Part of being a dog owner is to be able to discipline and train him or her to be a good dog and agreeable family member. For first-time pet owners, this can become a daunting task.
Still, it is possible to train your dog even though it is your first time owning one. If done in a healthy and safe environment, your canine friend may even enjoy the training times because it is with his or her favorite human. To make it pleasant for both parties, here are some helpful training tips.
Prepare the environment.
Before bringing in a canine friend, make sure that your home or his space is ready to welcome him as well. Make sure that all the members of the household agree with the decision of taking a pet home. After all, once he or she comes in, it is everyone’s responsibility to look after the pet.
To start the preparation process, you must first determine what you want your pet’s daily routine to look like. Where would his designated sleeping place be? Where can he gain access to his food bowl? Is he allowed on the couch? Who would do the daily walks? If you can, do a walkthrough of all the common activities your new furry pet would possibly do once he or she is under your care. For this, you might have to ask the breeder or the pet rescuer.
Ensuring that all of the things are prepared makes the transition easier for your new family member. If you are confused with the whole routine, he or she might end up confused, too, which could make it harder for him or her to acclimatize in the new environment. Further training might also become difficult as all dogs thrive consistency.
Teach “attention” first.
Much like humans, dogs can get easily distracted, too. Even small stuff like tiny bugs creeping by the window or another pet’s swirling tail can already provoke your canine friend to lose his attention to you immediately.
You cannot teach the dog new skills if he or she is not paying attention to you in the first place. For that, you need to learn the art of keeping him attentive every time you plan to teach him something. There are tons of tips and tricks that most dog owners swear by, but these can vary from one dog to the next.
The key, though, is to make your dog think that paying attention to you is more rewarding than the scurrying squirrel he saw at the backyard. Does waving his favorite toy can do the trick? Or maybe, yummy treats are the answer. Experiment on what you think can motivate your dog to pay attention to every chance you get.
Be the loving yet firm boss.
Yes, we know that you cannot resist your new pup’s goo-goo eyes every time he whines about skipping training, going for more walks, or asking for more kibble. But you have to. You need to show your new pet who is the alpha in the household.
Giving in every single time he showcases his pleading face may be bad for your training in the long run. It shows that your canine friend is in control of you instead of the other way around. Once your dog realizes that he or she can push you around, he or she will eventually stop listening to you. You might end up being the pup instead of the pupped.
To avoid this, you must remain firm with your decision to stick to a particular routine. If 3 PM is the time to train, you will train your pet. If the walks are over, tell him or her to come indoors. If the vet says only one cup of food per meal, your pet must understand that.
Do remember, though, that you can be firm and loving at the same time. Instead of making him or her feel that you are obligating your pet to do stuff, give him or her reason to look forward to it. The key is motivation.
Patience is a virtue.
There is a saying that goes: “If you want to eat a whole elephant, you must do so one bite at a time.” This is applicable when it comes to dog training as well.
When it comes to training your dog, you cannot expect him or her to do the command right the first time, most especially if he or she is only a pup. To make it easier for him or her to digest, take it one step at a time.
For example, you want to teach your pet to get acquainted with your feline. You cannot bring them into the same room immediately unless you want World War III to happen in your living room (maybe not that bloody but you get the idea). The process must be done gradually.
You may start by acquainting each pet with each other’s scent. Use a towel that your cat often uses and bring it to your dog’s territory and vice versa. Once they are acquainted with the smell, you can level it up to seeing each other from afar—with supervision, of course. Then, slowly narrow down the distance until you can sense that they won’t end up fighting.
The process of acquainting an old pet to a new one may take weeks to months depending on how each one reacts to the other. You need a lot of time AND patience to get the results you want.
Be mindful of his limits.
Naturally, there would be days when you or your dog is just not into the training. Your canine friend may be tired or frustrated with himself for not being able to deliver the results you want. Or, your patience might be worn too thin.
If you find yourself stuck and just a bit “off” overall, it is okay to give yourselves some rest. After all, snapping at your dog might destroy every positive reinforcement you may have built during your training. In addition, even the most energetic and intelligent dogs grow tired and weary. Give yourselves a day to recover, then start again the next day.
Our company values not just the food your precious canine friends eat, but also their overall health. Training them is a vital part of improving their quality of life. By keeping the tips listed here in mind, you can transform every training session into a bonding activity that could make your dog happy and healthy, both in mind and body.