Pick a dog that matches your lifestyle. Many people choose dogs that are "cute" or "funny", or purchase them on a whim. But that is not a good way to choose a pet. A dog, depending on the breed, can be a 15 year relationship. You want to be sure that the temperament of your dog matches your lifestyle. So do your research and be honest about what kind of activity level you have in your life. Dont get a dog that needs a lot of activity because you need a reason to take a walk and lose some weight. You and the dog will end up frustrated. Also when choosing a dog I would recommend that everyone should write down their 5 favourite things and think are these things I can see my dog doing with me?
2. Plan to devote 10-15 minutes every day to training. Puppies get bored very easily so make sure you keep them entertained or enthused in the training.This should create good results. Remember, training is not about dominating our pets, its about communicating with them.
3. Give the dog a name that is practical. The experts say that a dogs name should end in a vowel because it is easier for them to understand. Dont make it too fancy or long or the dog might not know you are talking to it. Use the dogs name often when you are petting it and when you are feeding it. Do not use it as part of teaching them a new command or they may associate their name with that command instead. Use their name when you want their attention. Train them to look at your face by saying their name and gently turning their face up toward yours. When you are training it is important that they have all their attention on you. Calling their name should mean "look at the pack leader".
4. Share your training rules with the rest of the family. If you are training your dog not to jump on people and the kids let the dog jump all over them, this will undermine your training work. Once you have established your expectations with the dog, they need to be reinforced by everyone consistently but again, no one except the "pack leader" should ever train the dog.
5. Your first training should be learning to sleep in a crate. You may think its cruel but in fact, dogs are den animals. They actually enjoy sleeping in a crate. When they are puppies, keep the crate very small so they cannot relieve themselves in it (animals generally will not relieve themselves where they sleep or eat). As they become housebroken, get them a crate that is comfortable and place it somewhere near where the family is. Keep the crate wherever the designated "pack leader" sleeps. Forcing a dog to sleep away from his "pack" confuses him and makes him think he has done something wrong. Do not let the dog sleep in the bed with you until you have fully trained them to sleep in a crate. Breaking a dog of sleeping on the bed, once they are in that habit is almost impossible. Train your dog to use the crate by putting them in there for a few minutes at a time several times during the day, gradually increasing the time they spend in there until they are assured that you are eventually going to come and let them out.
6. Second lesson should be how to walk on a lead/leash. This is important,especially if you do not have an enclosed yard. Your dog should understand that when they go outside, they are expected to behave while on the leash. There are many books and videos on training dogs to help you learn how to do this.
7. The third training lesson should be "whoa" or "stop." or whatever you want to use as a command for your dog to stop moving. This command is important as it could save your dogs life. Do not rely on calling their name as a command to get them to stop. There may be times when you do not want them to come to you but instead stay right where they are. If you call their name, they may think you want them to come. Some sort of stopping command should be taught even before "come". There are many videos and books available that can help you with this training.
8. Keep in mind that all dogs have different temperaments. Just like kids, different breeds learn differently and at different rates. Some dogs are stubborn and will challenge you at every turn. Others will just about bend over backwards to please you. You may need to adjust your training techniques to meet the need of your dogs temperament. This is another good reason why you should research a breed before you purchase or adopt a dog to be sure you can handle them.
9. Always reward success and good behavior with praise. It isnt recommended using "treats" as a reward for training as it teaches them to work for the treat, not for your praise. If no treat is offered when they perform, they will become confused but praise can always be given.
10. Determine a "release" command for ending training. When you are done training (and ended on a positive note) give your dog a command that signals you are finished. But make sure its not a common word. We made the mistake of using "okay" as a release command with our first dog and every time someone said it, she thought it was time to have fun and got all wound up!. Use a command like "Playtime" or "Recess" to let your dog know that the training part of the day is over and now they can just enjoy your company.
12. Always end your daily training sessions on a positive note. If you have been trying to teach them something new and they are just not getting it, review something that they already do well and then praise them for that and end the session. Your dog will look forward to the training sessions if you always end positively, regardless of the success of that lesson. Once the training is over, then it would be okay to give them "treats" or "cookies" as long as its not as a reward for an accomplishment. If the dog barks at you, then turn around, ignore it for 30 secs and when it stops, reward it. If a dog jumps on you and does not stop after you say stop, turn and say no in a firm tone. Remember! Do not yell at a dog, it will not understand you and will continue to do the action, leading you to frustration.
1. Dont let your dog do something bad too many times because they will get into a bad habit.
2. Remember that every dog is different. One dog might learn at a slower pace than another dog, and thats okay. There is no such thing as an untrainable dog!
3. Love them and they will love you too.
4. Remember that dogs do not communicate the same way humans do. Its up to you to learn their "language" not the other way around.
5. Reprimand your dog in the same manner that "mama dog" would. If they whine or bark when you dont want them to, use your hand over their muzzle and close their mouth. Then get close to their face and in a very low voice (like a growl) say "No", long and low so it sound almost like a growl. Mama dogs will do this with their mouths on the puppies muzzle to let them know they are not behaving. Dogs understand this. Yelling "no" and pointing at them means nothing to a dog. You might as well be saying "blah blah blah". Once they identify the low, growling "no" as negative, you can use it to reprimand them.
6. Do not let your dog "lean" on you either when you are standing up or sitting down. This is not a sign that they like you. This is a sign of dominance. You are the leader. Push them off if they do this.
7. When using voice commands, use a firm voice. You mean for this dog to sit, so speak with meaning. Do not plead or whisper, the dog will think you are too timid to speak up and he will think HE is the dominant one, not you. Also, dont scream, the dog will think you are angry and become gradually frightened.
8. Realize that your puppy will have accidents. Dont overreact *Do not allow your dog to bite you, even playfully. This sets a bad precedent and it will be difficult for you to break them of this habit.
9. When your dog has mastered voice commands, consider adding hand signals to the command in your training as well. That way if they cannot hear you but they can see you, you can always keep control of your dog.
10. If using hand signals, be sure they are unique and distinct for the dog to see and differentiate.
1. Having a dog requires almost as much responsibility as a child. If youre not ready for that, dont get one.
2. Dont be cruel to your dog or hit them. If you strike your dog out of frustration, it will only learn to fear you.
3. DO NOT YELL AT YOUR DOG!
4. Regular exercise for your dog will prevent them from being destructive in your home. Dogs get bored.
When they get bored, they find ways to "entertain" themselves. That may include chewing your favorite shoes (yes, its happened to me...several times) or destroying furniture or barking incessantly. Avoid this problem by taking them for regular walks (twice a day is best). And its good for you too!
5. Dont feed your dog junk food. Stick to food made especially for dogs. Table scraps are okay if they are healthy food and if you reduce amount of dog food you feed them. Dry dog kibble is better than wet food. It keeps their teeth clean and their breath more tolerable. You can use wet food as a treat or mix it with the dry in small amounts.
6. Keep regular vet visits, stay up to date on shots, keep current on your city or towns license requirements and have your pet spayed or neutered as soon as they are old enough.
7. Praise your dog often.
8. Clean up after your dog if they relieve themselves on someone elses property or in a public place. Doing this will ensure that others enjoy your dog as much as you do.
9. Use a collar and leash that is appropriate to your dogs size. Too loose or too tight collars can cause injury.
10. Obedience training really is not for the dog...its for YOU. This training teaches you how to communicate what you want your dog to do in a way that he understands. If you send your dog to someone else to train them, they learn to work with that person, not you. Take the time to learn how to train your dog, dont pass the responsibility off to someone else.
11. Training dogs requires a large amount of patience, and can be extremely frustrating if you do not make the right choice for your skill level and lifestyle. If you find you have made a poor choice, find a new home for the dog as soon as possible. Call your local rescue organization or vet. Dont wait until you and the dog have suffered If you just dont have the patience, then either refine your training skills and techniques, or hire a professional to train your dog.
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