The Basics of Training Your Dog.

By: Thomas Hunter

As a new dog owner and trainer, you may find yourself a bit overwhelmed at first. Do not be discouraged by this. It is quite common and shows a healthy concern for your pets well being. This being said there are a few very simple rules to remember when training your pet.

If you can remember to remain consistent, keep a level head and reward your pet appropriately then you have won a large part of the battle. What do these three basics entail? We shall discuss that in the following few paragraphs.

Dogs are creatures of habit. Every part of their daily life revolves around an internal schedule and routine. They anticipate the return of their owners at a certain time of day and know that meal times occur regularly. Once trained, they will even exhibit certain behaviors to mark these times of day, such as bringing their empty food dish to their master or waiting near the door for their owners return. To us humans, this may seem a dull existence but our canine companions thrive on consistent routines. This fact is very useful to a new trainer as it can make your job much easier if you use this knowledge. Why? Because canine obedience training revolves around repetition of certain actions. The goal behind obedience training is the idea that a dog will respond with a certain reaction every time a certain command is given. This means that every time you tell your dog to sit, this will be exactly what will happen. To make use of the animalís instinctive behavior in this regard, one must remember to be consistent with training. Go thru the routines exactly the same way every time with no variation until they are well in hand. If you tell your dog to sit, make certain your pet does so before moving on to the next point, even pushing their hindquarters down if necessary to accomplish this end. This rigid consistency will go a long way towards achieving a well-trained pet.

Letís now move along to the next point of keeping a level head, which is also one of the more difficult points. At the end of a long day of work, you are tired, the dog just doesnít seem to be responding and tempers can flare quite easily. You may decide this dog is just one of the few who canít be trained or that you just donít have the skills. You might be feeling completely discouraged by a seeming lack of interest on the dogs part to learn even the simplest of behaviors. You will most likely encounter this scenario more than once in your venture at dog training. Just take this moment as a queue that the lesson is done for the time being and retire to some less strenuous amusement such as a hot cup of tea. Dogs are like children and will find the ways to irritate you for amusement it seems. Just like children, they take time and patience in teaching anything worth training them for. Rome wasnít built in a day and your dog wonít become a well trained champion over night either.

Now letís move on to the third major point in being a successful trainer. The reward for doing a behavior or trick correctly. This is a very important part of the training process as it builds your relationship with your pet and shows them your appreciation for their good behaviors. Again consistent treatment is important in training and a reward should be given every time a performance of a given command is executed properly. This is not saying to give your dog a food treat every time. While an occasional tidbit of food is a great reward doing so consistently is not. This would result in an unhealthy pet and be counterproductive to your training efforts. Rather than doing this, offer other forms of reward such as rich verbal praise, play with a favorite toy or petting your dog to show affection. These rewards will enhance your relationship with your pet and make future training sessions even easier as your pet will anticipate these rewards and want to please you.

If these simple steps are kept in mind, your pets training should be an easy task with many rich rewards. Enjoy your pet and make your bond stronger while training with these three principles.

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