I find the key with dogs is to set boundaries and be consistent during your everyday routine. This takes the guess work out of your dogs day, you will find they will become more engaged with you and better behaved dogs. Here are some simple tips that make a world of difference in your dogs daily routine.
1. EVERY interaction with your dog is a learning experience (training session).
- Reward desired behavior.
2. Behavior that is reinforced will increase.
- Reinforce your dog for a job well done. There are many ways you can reinforce; food, play, toys, going for walk, verbal praise, scratches in their favorite spot, ect.
3. BE CONSISTENT and FOLLOW THROUGH! Period!
- Lack of consistency will only confuse your dog and frustrate you. Animals are opportunistic, they will do what they feel is in their best interest. If you constantly reward them for desired behavior they will exhibit desired behavior.
4. Ask your dog to ‘sit’ or ‘down’ for everything, before they receive a treat, or love, before breakfast or dinner, before tossing a toy, before walking out the door. A sitting or a dog that is lying down is not a jumping or a bolting out the door dog, they are a dog that is looking for the next bit of direction.
- I personally feel a dog that is sitting or laying down is saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’.
5. Understand what your dog is telling you through their body language.
- It is harder to train your dog if they are stressed, scared, anxious, or overstimulated. If you can recognize these signs from your dog you may be more sympathetic to why they cannot listen to you.
6. Training your dog will take time.
- Some variables that will effect their learning include: age, breed, spayed or neutered, training location, complexity of the behavior, and/ or if they’ve had prior training.
7. Ask your dog to ‘stay’ for their food and before walking out any door including the car.
- A dog that is ‘staying’ is not a bolting out the door dog they are looking for the next bit of direction.
8. Exercise, it is wonderful for both physical and mental stimulation.
- Remember that tossing a ball in your yard, though it be exercise, is not the same as getting your dog out of your yard and taking them for a walk or run. It’s important that your dog has the opportunity to smell and see new sites.
- The amount of exercise varies per dog.
9. If you notice sudden changes in your dog behavior make sure they are in good physical health.
- Yearly vet examinations are important to maintain with your dog.
10. Have fun with your dog.
- If you ever feel you are getting frustrated or angry, take a step back, give yourself some time, then go back to your dog and end on a happy note. Your dog can see your frustration thus making it harder to train during that time.
- Keep your training sessions short.