Every dog owner dreams of having that perfectly behaved dog — the one who is calm, knows his commands and doesn’t have any bad habits. So once your pup knows the basics like sit and stay, what else do you need to know to make sure your dog becomes a well-adjusted member of the family? A lot! Here are our dog training tips every dog owner needs to know.
No matter what goals you have with dog training, these tips will help you achieve them.
Socialize your dog as often as possible starting at a young age. This means that you should go on regular walks outside of your neighborhood and expose your dog to new people and situations, says Fanna Easter, Petco’s National Dog Training Education Specialist. This will boost his confidence and decrease anxiety in new situations, which will carry over to other areas (training!). There is no such thing as too much socialization, so get going!
Be sure to reward good behavior! How will your dog know he’s doing what you want if you don’t tell him? Reward your dog when he’s lying calmly at your feet (not pulling on the leash) and during any other desirable behaviors, explains Fanna Easter. He’ll be more likely to do what you want if you let him know what he does well.
Follow the dog laws for success such as keeping a schedule for you and your pet in terms of feeding, walks, playtime and more. “Dogs and people both need mental/physical exercise and healthy diet for better quality, longer life,” explains Dog Trainer Geralynn Cada of GCUnleashed.com. She also explains that a consistent system of communication is key as well to lessening anxiety in both the dog and the human family members.
Watch your tone
Your tone sets the mood of the training session. When speaking to your dog, he’ll respond quickly and properly if you are confident and calm in your tone and being, explains Geralynn Cada. “Dogs with owners that yell or use harsh tones to force obedience lead to a lower quality, shorter life for dog and owner,” she says. Just like in human-to-human interactions, the tone accounts for a whole lot.
Find his purpose
Each dog has a purpose in life, whether it’s to be a family dog, a guide dog, a therapy dog, a police dog or something else. Finding your dog’s purpose and/or something he excels at will go a long way toward his overall happiness. Geralynna Cada says it’s important to have your dog “pull his weight around the house, even if it is just to sit and entertain you with some great tricks every day.”