How do you train a Dog to………..
It is a question I have received quite a few times now via email.
How do you train a Dog to sit, stay, fetch, roll over, stop barking, etc, etc.
I could probably write a million posts about the various ways to train a Dog to perform a specific task and I will return to a few in the future.
However, there are, for me at least, a few underlying factors that are the root of any good Dog Training technique.
I bet there is not a Dog owner on the planet who has not got angry and exasperated with their little Bone Muncher on more than one a hundred occasions! We all wish we knew exactly what we had to do so that our Dog would learn quickly what we wish it to do/not do.
There is NO magic formula to instantly, well behaved, Dogs. Each Dog has its own personality and will respond differently, faster, or slower to commands and training depending on numerous factors, including its temperament and background.
All of that being said, there are a few basic rules that we can all follow to ensure that our training works the best it can.
How Can I Train My Dog?
Below you will find what I believe to be the main factors you need to implement to successfully train your Dog. Whatever you are trying to achieve you will do well to bear the following in mind.
Exercise. This is THE main factor that can either make or break the successful training of your Dog. A Dog that has been given plenty of exercise will be much more receptive to training.
Let your Dog tire itself out adequately and you will be amazed how much easier the training goes. If you are having real problems getting your Dog to behave, take my exercise challenge and you will be amazed at the difference in your Dogs ability to respond to training.
Stay Calm. Trying to train your Dog when you yourself are full of energy is like trying to train a Dog that has not had sufficient exercise. It won’t work. You must be “too cool for School”. Staying cam and relaxed will lead to much better results. If you want your Dog to sit on command it is no good being angry every time it does not perform to your satisfaction. You need to give off positive vibes.
No aggression. Being aggressive in your Training will not leave a good impression on your Dog. Mild mannered Dogs may become scared of you and very strong willed Dogs may become aggressive back. It is easy to become angry and aggressive when things are not going well but this is exactly the time you need to take a step back and have a cup of Tea!
Expect it to take time. Do not be fooled by the latest advert for an e-book that promises an obedient Dog in the next seven days. It just won’t happen.
If you haven’t realised it yet then I will tell you now. There isn’t a Dog on the Planet that will will always repeat an action every time you want it to. Training takes time and energy and that is just the way it is when you own a Dog.
Repetition. Often forgotten, it is an unfortunate fact that repetition is often the key to Training your Pooch. Do not expect wonders immediately.
Training of whatever nature takes lots of practise. You need to repeat over and over to be successful and even then there will be times when you get that look like they are saying “it just ain’t gonna happen today buddy!”
Praise. The little wiggle bottoms love praise. After every good action they perform they must be given lots of praise. A Dog that knows it will get lots of affection for performing well will be much more inclined to do so. Heap on the love. Don’t only do it when you are Training though. You should always let your Dog know how much you love the little Monkey.
Have fun. Have some fun. You need to bond properly with your poop machine. Play time is a very important part of training. A Dog that loves your company and knows that you are fun to be around Will be a lot more responsive. Make sure you make your Dog smile on a regular basis. It will certainly help in your Training.
They’re just Dogs. Never forget this. They are, for the most part, a simple creature. They would be happy as Larry if they just had a few walks a day, got fed, had some Love and a nice Sofa to sleep on!
Most Dogs, apart from a few exceptions, do not have massive Brain power. It takes time to get through to that little Brain that just has a train of thought running through its head saying ” I like, food, I like walks, I like my Mum, I want, food, I want a Walk…..”.
You get the idea!
Not in their nature. You can try and try to get your Dog to play fetch and if it is not in their nature it just won’t happen. You have to be aware of your Dogs limitations and natural tendencies. Sheep Dogs herd sheep for a reason. Most other Dogs would be useless at it.
There is just no point tearing your hair out trying to train your Dog to fetch the morning paper if its natural tendency is to completely ignore it. Train your Dog depending on its nature. You need to know its limitations and its areas of excellence. You can then adjust your methods and what you try to teach it accordingly.
For God’s sake why? What’s the matter with you? Just why on earth have you been trying to train your Dog to stand on its hind legs, stick its tongue out and Bark the National Anthem!
Be realistic about what you want to train your Dog to do. Some things are fun to see your Dog doing and the Dog may enjoy them. Others are just daft and unnecessary. Your Dog is not just for your amusement. Leave the poor Guy alone why don’t you.
Sometimes you just have to accept things. Not all Dogs are ever going to learn what you want them to do. All Dogs can be taught to do the above (some A LOT slower than others) but some Dogs will never perform certain tasks. If the Training is not necessary to having a happy home and ensuring it, and your safety, then just be happy with what you have.
Belly rub! You know it makes sense!
May the Doggie Force be with you all.