A dog that is aggressive, jumps, barks, chews or bites is a serious problem. No matter how much you love them, if your dog isn’t well-behaved, having them around is stressful and potentially dangerous. Dog obedience training experts have varying opinions on how to solve every day behavioral problems. With all the conflicting advice, it is difficult to decide on the right obedience training method for your pooch. Here are five things you should know about dog obedience training.
Even though you think of your dog as a part of the family, the truth is, they are not human beings. You speak, and you expect your dog to listen and comply with your commands, just like your children. The problem is that dogs don’t have the language capabilities that humans do. If your furry friend isn’t responding to you, it’s not his fault, he’s just a dog and it’s not entirely your fault either, you’re just human.
Consistency & Patience
If you’re not consistent in your commands, your pooch is going to get confused and you’ll likely become frustrated. For instance, if you sometimes say “Sit Fluffy” and then you change it to “Fluffy, sit now!”, he’s not going to know what you mean. Likewise, if you reward him for sitting sometimes, but not others, he won’t equate the behavior with the reward. Being patient with your dog, and yourself, is imperative. Remember that if you start to get frustrated and inconsistent, you can make the problem worse.
Dogs Love Rewards
When your pup follows instructions, learns a new trick or walks without incident on the leash, he deserves a reward. With dogs, you can’t wait until later to say, “good job”, he has to know right away. Patting his head and telling him how good he is will reinforce the good behavior, because he wants and needs your love and attention. Snacks or a game with their favorite toy are other good ways to reward your dog. Remember that most of the time, your dog is all about pleasing you. Rewards let him know that he did a good job and encourages him to do the same things again.
If you’re consistently rewarding good behavior, you also have to consistently and swiftly hand out the consequences for less desirable behavior. Just like people, every dog has his own personality and dominant behavior traits, it’s what makes them unique. For that simple reason, there are no hard-and-fast rules to follow, it’s a highly individualized process. Just because something worked for your friend’s rambunctious pup doesn’t mean it will work for yours.
Don’t Give Up
Like most pet parents, you’re probably pretty busy with the human things you do like work, and there aren’t many extra hours in the day. In most households, dog training is a family affair and consistency can be an issue. When this happens, the dog is confused and bad behaviors are often the result. That’s when the It’s easy to become overwhelmed when you’re trying to correct bad behavior in a dog, especially if you’re already stressed out. Don’t give up though, you and your dog can get back on track.
If you’re experiencing behavioral problems with your dog, or you’ve got questions about dog obedience training, contact us. Our expert staff will be happy to talk to you about it and offer some suggestions to help you.