Training your dog should be a fun experience where both you and your pet benefit from working together. Unfortunately, too many owners get discouraged in the training process when they fail to make any noticeable progress. This tends to happen when the owner is unprepared from the beginning. In order to help prevent this mistake, here are some basic dog training tips to get you off to a successful start.
It takes time to establish communication channels with your pet. You have to start at the most basic level, assuming your dog knows nothing about what you are doing. This requires a great deal of patience at first, but it is imperative that you display a calm demeanor. Your dog can sense when you are frustrated or upset, and this could intimidate or scare them. Take things slow and know when to stop for the day. This will help insure that your sessions stay fun and productive.
Frustration can bring on negative reactions such as scolding or yelling. If you are not careful, then you might find yourself constantly reprimanding your dog throughout the training sessions. This will only confuse your pet and lead to a disinterest in learning. Constant positive reinforcement is the best strategy to creating a constructive learning environment. Make sure to reward your dog for effort, even if he dog doesn't get a command exactly right.
Repetition is Key
It is understandable to want to move on to the next lesson when your dog performs a command correctly. You are excited about your pet's progress and you want to keep things moving in the right direction. But the best strategy is to master one task before starting the next one. This is accomplished through repetition exercises, and it is by far the most important step in successful training. Start every new lesson by reviewing previous lessons. Build your dog's confidence by letting him perform tasks he is familiar with before progressing with new material.
Getting your dog into the proper mindset for learning can help improve his retention rate. This can be accomplished by adding consistency and structure to your training sessions. If possible, work with your dog at the same time everyday and keep you're the sessions under one hour. Start and end each session with a review of tasks they are already familiar with, and try to work on only one new command each time. Familiarity with your training structure will help your dog feel more comfortable. They will know what to expect and they will understand what is expected of them.
There is much more to dog training than just the lessons you teach. There is a psychological element that must also be addressed if you want to save time and frustration. Use the basic dog training tips above to establish the parameters of your training. From there you can concentrate on teaching the actual tasks and commands.
When it comes to crate training dogs, puppies are by far the easiest to train, as they are young they learn and adapt faster. At times, it is necessary to train an adult dog to use a crate. Most often these will be adult dogs that have been rescued from a shelter and have never learned the difference between indoors and outdoors when it comes to relieving themselves.
NOTE: Not all dogs can be crate trained; some will panic and could injure themselves.
When it’s not a crisis and you have the time to dedicate to the process most dogs can be crate trained. To start this process you want to leave to door of the crate open, possibly put in some padding (if the dog is not a chewer). With the door open, start giving your dog some treats, let them have some meals in there as well, anything to reassure them that this is a happy place. Never overdo the length of time you have the dog in there, when they are ready to leave, let them. In the beginning their trust will be fragile and will be hard to regain once lost. Once the dog is happy and comfortable with the open door crate it is time to start closing the door, BRIEFLY, with the same types of positive reinforcement going on. Stay in the room for now until the comfort level is there, then you may start leaving the room…again…BRIEFLY to start. Once this comfort level is good you increase the periods you are gone for until you reach the time period you require.
As you can see when crate training dogs especially if an adult you must be patient and understanding, you don’t want to push the animal or you may end up doing more harm than good. In the event that a crate is just not going to work, you may want to try a small area in the kitchen boarded off using baby gates.