Properly training your new dog can have its fair share of benefits. Dog training is not only an excellent opportunity for a puppy and an owner to bond but helps establish a power dynamic between trainer and trainee and teaches your pup to respond to a variety of commands.
You should initiate training or enroll your furry friend into a training program as soon as possible for better results. Despite the time and energy required, dog training can be well worth the effort.
To garner the best results and give dog training a fun spin, we’ve compiled a quick list of pro tips to help you get started. For more information on how to effectively train your new pup, check out this helpful training guide from Snowy Pines White Labradors.
Know your dog
Before you start training your new puppy, take the time to gather valuable information about your dog’s breed to make the training less stressful.
Different breeds have varying personalities. While some are independent, over-confident, or shy, other types of dogs may be more adaptable. Familiarizing yourself with your dog’s personality and temperament can help you customize your approach to your specific dog.
You’ll also want to narrow down what commands and tricks you’ll want to teach your dog beforehand. For the best results, base their training on your lifestyle to help the dog fit into your life effortlessly. For example, if you work for long hours, your dog will need to be trained to withstand alone time for prolonged periods.
Similarly, you’ll want to pinpoint what style of training you’d like to employ. It may take some time to determine what method your dog will respond best to, but don’t skip this step. Otherwise, your pup may not retain your training efforts.
Teach the essential skills
You’ll want to walk your dog through basic commands, crate training, and loose leading. Basic commands will help you avoid future behavioral issues and enforce a sense of structure. So, teach your pup commands such as “sit,” “stand,” “down,” “don’t touch,” “off,” and “come.” During the training process, you’ll want to verify that your pup connects the phrase with the action.
Leashing not only helps keep the dog out of harm’s way but is also an excellent avenue for exploring new surroundings—while bonding you and your furry friend. Acclimating your dog to their leash can help prevent unpleasant tugging or whining.
Your dog’s temperament plays a vital role in leash training. Remember, certain breeds will demand more effort and practice in mastering loose-leash walking — especially when they’re easily excitable.
The goal of leash training is to teach your dog what to do and how to behave. Instead of yanking on their leash, focus on positive reinforcement. Place the leash near your dog’s food or set it in their kennel. Allow your pup to sniff it when awarding them with a treat or during feeding time, so they associate positive moments with the training equipment. Once your dog has warmed-up to their leash, start training in an enclosed space like your backyard.
Crate training is crucial for housebreaking your pup and enforcing strict boundaries between sleep and play. You want your dog to feel comfortable spending long hours in their crate, especially if you plan to keep them kenneled while you’re at work, so don’t use crate time as a form of punishment.
Whether it’s leash training or crate training, be hypervigilant in all the training sessions to recognize any signs of distress and anxiety. To avoid distress, introduce each course mindfully and gradually. You won’t want your new pup to be overwhelmed and whine in response.
Keep it fun
Your dog will try harder to earn your approval if you develop a relationship based on trust and friendship. Your dog will never forget the time spent together learning a variety of commands and tricks, so try to make your training sessions enjoyable.
For instance, an understanding of basic commands can streamline the process of teaching your pup new tricks, such as clearing hurdles and playing fetch. Dogs respond well to bones, stuffed toys, tennis balls. These toys can be used as tried-and-true reinforcement tools during training.
Once the dog is comfortable using a leash and has gone through basic training, you can take your new pup for short walks around the neighborhood. While you’re perfecting your dog’s obedience skills, you can enjoy the outdoors.
It may take several months for your dog to master certain tricks and commands fully. Before you begin training, make sure you’re committed to the task and exercise the necessary patience. You may need to repeat some lessons until your training fully registers.
Don’t give up when your training efforts don’t render desirable results in the first attempt. Recognize any progress you make and celebrate it; adopt an encouraging tone, and divide your training program into small, manageable portions.
Reward the dog
Treat-training is a powerful and game-changing approach to teaching your dog new commands. However, not every type of treat will have the same success.
Experiment with different treats to better understand your dog’s preferences. Once you’ve identified your puppy’s favorites, you should decide the appropriate quantities. Remember, the way you interact with the dog while administering the treats matters, too. Dogs prefer if you accompany treat-training with petting and genuine praise.
Reward your dog for their achievements, no matter how big or small. You can give your pup treats for walking successfully on a leash, remaining calm in the crate, or even using the bathroom when making a trip outside. Doing so encourages dogs to repeat good behaviors.
Always end a training session on a positive note to keep your new dog interested. Once training is in full swing, it’s essential to take breaks to help you and pup relax and recharge.