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Simple Yet Powerful Principles For Dog Obedience Training
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Obedience training is necessary for your dog. It works as a way for you to communicate your wishes to your dog and allows the both of you to bond better. With training, your relationship will be brought to new heights as you have better communication and a more fulfilling time together.
Ideally, you should start to train and correct undesirable behaviors as early as possible when your dog is 8 to10 weeks old. This is the period where they learn best and is a vital time for influencing your dog's future behavior. It's definitely easier to train a pup when compare to an older dog. Nevertheless, it's still possible to train older dogs, you just have to correct his bad habits first and then teach him the proper ones.
There are many incidents where owners abandon their dogs at shelters because they cannot understand what their dog is up to. Dogs will start to display annoying behaviors such as chewing, barking and potty when and where they like, the worse case would be to display aggressive behavior towards the owners.
These incidents can be avoided if obedience training is implemented. Obedience training is a fundamental platform from which your dog and you will learn to effectively communicate with each other.
On top of that, obedience training can help to instill discipline in misbehaved dogs. It is one way of incorporating discipline in the dog's behavior. Obedience training makes the dog realize that certain behaviors are not allowed and that he should not act that way. Done correctly, obedience training can regulate your dog's behavior and he will be able to respond properly with the right behavior that is expected of him.
There are many dog owners who ask if it is advisable to enroll their dogs into obedience training school. It is generally easier to train your dog with the help of a professional dog trainer or school. Nevertheless, if the dog owner feels that he is up to the job and has the ability to follow simple instructions, there is no special incentives or need to enroll into a school. A helpful guide is generally more than enough.
No matter where you choose to train your dog, at home or in a school, there are some universal principles that never change and all dog owners should follow them strictly:
1. Fun and Reward - Effective obedience training is not about imposing strict rules and punishments. Your dog does not understand why he should listen to your commands in the first place. Therefore, in order for your dog to act and behave to what you want, the training session must be fun and rewarding for him.
Your dog will soon learn to do as he is commanded whenever he gets rewards or praises and he will find it an enjoyable experience as well.
2. Consistency - It is important to have consistency in the course of training especially when correcting unwanted behaviors. Always use the same "command" for a specific task you require of your dog. Don't confuse him by using different commands for the same task.
The minute you set the house rules for your dog, like keeping the bed or bed room out of bounds, stick to them constantly. If the dog learns that he can get away with breaking these rules now and then, your previous efforts will go down the drain.
Simple rules and regulations set earlier on should be followed religiously. It is critical to teach the dog exactly what he is allowed to do and be consistent about it. Confusion will only make matters worse. Lastly, make sure everyone in the family accepts and enforce your rules consistently.
3. Timing - Timing is critical to successful training. Praise your dog whenever he is doing something right. Giving him a small treat he likes will work wonders for most dogs.
Do take him to task immediately whenever he does not respond to your command or behaves inappropriately. Praises and reprimands that happen later will have no effect on your dog.
There are two main approaches concerning the timing of correction when your dog misbehaves. The first approach is the "Direct Approach". It simply requires you to reprimand your dog on the spot whenever he misbehaves - chewing, barking, digging and biting. This is a more tangible and straight forward approach to training your dog and is easy to understand for most trainers.
The second one is the "Endurance Approach" as it'll require you to ignore your dog when he misbehaves. Using the cause and effect to your advantage, this approach requires you to ignore the dog, especially when he behaves in a certain manner to seek attention.
This approach requires you to pay attention to your dog only when he's a good boy. The rationale for this is that dogs desire attention and will be encouraged by attention. Dogs do not differentiate between positive and negative reinforcement. They see things in a simple way. Whenever an action gets attention and a reaction from you, you will find that your dog will repeat the action again - cause and effect.
Sorry to say, most dog owners tend to give negative attention to our dogs. For example: Do you let him out of his crate when he groans or do you give him more attention when he jumps onto you excitedly whenever you comes home? These are considered negative attention and acts to motivate him in continuing his bad behavior.
Luckily, the opposite is true if you can learn to give your dog attention when he behaves well. Once the dog understands that he'll get attention only when he's behaving, he'll learn that only good behavior attracts attention and he'll repeat his good behavior always.
What you should do is to focus your attention on your dog only when he is behaving; praise him or give him a treat, let him know that he's getting the attention. If this technique is used correctly, he'll be a well-behaved dog for a long time to come.
4. Training Session - You need to be in the correct frame of mind before you train your dog. Don't train your dog when you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs or if you've had a bad day and not in the best of moods.
It's recommended to locate and train at a place where there is little distraction around him so that he can concentrate on training. You should take it slowly when you first begin training, this is especially true for young pups. Avoid training a pup for more than 5 minutes and older dogs' training should not last for more than 15 minutes. They will not have the mental stamina to concentrate on training. It's recommended to pause for short breaks in between training session.
Whenever possible, you should plan the training session to your benefit. The best time to train a dog is when he is hungry; he will be mentally more alert and response better to treat rewards.
Training your dog is not a difficult task: once you get the hang of it, the rest will follow naturally. Every dog owner has the right to own, live and enjoy the company of an obedience dog - Start to train your dog today.
Moses Wright has been a dog lover since young and now he loves to help fellow dog owners solve their dog obedience training problems whenever he can. You can get a free copy of his book filled with useful and practical tips here: Free Dog Training Book
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By Tara Tisdale
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