If you’re thinking about adding your first dog to the family, make sure you include your list of considerations to training your dog. While many people argue the effectiveness of one method over another, one thing is certain: behavior training your dog is essential to a peaceful and safe life for everyone. Here are three essential behaviors your dog needs to learn during their training and a few tips to help you teach them effectively.
Teaching your dog to sit is especially important if they’re meeting a lot of new people. Learning to demonstrate this behavior when they’re approached by a new person gives them a friendly way to greet strangers and it gives you, the dog owner, more control during these interactions. Sitting also encourages your dog to make eye contact with you, which is important when there are other distracting factors in the environment.
Behaviors like “sit” and “stay” pair extremely well together! Training your dog behavior like this can not only help you as an owner, it can keep your dog safe. Imagine you’re walking your dog and they start to chase after a squirrel. Teaching them to listen when you tell them to stay can help you avoid a dog on the loose and getting dragged all over the neighborhood.
This behavior is crucial for dogs to learn. Active and athletic dogs can benefit most from this behavior, especially when meeting new people. Training your dog to settle down can help when you’re introducing them to strangers, especially if there are children around. This behavior can help protect the people around your dog, and your dog too! In addition, this behavior is helpful when you’re in public spaces like parks, on the street, or at your veterinarian’s office and around other animals. Vets suggest twice-yearly checkups for older pets, so this behavior will definitely come in handy.
Tips for Training
Dog behavior training can be tough, even when you’re teaching seemingly simple commands like “sit,” “stay,” and “calm.” If you’re unsure what the best way to train your dog is, here are a few more tips to help you get started:
- Do Not Use Dominance Methods – Dominance training methods (when an owner takes on the “alpha” role) aren’t as effective as they might seem. In fact, they can actually incite more aggressive dog behaviors, which you do not want. Working through positive reinforcement will not only be more effective, but it will also be more enjoyable for you and your pup.
- Decide What House Rules Are – House rules need to be resolute and firm. If you decide your dog is allowed on the couch, but not on the bed, you need to stick to those rules and train your pup accordingly. Being flexible may result in an unruly dog who is confused and doesn’t listen.
- Set a Routine – Dogs, much like humans, are creatures of habit. Setting up a routine (and sticking to it!) is one of the best ways to ensure your dog feels secure in their environment. This can also be a huge help during your potty training exercises.
Training your dog might seem like a big undertaking, but that’s not entirely untrue! Knowing what to train and how to train your pet can be massively useful.
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