10 Tips to Make My Dog More Obedient
Got a misbehaving pup in the house that needs some taming? Lately, if your canine companion has you asking yourself ‘How on earth can I make my dog more obedient?’, it is, no doubt, the time to ensure that it receives the proper training and instructions.
Just like kids need to learn how to act and socialize, all domesticated animals do too. So, when embarking on what will probably a tumultuous process, the saying ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’ should be your mantra.’ This is mainly because the earlier this process takes place, the more effective it will be. This way, you can instill certain values when they are still impressionable.
It cannot be stressed how essential dog obedience training is, and even if it becomes daunting at some point, powering through is the only viable option. The key is to take it one day at a time, one command at a time and before you know it your pup will be more well behaved than ever. In order to get you in the right state of mind for this transformation and the processes involved, here are some dog obedience training tips that have been tried and tested.
Establish Your House Rules Before Your Pet Comes Home
Making things up on the spot has never been the best way to go about anything. Yes, improvisation may be extremely funny, but it can also fall quite flat. Using this same logic, it is better to be safe than sorry. Be sure to have a chat with the members of your household about what is acceptable and unacceptable when it comes to the new dog.
You may feel like you have got it covered but things can easily go south if you do not make some certain things clear. Establish what goes when it pertains to issues like; the rooms in the house that your pet is allowed in, their designated sleeping and eating zones, and if they are inside or outside dogs. The list is endless, but the importance of this process cannot be hammered on enough. This is solely because you want everyone to have one voice during the training period.
In the case that you live alone and do not have a household to discuss this with, still go ahead and set these boundaries. You can equally have this discussion with anyone who frequents your house often.
Pick a Name and Stick to it Respectfully
This may be a ‘duh’ moment since you are definitely going to give your new mutt a name when he or she arrives home. Nevertheless, it is wise to understand the significance of picking a name from a training standpoint. It is advisable to go for something short that ends with a strong consonant. What’s the significance of this? Well, it will definitely ensure that your dog can hear his/her name clearly. This especially comes in handy when training puppies.
Of course, not all prospective dogs are going to be puppies, so in the case that you are receiving an older dog then they may probably come with a name. Changing it is not compulsory, but it is also not completely out of the question. Situations differ; if your dog is coming from a shelter then you may or may not have access to his or her name but in the case that your dog is from a breeder a name will definitely be assigned.
Lastly, if your dog is a victim of abuse then a change of name could prove to be incredibly useful. Whether you opt to change or keep names, just make sure your dog has a positive reaction to his/her new name altogether.
A big part of dog obedience training is house training. This may not be a very pleasant process altogether. This is because change is one of the hardest things to achieve, but in the end, it is worth it. Charity truly does begin at home and chances are, if your dog knows how to act at home, he/she will be able to behave outside it. You have to ease them in though, Rome was not built in a day.
Over time, they will begin to know where they sleep, pee outside, stay off the furniture among other personalized routines you may have laid out. Your duty is to keep referring to all those places and providing some positive reinforcement when they get it right.
Another incredibly important part of house training is setting up a private area for your dog. It may not be a room; it could be a crate or a wide corner. Either way, your pet needs to have his/her own space right from the get-go. Endeavor to leave them there alone for short bursts of time once in a while. This will give him/her a haven of sorts and some space where they can ‘let their hair down’ in a canine sense. Never forget to reward your pet whenever he/she gets it right.
Reward, Reward, Reward!
Let’s face it, we live in a reward-based society and there are very few things that people do without the thought of the reward in mind. Even mildly unpleasant processes like going to the gym or having a leg wax are often endured with the thought of the end result in mind. Based on this, you best believe that making use of tasty treats and general positive reinforcement will make it a lot easier to train your pet.
So, in the case that your pet manages to use the toilet outside a couple of times, a reward is well due. Apart from using treats to basically reward good actions, you can also use them to lure your pet back to you. For instance, in the case that you are teaching your pet to come to you when you call him/her, the use of treats to lure them is quite a good idea. Just make sure they receive a whole lot of praise, love, toys or random guilty pleasures whenever they get it right.
In the same vein, refrain from rewarding bad behavior as this will just genuinely leave you with a pet who cannot tell right from wrong.
Acquaint Your Pet with Tricks and Commands
Now, this is the one part of dog training that everyone knows about. In fact, to some people, this encompasses training as a whole. When doing this, you need to start with the basic commands that you are more prone to use on a frequent basis. Some of such commands are the usual sit, stay, come, down and leave it among other useful options.
As you continue to repeat these simple commands wherever you take your pup, the more it will resonate, and before you know it, he/she will become more obedient and willing to listen once you give a command. Once you are covered on the grounds of the minor commands, you can move onto specific ones that pertain to you and your household.
Keep it in mind that as much as you should continue to motivate your pet mentally, it is also important to reward him/her whenever they are obedient. Do not hesitate to offer up some high praise or a decadent treat whenever they get it right. Also, take it easy on your pet; learning as a whole, is quite strenuous so, if he/ she happens to be struggling, take it down a notch and gradually progress from there.
Dog Obedience Training Sessions Should be Short
Admit it, when the achievement of a certain goal is on your mind, it is quite easy to get a bit overzealous. That is why one of the hardest things to nail when it comes to dog obedience training is exactly when to pause. Just as humans have different attention spans, you best believe that dogs do too, even more so. If you tend to keep pushing and pushing, then they will definitely lose interest and zone out completely.
In the general sense of things, experts recommend that lessons should take about 10-15 minutes. This is apt for some dogs, but the best way to time these things is to take a cue from your pet. If he/she tends to get distracted after a relatively shorter period of time, then do not hesitate to take a break. In cases that all efforts to get your pup back on track are proving futile, then do not hesitate to end the session for that day and pick it up later.
The advantages of positive reinforcement cannot be stressed enough, as such be sure to reward your pet when they are getting it right. This may end up motivating them to spend a little more time mastering the obedience of commands and directives.
When learning or training for anything, consistency is always key. One of the best dog training tips out there for dog owners is to be consistent with their actions and commands. At the end of the day, the goal is to successfully train your dog as such, you and everyone in your household need to be on the same page. They need to be reprimanding and rewarding your dog the same way you do; if not, you will end up dealing with a very confused animal altogether.
The only way to establish what is acceptable as opposed to what is not is to simply keep all reactions and behavior consistent.
Similarly, do not reprimand your dog on one occasion for doing something, then let it slide on the next one. Once you commit, it cannot be stressed enough how much you need to follow through.
It all boils down to consistency; always reward your dog for his/her obedience and reprimand them for the opposite. This way there are clear cut boundaries that can make the training even more beneficial.
Never Use Physical Force on Your Dog
Before proceeding to get a dog, it is advisable to do some research on the actual nature of dogs. Yes, they may be animals and certainly do need directions to become a bit more refined. Nevertheless, they are quite intelligent. The use of brute force is more likely to spark some sort of resistance in them that it is to train them. They may also get the impression that aggressive behavior is quite acceptable, because like it or not, they look up to you for all sorts of guidance.
In addition to making them prone to aggressive behavior, the use of force can equally make them more fearful and nudge them down a road of all-around bad behavior.
The best way to teach a dog is through repetition, based on this, they can establish adequate boundaries between what is good and what is bad. Also, rather than punishing them brutally, make it a habit to use your words and also give them rewards whenever they get it right.
Let Your Dog Socialize
You do not need to read a book to figure out that dogs are social beings, in general, they are quite bubbly and love to be surrounded by people. In order to encourage the all-around development of your pup, it is vital that you allow them to socialize with other dogs and people alike. Yes, they do need to have that one-on-one training, but they also need to connect with the world around them to know what is generally acceptable.
Even though you start with giving them regular walks, chances are, they may get to see and interact with other dogs along the way. To take it to a whole other level, take them to the park and let them experience social situations in person. As a result of this, your dog will refrain from adopting some unsociable characteristics and equally pick up some neat tricks from other dogs and people alike.
When in Doubt, Get Some Help
There is no shame in being unable to train your dog on your own; it is as tedious as a task like any other. So, if you begin to realize that you cannot do it, then get some help from professionals who can.
Trainers and handlers are always readily available to lend a helping hand, and since they have a lot more experience, they have the upper hand. As such, if you notice some potentially destructive behavior coming from your pet, ask for help so as to curb it before it gets out of hand.