Owning a dog is probably among the best experiences a human being could possibly have. It can also become a nightmare if you let the dog behave in anyway it wants. Bad habits are easily developed, and dogs are no different to children in this aspect. You’ll have to train the dog to cooperate with you, whether it’s feeding, walking, playing, sleeping or toilet training.
Having a well-trained dog can be a great pleasure, but getting there is not very easy. It is a journey that you and your dog have to make together – trite as that sounds, it is true. First of all, make sure that everybody in the family has something to do with the dog, and is familiar with it.
Secondly, come to terms with the dog’s role in your family. Agree on where the dog will sleep, where in the house it’s not allowed, the feeding times and place, who’s responsible for dog walking etc. To make sure everyone in the family is known to the dog and a bonding takes place, it’s compulsory to involve everyone in training the dog.
After everybody agrees on these things, make sure that you stick to the routine. Dogs are creatures of habit, and they feel much more secure and much happier if they have a routine they can get used to and rely on.
Next, set fixed feeding times. The occasional treat outside feeding time is fine, but this is also a key in toilet training. If you mess this part up, you will have a lot of messes to clean up, and you cannot really blame the dog for it.
After the fundamentals are established and the dog is properly trained accordingly, you can move on to teaching it simple tricks and improve its obedience. Give the dog a treat when it does something right and shower some praise.
Remember that your dog loves being praised and petted, and when it does something right, tell it so, and encourage it, so that it will know what to do the next time.
Please remember that you cannot get a dog trained properly through fear. Praise and encouragement is what works and it can be a rewarding experience for you, as well. There is nothing quite as uplifting as a pair of doggy eyes looking at you adoringly as if convinced that you are perfect – be patient and you will see that it is worth it.