Owning a dog can be one of the most wonderful experiences that life has to offer, but it comes with work.
The more work you put into your dog the better your relationship will be. It will be easier to trust your dog in public settings, other people’s private spaces, and on transport.
Training your dog can seem like a daunting process but we have some top tips and tricks that will help you in your process and your dog will be responding to multiple commands in no time.
Before Training Checklist
Before we get started there are some things that you need to know to ensure that this process can go smoothly.
Take a look at the list below of what is expected for you the dog owner. If you can say yes to all the below, or that you are ready to do all the below then you are definitely ready to train your dog.
Patience is key to training your dog. It is best to choose a time when you are not exhausted as usually times like this are when patience is running thin.
Training your dog will take time and so you need to be willing to repeat commands, actions and wait for periods of time when your dog disengages from the training.
If you feel ready to have patience with this process then that is a massive step.
While understandably you may have a busy schedule, juggling kids, work, or family responsibilities, it is important that you prioritize training time every day, at least once.
Training a dog can take months and even when they are trained they will still be learning as their environments change due to a house move or children growing up or new relationships moving into your home.
There is no magic wand that you can wave unfortunately so try not to put a deadline on when you would like your dog to be trained and just go along with your dog’s natural progress.
Different dog breeds have different personality traits and this can mean that they engage differently in the training process.
Take time to research the breed of your dog so that you can understand how your dog may react and how you can best support your dog during the training process.
It is also important to take time to educate yourself on the different tricks and commands that are out there.
Basic commands such as sit, stay, and come are the bases of most other commands and tricks and are a great place to start.
Look at how other people have trained their dogs and take these practices into your training.
If you are finding that your dog is not reacting to the training then try a new way of introducing and teaching a trick or command but do try to stick to one to ensure you don’t confuse your dog.
How To Teach A Dog A Trick
Below we look at some great tips that you can incorporate into your training and you will have your dog performing tricks after some persistence and patience.
Form A Habit
Try to form a training schedule that is realistic. As little as 15 minutes once or even twice a day is a great amount of time to spend teaching your dog tricks.
This is short enough to keep your dog’s attention and also short enough to prevent both you and your dog from becoming frustrated.
One Trick At A Time
When you are creating a schedule it can be worthwhile considering what commands or tricks your dog already knows.
If your dog doesn’t know any tricks or commands then you should start with the basics and build from there.
If your dog has the basics down already then look at tricks you want to teach your dog and choose one that has elements of commands your dog already knows.
This is a great way of setting your dog up for success.
Every Day Is Progress
While some days things may not go perfectly it is still a step in the right direction. Always end a training session on a positive note and try to let it go.
Being frustrated with your dog will make them believe that training time equals angry owners and they will be reluctant to engage in the future, making it impossible to teach them new tricks and commands.
A great way to keep your dog engaged is through positive reinforcements and there are three main ways to do this, tone of voice and verbal praise, physical attention, such as belly rubs, and treats.
When training your dog it is important to have an authoritative tone of voice.
When your dog does well use a more high-pitched and cheerful tone of voice so the dog can tell the difference between focusing and receiving praise.
Physical attention is another great way of giving your dog praise. When you are training try not to touch your dog as this can be a distraction.
When they have completed a trick or command give the dog a rub or a belly rub while praising them verbally too.
Lastly, treats! To prevent becoming reliant on giving your dog treats, which could cause them to become overweight, try to use this only at the end of the session.
If you have to rely on treats when beginning this process ensure that you wean away from treats until the end of the session.
By following these tips and recommendations we are confident that you will be able to teach your dog a trick.
You may be training a new puppy or you may be training an older dog. Both can be as challenging but rewarding in the end.
If you want some ideas for tricks you can teach your dog here is a compilation of 20 awesome trick tutorials