A lot of people think that dog training is difficult, frustrating, or just plain boring, but "dog training" is really a misnomer. Human training is more like it. If we can train ourselves to be patient, consistent, thoughtful, and kind in every interaction with our dogs, it really won't feel like "training" at all.
Here are 7 important Human Training tips that will help making training more successful and FUN for both you and your dog
Human Training Tip #1: Positive Reinforcement
If every time someone did something you didn't want them to do, like when Dave at the office drinks all the coffee and NEVER starts the coffee again for the rest of us ( I see you Dave ), you screamed and yelled and waved your arms at them like a maniac, would that person ever be your friend, companion or even the love of your life? The answer is NO.
Dogs are no different. Dogs are sensitive creatures. When they do something right, praise them! Every dog wants to hear "good boy" much more than "bad dog". They will naturally seek out the "good boy" behavior if you let them know what behavior warrants praise.
If you keep training positive, it will be more fun and improve your relationship with your dog.
Human Training Tip #2: Consistency
This tip really plays into the previous tip. Be consistent. If I see someone steal something from me and say nothing, chances are they will steal from you again. Lay down your rules and stick with them.
If you don't allow dogs on the couch, help them understand by gently helping them get down off the couch, then praise and treat when there are "4 on the floor".
Don't confuse them by petting and loving on them while they are still on the couch. Show them what you want with consistent training.
Use the same word every time for a command. Sit means sit, down means lay down, but don't tell your dog to "lay" and expect them to know what that means.
Human Training Tip #3: Age and mental capacity
Would you ever expect your 83 year-old grandmother to be doing backflips? Of course not, so don't expect your aging pooch to be able to do everything a 6-month-old puppy can do. Please train accordingly.
Dogs are smart, we all know that. Studies have shown that dogs have the intelligence to match a 2-year-old child. Make sure you are training simply and take into account their age.
Human Training Tip #4: Body Language
When you meet someone who speaks another language, how can you communicate? Body language, of course. You may not be fluent in their language, but you get the gist.
The same thing works for your beloved pup. They are trying to tell you what they want, what they understand, or what they need. We just have to look at their body language.
When your dog runs from one room to you and then back to that room, they want you to follow or show you something. When they look at your eyes during training, they are focused on you and want to learn. Pay attention and they can talk to you too.
Human Training Tip #5: Exercise
When you go to the gym, are you ever bored with one machine or exercise, so you move on to another? Same thing with your dogs.
Changing up their exercise routine will provide mental stimulation and ultimately make them happy, healthy, and enriched. Also don't forget that a tired dog is a better behaved dog! If you are seeing destructive behavior, make sure lack of exercise isn't the culprit!
And if walks are hard? The Freedom No-Pull dog harness can help!
Human Training Tip #6: Don't Worry, Be Happy
Just be happy. That's all you need when it comes to dog (human) training. If you are happy, they are much more willing to commit to your training. When your dog comes to you, give him or her a lot of love, smile and just be happy. Whether you call them to you or not, give them big love. You want to be around happy, positive people and you listen to them more. So does your dog.
Human Training Tip #7: Train Around Other Dogs (eventually...)
Distractions are everywhere in life. We have had to learn how to focus while kids are screaming, music is blaring, and people are talking. Now imagine your dog.
Definitely start training in a quiet place....but then transition to larger, busier spaces. If you don't train them to focus while there are distractions or dogs around them, they aren't truly being trained. Train around other dogs to build up their focus time and build a better bond with their trainer.
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