Congratulations on bringing a new pup home! Now you have a new member of your family. As exciting as having a new furry friend in your home is now, this also means that you have a responsibility to fulfill. So that your pet adjusts well in your home, you also have to do your part in training your dog. That way, it also wouldn’t be so hard for you to live together with your dog. When it knows a few basic commands, it’s like as if you’re creating that better line of communication with your four-legged friend.
Training your dog can be likened to that of training and raising a baby. For as long as you do it as a matter of habit and consistency, you have the guarantee of finding success along that line. Then, start early too, when your dog is still a puppy. That way, it’s easier for you to train their minds. Whatever habits you’ve trained your pup, they’re able to bring these with them as they grow older.
Then, training your pet doesn’t have to be complicated and expensive. There are many ways for you to keep it simple. That said, here are some of these techniques below.
First, When Is The Best Time To Start Training Your Dog?
Veterinarians recommend for you to start training your dog during the first three months of life. This is that time in your dog’s life that they’re still straightforward to train. Their mind can be likened to that of a sponge. Puppies are also extremely fast learners, and they also have better adaptability to the environment that they belong to. This same also applies to get your dog used to food that they can eat, and that you choose to feed them. In answering the query, “What can dogs eat?”, your vet can help you with this, so that you can start this early on in your pup’s life.
Then, at around three months of age, your dog’s curiosity also supersedes whatever fear they may have in mind. So, this is one good way to discourage your dog from being overly fearful.
1. Read Through Books From The Experts
This first tip that you can apply works for you if your pup isn’t at home yet, or if you’re still planning to bring one home. Here, you still have so much free time on your hands for you to read through books from the experts. These can be found anywhere, in almost every bookstore near you, or even from your veterinarian.
An advantage of reading these books ahead of time is that you already have an idea of where and how to get started. That early on, you also learn to manage your expectations better. Then, when your pet arrives in your house, you can always flip through the book again if there’s anything that you need to review on.
Even better yet, books are always a trusted source, for the very reason that these go through a rigorous process of editing and checking by publishers. Then, they’re also written by experts who have firsthand experience in successfully training their dogs. So, you can take their word for it.
2. Teach Your Dog How To Sit
Teaching your dog how to sit is one of the easiest that you can start with. Then, it’s also one of the most common commands that are taught to dogs.
Here’s a good way for you to get started with teaching your dog how to sit:
- Hold a treat close to the nose of your dog.
- Move your hand up, bringing the treat. Doing this will allow your dog’s head to follow your hand, bringing the treat, which in turn also brings the bottom part of his body lower.
- Once your dog is already in a sitting position, give out the command “sit” with a stern voice. This gives you that sense of authority for your dog to follow you. When your dog obeys, give your dog the treat. Then, share a good hug also after as a sense of encouragement.
- You can keep on repeating this until you’ve noticed that your pup has finally mastered it. Then, as an important reminder, when teaching your dog how to sit, never do this by yourself. Don’t force or strain the dog, else this will only lead them to bounce off your command and be aggressive.
3. Teach Your Dog The Command, “Come!”
Another simple trick that you can train your dog is to follow the command, “Come!” First, you may want to do this indoors or in a very quiet place. That way, it’s easier for your dog to focus on you, your stance, and even that of your voice.
Once you’ve established this kind of focus, sit down yourself so that you can put yourself on the same level as your dog.
Say the name of your dog out loud, followed by “Come!” When you begin with the name of your dog, it also adds to that recall effect whereby your dog also learns that particular name as that which belongs to him.
Every time that your dog follows your command, also follow through by giving him a treat.
To go even deeper with this training process, you can follow up with the following steps:
- Drop a treat on the floor close to you. But, before doing so, make sure first that your dog is far away from the treat.
- Let your dog walk to where the treat is.
- Once your dog has finished eating the treat, repeat his name. Once your dog looks up, give him another treat.
- Keep repeating those steps, while also tossing the treats consistently further away.
Along this line, it’s also imperative to remember this tip. Do avoid saying the name of your dog too often, even when you’re not saying the command, “Come!” or any other command for that matter. If you make this mistake, you’re also only making it easier for your dog to reject your command.
4. Teach Your Dog How To Get Used To Their Crate
Crate training refers to that process of getting your dog easier to adapt to an enclosed space, such as their crate or their cage. Like human beings, dogs don’t like to be encaged too. But, there are instances in your dog’s life that they’ll have to stay inside a crate. So, it’s to your advantage if you’re also able to train your dog how to adapt better when forced to go inside a cage.
In training your dog to get used to a crate, you’ll need to make this a more positive and enjoyable experience for your pup.
Some tips to guide you along this process are the following:
- Choose the correct crate size for your dog. In selecting one, make sure that your dog doesn’t feel too tight or enclosed inside. They should still have enough time to move around. Even more importantly, your dog should also have enough height space to stand up.
- Always make the crate a happy place for your dog. Make it feel as if this is their little haven, like how you find comfort in your home. You may want to put their favorite toys and blanket in the crate.
- Give your dog time to explore the insides of the crate. Do this without forcing your dog too much. Keep the door open. With their favorite toys inside, eventually, your dog is going to find their way effortlessly inside.
5. Teach Your Dog How To Stay
This command should be taught to your dog only when they’ve already mastered the “sit” command. When there’s mastery of that previous command, it’s going to be easier also for your dog to obey when it’s time to stay. Else, if you teach this together with “Sit,” unfortunately, your dog will only get even more confused.
Here’s how you can teach your dog the command “Stay”:
Make sure that your dog has mastered the sit command.
- Open the palm in front of you, when you’re right in front of your dog, and give the command “Stay” with an assertive tone of voice.
- Take a few steps a little bit backward. When your dog follows you, give a treat as a reward. Then, also give some love. In so doing, your dog knows that they’ve done the right thing.
- When you see that your dog has slowly mastered this command, take a few steps back again, repeating the same steps above, before you give your dog a treat.
- Always remember that whenever your dog does it right, a reward should be given. This is the whole point of keeping the training successful.
6. Teach Your Dog To Stick With The House Rules You’ve Made
Before your dog even makes it to your home, you must make house rules for your dog. Then, like a baby, stick to these rules. Whenever your dog isn’t allowed on a specific area in your house, be consistent with this. Whenever your dog finds their way in that prohibited area, you can spank them, for instance, but of course not too hard.
When you’re able to have these rules early on, it becomes less confusing for you and your dog.
With these tips enumerated above, now you wouldn’t feel too much like as if you’re at a loss as to where and how to get started with training your pets. Although these take quite a little effort and time from you, the results also prove to be worth it. You’ll have pets living with you that have a better temperament, behavior, and are also easier to dwell or live amongst with. Start today, and keep yourself also equipped with the right attitude and mindset. In so doing, you’re also making it even more fun for you and your pets.