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10 Helpful Dog Training Tips

10 Helpful Dog Training Tips

  1. Set daily puppy time aside. Training as soon as you get home after a frustrating day may not be wise. Your dog can sense impatience and tension in your voice and can feel frustration right through the leash.


  1. Keep training sessions short. Start with 5 minutes or so, and then build up slowly to 15 minutes. Short frequent sessions are far more effective than prolonged sessions.


  1. Stay Calm, Patient and Consistent. Your puppy is an infant dog – not a miniature adult.   Try to see the humor in puppy mistakes, just like a human baby. It’s helpful to get the whole household involved as much as possible. Make sure everyone is using the same language and playing by the same rules. If not, it confuses the dog. Consistency will be the key to your success.


  1. Be realistic. Changing behavior takes time. Keep in mind that “normal” doggie behaviors such as barking, digging and jumping will often take the most time to change.


  1. Teach him to come when called. “Come Maddex”! Teaching him to come is the command to be mastered first and foremost. Use his name. . When he does, make a big deal using positive reinforcement – “Good boy!” Then try it when he’s busy with something interesting. You’ll really see the benefits of perfecting this command early as he gets older.


  1. Learn “dog time.” Puppies and dogs live in the moment. Two minutes after they’ve done something, it’s forgotten. When he’s doing something bad, try your chosen training technique right away so he has a chance to make the association between the behavior and the correction. Consistent repetition will reinforce what’s he’s learned.


  1. Discourage biting or nipping. Instead of scolding him, a great way to put off your mouthy canine is to pretend that you’re in great pain when he’s biting or nipping you. He’ll be so surprised he’s likely to stop immediately. If this doesn’t work, try trading a chew toy for your hand or pant leg. The swap trick also works when he’s into your favorite shoes. He’ll prefer a toy or bone anyway. If all else fails, break up the biting behavior, and then just ignore him.


  1. Puppy-proof your house. Use baby gates, a crate, and/or a pen. Any time the puppy is not directly supervised, he should be in a safe place where he can’t get into trouble. Provide appropriate safe toys for him to chew. Eliminating opportunities for accidents and destructive behavior will get you through the puppy phase with most of your stuff intact!


  1. Give your puppy adequate exercise and mental stimulation. Bored dogs get into trouble. Did you know that young puppies are just as tired from mental stimulation as physical exercise?


  1. End training with a bang! “Excellent boy! Good job, Simon!” He’s worked hard to please you throughout the training. Leave him with lots of praise, a treat, some petting, or five minutes of play. This guarantees he’ll show up at his next class with his tail wagging—ready to work!

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