any other access to the furniture by placing pillows on the sides. It is better to start on a lower setting with low-rise furniture like a couch.
Once your dog understands how to use the ramp to go to the couch, he will be less scared to use it on a higher setting to go to the bed.
Take baby steps
Sit by the ramp, encourage your dog to use it. Most dogs will naturally take to the ramp. Practice with a treat or a toy by putting it farther up the ramp every time he reaches that milestone.
If he jumps off the ramp, doesn’t know how to begin or seems to misunderstand what you are trying to accomplish, place the treat or toy lower on the ramp. Taking baby steps will increase your chance of success.
Every time your dog misses a step, start over.
If your dog starts to be anxious, aloof, disinterested or starts to be upset, it is his signal to let you know that training needs to stop, and he needs a break! Remember, each dog goes at his own pace, some might require more of the shorter training sessions, and it’s perfectly fine.
Once your dog is up the ramp, don’t forget to train him to go down it as well! While it might be obvious to humans, dogs might not understand that their dog ramp can be used for both going up and down.
Once your dog is comfortable going up and down the ramp, keep practicing! Using the ramp 5 to 10 times a day will create a lasting habit and understanding that your pup needs to use that route to go to his favorite spot on the couch.
Training your pup to use his dog ramp should remain a fun activity for both of you, and if you follow those tips, he will get it in no time, and your worry to know your dog could potentially injure his back jumping will be of the past.
There are a lot of dog ramps and steps on the market, but we recommend you check out the PawRamp! It is a sturdy wooden pet ramp with adjustable heights, going up to 24 inches in height. The ramp packs flat for easy storage under the couch. It has a thick polyester carpet to avoid sliding off the ramp, is veterinary recommended, and is backed up by hundreds of 5-star reviews!