The idea of training your dog, especially if it’s your first dog, can feel extremely daunting at first. If you take it one step at a time, it may feel less intimidating and become more enjoyable. The act of training strengthens the bond between you and your canine to create a life-long relationship. Here are some tips to help get you started in your initial training of your puppy or older dog.

Nugget loves his toy bone!
  1. In general, many dog’s mental abilities are similar to a human child aged 2 to 2.5 years old. With this consideration, it is important to adjust your expectations when training. It may take some time for your dog to understand the command that you are teaching them
  2. Do your best to maintain a positive attitude. Your dog will recognize when you are upset, especially if it is in response to something they may have done. Instead of possibly getting angry, take a moment to count to ten and decide if you are still angry over your canine’s behavior. Is there an opportunity to utilize positive reinforcement in the moment or future to adjust the behavior?
  3. Remain observant of your patience when training. Many dogs learn at a different pace and may not learn the command quickly. In addition to this, you and your dog are communicating in different languages. By approaching each training session with a calm demeanor and patience, you will achieve success with your canine.
  4. Keep treats with you when you are with your dog. When they are learning a new command or you are reinforcing positive behavior, reward them with a treat quickly. If the treat is not received within seconds, your dog may not know why they are receiving a treat or you may be rewarding incorrect behavior. By promptly rewarding your dog with a treat, it will assist in positive reinforcement and strengthening your bond with them.
  5. Choose a training time and area that allows you to train your dog without distractions. Place your cell phone out of reach and perform the training in a quiet area. This will help your canine focus on your commands and enhance the quality time that you both spend together. Another benefit is that you will not feel rushed when training and your dog will not feel overwhelmed with the new information.

Training a dog is a constant process and you will often positively reinforce the commands that you have taught throughout their lifetime. If your dog’s behavior begins to falter, it will be valuable to begin scheduling regular training sessions again. With our attention and training, our dogs can reach their full potential and demonstrate incredible feats. Check out our previous blog posts on Buddy the German Shepherd and Barry the Saint Bernand to read more about incredible canine’s!

Rowan giving you “puppy eyes”!