• The Daily Dog Coach

Tantalizing Dog Training Secrets

Updated: Aug 31

Have you ever seen a large unruly and excited dog, or a tiny exuberant puppy pulling their owner towards every bush while they are on a walk? And then have you ever laughed at that scenario because you know the dog is obviously the one in charge? “That dog owner needs to teach his puppy some manners,” we might say to ourselves. But on the other hand, have you ever seen a dog walk calmly and perfectly by his owner’s side? We think, “Wow, that dog is really good! He must have had some good dog training.” And it’s true, both dog scenarios mentioned above are either from a lack of dog training or constant and daily obedience dog training.

So how does a dog owner actually train their dog? Well that comes with a little knowledge and some insight into how to train animal behavior, and dog training has come along way especially with the advent of the internet. For those of us who grew up without the internet very little was known about dog training. When it came to being a dog trainer it usually took some specialized school to physically go to, then then for a fee, learn the skills necessary to train your dog with a wonderful certification upon your graduation from that dog training school.

Now that we have the internet and social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Tik Tok, we can see for ourselves just how these dog trainers actually tame these wild young pups into calm and submissive family pets, or how police dogs are trained or even sniffer dogs that can detect the Covid-19 Virus.

However the dog is used, for work or personal pet, there are at least 10 basic ingredients or secrets every trainer uses:

1. Go for a walk before you start your training session. Dogs have tons of energy and they need to get that energy out. So, taking your dog for a 10-minute walk will help get the energy out so your dog is more focused on the training.

2. Take a long bathroom break before training begins. You don’t want to have to disrupt your training and take way your dog’s focus. Much like humans having to go to the bathroom before class, their attention is not in class but rather, having to leave class.

3. Reward your dog and have plenty of treats in a bag attached to your belt or in your pocket. If your dog responds really well with treats, try and have a variety of treats. But if your dog prefers a ball, have a few different types of balls and reward them with playing ball.

4. Focus on learning one thing at a time. Trying to teach your dog too many commands at once can be confusing and they might not learn the actual command.

5. Train in short, 5-10-minute spurts. Dogs can get bored very easily so we want to keep their attention and excitement levels up.

6. Try to keep your dog’s attention on you at all times during the training session. If your dog’s attention is diverted elsewhere then quickly call out his or her name, or rattle a toy to get their attention, or play with a ball in your hand, anything to get his attention back on you.

7. Start simple with teaching basic commands first like “sit” or lay “down.” At first you will have to show your puppy what to do, for instance pushing his or her butt down while saying the command “sit.” Then immediately reward the dog for that behavior so they learn to associate that behavior with something positive, which will make them want to listen to your command when giving it. That’s positive reinforcement. Make sense?

8. Reward with lots of verbal praise, like “GOOD GIRL!” You want to make it a really positive experience with a food or ball reward AND verbal praise.

9. Have lots of love. Dogs respond more quickly and learn even faster when you are happy and in a good mood. Being in a bad mood your self can cause many mistakes to happen which will make you mad and not like dog training. Your attitude makes a difference and your dog will feed off your energy because you are the pack leader and your dog is your follower.

10. Have fun and repeat the process. Go with what feels right for you and do it again, repetition is your best teacher.

Here are some additional tips to remember when training your new puppy or dog:

· If your dog is not listening or he seems to be giving you a hard time, take a break. There’s nothing in the rule books that say you “have” to train your dog at a certain time. But the most optimal time to do dog training is when you are in a good mood.

· Every dog has a bad day. There are just some days dogs don’t want to learn. So, try it the next day or the next, don’t give up.

· Try avoiding using the word “no” if your dog does something wrong, ignore the bad behavior while in-training, and repeat the command while showing the dog what to do. Does it mean you will never use the word? Not necessarily. It does happen from time to time. So, I suggest to use it sparingly.

Last but not least, think: “SEAWORLD!” The only way those SeaWorld Trainers can get those huge sea animals to do anything is by constant repetition and positive fishy re-enforcement. Get the idea?

All in all, the most valuable key when training animals is TIME. Just like work, if you want to get the most out of it, or your animal, then you must put in the time. I recommend giving your dog at least one hour a day for training, combined with dog walking and grooming, and perhaps weekly car rides which dogs absolutely love.

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