Ever wondered where to start with training your dog? Here are some things that are essential when trying to teach your dog. Thanks to Lorna Woodward from Pet Tags…
Whether you have just adopted a dog or added a new puppy to your household, getting a brand new furry family member is a big deal. While it may be tempting to indulge your new pet and give them plenty of treats, fuss and attention, it is also important not to forget what is in their best interests. Sure, your dog might love the additional treats, but once the novelty starts to wear off and the bad habits begin to kick in, your dog will soon expect this as the norm, leading to problems further down the line when things inevitably change.
Therefore, it is important to train your dog fully and proficiently – that way, you and your pooch will understand each other, boundaries will be set and rules adhered to, leading to a happier and more content life together for the whole family.
Taking your pet to a professional dog trainer is always recommended, as trainers can offer expert advice and tailor their tried-and-tested methods to suit your requirements and your dog’s unique personality. A trainer is a great way to teach you and your dog the basics of rules and discipline, as well as helping you both to overcome any particular issues that need to be addressed. However, your trainer cannot do it all alone. The process of teaching your dog to become better behaved should be a two-way street, an equal partnership between the owner and the trainer.
Unfortunately, some owners don’t realise or recognise this, resulting in the dog struggling to understand how they are expected to behave which can lead to further issues arising as a result of this.
To that end, there are certain things which dog trainers wish that owners would do in order to speed up the training process and allow things to become more efficient and effective. If you are a dog owner, here is a selection of points to keep in mind, designed to keep you, the trainer and your dog happy.
Remember Training Takes Time
One of the most important things to keep in mind is that dog training and modifying learned behaviours is not a quick fix – there is no easy solution to effective dog training. Although some dogs and certain breeds are likely to pick up new commands more easily than others, training is a lengthy process of repetition, where both the dog and the owner must learn to communicate effectively. Of course, the length of training time will also depend on the number of commands needed, the intensity of the training programme and the complexity of what you want your dog to learn and recall.
Recognise Pet Safety is Paramount
While training is, of course, important, the safety and security of your pet is equally essential. It is important to protect your pet at all times, especially if they are particularly jumpy or unpredictable, or if they are a new addition to your family.
Microchipping is one of the best ways to keep your pet safe – also acting as an important tool to safeguard against the threat of pet theft. However, it is also important that your dog wears a collar at all times when out and about in order to stay as safe as possible. Pet tags displaying your dog’s name and often your address or phone number are also recommended as they can help lost dogs become reunited with their owners.
You can find more information about pet tags here: https://www.pet-tags.co.uk/
Understand the Reasons behind Bad Behaviour
If your dog is consistently behaving badly or negatively, there is likely to be an underlying cause behind the poor behaviour. It is vital to bear in mind that dogs have a range of basic needs, just like humans. If your dog is missing out on something, this could well be the root of their bad behaviour. Attention, socialising, engagement, playtime and exercise are all vital components of a happy and healthy dog’s life – if one or more of these elements are missing from their life, you should work to rectify this and change things for the better.
In addition, you should always remember one simple fact – your dog does not know better. Sometimes, antisocial or destructive behaviour is the only outlet your pet will have to show you that they are unhappy; in situations like these, punishment is not the answer.
Tailor the Training to the Dog
Of course, no two dogs are the same, which means that there should be no such thing as a one-size-fits-all training regime. It is important the owner and trainer work together to create a bespoke training plan, tailored to your individual pet. While training is important, the most vital thing is the happiness of you and your pet.
Our pets are a significant part of our lives, with the power to influence and enrich every day, something which should not be taken for granted in the pursuit of the ‘perfect’ well-trained dog.
Lorna Woodward is a freelance professional with a background in animal care and welfare. When she isn’t out and about with her own dog, she is likely to be found writing about pets or working to increase awareness about the importance of animal welfare.