How to train your dog – Basic dog training
How to train your dog – So you just got a new dog and want people to see that it can do more than lick itself (and others) in inappropriate places. Or maybe you’ve finally decided that it’s time to show your old dog who’s boss – the creature wearing your expensive sneakers, not the one pooping on them.
If you don’t have a dog just yet but are planning to get one, keep in mind that while all dogs are trainable, certain dogs are more susceptible to certain types of training. Dobermans are predisposed to be guard dogs, while collies are herding dogs, and setters, pointers, and retrievers are hunting dogs.
Understanding dog behavior
A Tired Dog Is A Good Dog
Give the dog the exercise he needs, and he will spend much of his day resting – not chewing, barking, digging, escaping, or destroying things.
Your Reactions Affect Your Dog’s Actions
If you allow your dog to be rewarded for some action, he’s likely to repeat it. Consciously allow rewards to happen for actions you like, and prevent your dog from getting rewarded by you or the environment for actions you don’t want to encourage.
Dogs Do What Works
Dogs will act in ways that they’ve learned are successful, ways that gain them Good Things and help them avoid Bad Things. Behavior that is rewarded is going to be repeated.
Be the alpha dog
To successfully train your dog, you must be the leader of your pack, or at least rank above him. Always be firm and consistent with your dog, as this will show him that he can’t get away with everything, even if he really is the cutest thing alive. If you fear that you may already be underneath your dog in rank, don’t concede to defeat and continue to let your dog hog the blankets at night – toss him off the bed. While it may seem mean, it’s a good idea to show your dog who’s boss by pulling rank on him occasionally. Make him get up from the couch so you could sit in his place, and eat your meal before feeding him his, even if he’s drooling a lake by your feet. Don’t act scared if your dog growls at you when you ask him to do things – just snarl back without touching him and stand your ground. Continue prodding him to obey you until he does.
If you have a puppy, make sure you begin training him as soon as he reaches the appropriate training age; this will reinforce his natural tendency to depend on others. It’s also a good idea to start early because in no time at all, your tiny puppy will turn into a monstrous beast with paws the size of your face. You won’t want to train “Clifford, the BIG RED DOG”
As for the non-puppy owners, you’ve probably heard the saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Well, whoever made up that line was either a very successful liar or someone who lacked the patience to really communicate with his/her dog. While it’s true that old dogs don’t come with clean slates, they will obey your foreign commands if you make it worth their while to do so. So don’t fall for that fallacy.
You should NEVER yell at or hit your dog, no matter how frustrating training can get. Going ballistic only teaches your dog to be nervous around you and fear you, making it hard for him to concentrate on what it is you want him to learn. By the way, it’s illegal to hit a dog, so if we catch you doing it, we’ll throw your butt in jail.
Reinforcement through repetition and consistency is effective in training anyone – Lassie, a feral midget, even you. Habits, good and bad, are formed when an action is repeated over and over again with consistency. So during the process of training your pooch, don’t give up the routine until he’s got it. And even after your dog has mastered the following tricks, test him on them from time to time to make sure that he’s still got it.
Remember Pavel’s dog experiment? Though it shows human behavior in the experiment but it also shows a dog’s behavior when you reinforce the same concept on a dog. This concept is important when you want to train your dog.
Remember: Repetition with rewards will reap the right actions/behavior.