Everyone wishes for a well behaved pet dog that wouldn't chew on their favorite shoes, or leave half-eaten newspapers on the lawn. We all long to find our own version of Lassie, but it's difficult when we don't know where to start. Training your mutt to be a Class A citizen is close to impossible if you're off on the wrong foot. This article lists pointers to guide every dog lover on the right track.
Choosing the right collar and leash
The fist step in training your dog is to find the right collar and leash. Make sure that the collar you buy is strong enough to hold an aggressive and untrained mutt, but comfortable enough for long term wear. Don't buy a frail collar just because it looks cute on your pet. On the other hand, you shouldn't pick a collar that could possibly injure your dog. Collars made of tough cloth and leather are very good choices.
When buying the leash, the same rules apply. Chain leashes may be strong enough to handle a big mutt, but they're pretty difficult to manage unless you're wearing gloves. Chain leashes can also injure your pet, so it's still safer to choose a tough rope-like cloth leash.
Positive reinforcement works best
Just because you have an aggressive dog doesn't mean that you have a bad dog. Most of the time, pet aggression is caused by a misunderstanding between you and your pet. You pet is probably venting out frustration because it couldn't please you. Giving treats to reward your pet works better than any punishment when you're trying to get the message across. Harsh punishments for misdemeanors only trigger defensive behavior from your dog. For this to work, make sure you don't spoil your pet dog by giving it treats for no reason. Make treat giving an occasional but meaningful occasion.
Keeping your sessions short and sweet
Your pet's attention span can only hold lessons for 10 to 15 minutes in a row. Holding long training sessions within the day, in other words, will only bore your pet. For a more effective training scheme, spread your training sessions into 2 or 3 regular segments throughout the day. Try to stick to a strict and consistent training schedule, and don't rush your pet when you're in training. Slow and steady wins the game in pet training too.
What you should do when all else fails
There are some pets that are simply harder to train compared to others. Labradors usually give their owners a big headache because they tend to act like pups even when they're all grown up.
Most people who can't train their dogs look for professional trainers who can hold sessions inside their house. Some owners also find dog schools effective for extremely disobedient mutts. If you're not comfortable about leaving your pet in someone else's hands, you should try group dog training sessions, so you can still train your dog under the supervision of a professional pet trainer.
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