Here you are with a brand new puppy, a cute bundle of energy and life that is bringing joy to you and your family. That cuteness however can wear off when the bad behavior sets in. Dogs, puppies in particular, are great companions, man's best friend. Being that as it may, in order for both owner and pet to co-exist peacefully and happily there is a relationship that must form and that is one of master and pet. Your dog must know that you as the owner are in charge and that he/she takes commands and obeys those commands from you.
The hardest part in communicating with a dog is doing it in a way that is humane and in a way that the dog understands. Physical abuse should never be used as a way to discipline a dog as it is both cruel and ineffective towards the end goal of dog training. Effective dog training has a basic underlying principle, which is reward desired behavior while ignoring undesired behavior.
Basic Training Classes
Basic dog training classes are very effective and set a foundation for the puppy training that is to occur over the next several months or even years. Most dog training classes will accept puppies from 3-6 months of age and after the puppy has had all the necessary vaccinations. Fundamentally, effective dog training is about communication, so the owner must take the lessons learned in the dog training classes and continue to enforce these principles at home. It is highly recommended that the puppy be enrolled in the dog training class as soon as the puppy enters the home. There are also “In Home Dog Training” classes in which a professional trainer will come to the house and work with the owner and puppy. I tend to lean away from this method as traditional dog training classes also offer the advantage of the puppy being introduced to other dog's which helps build the dog's social skills. This is a great asset to both the dog and owner as the dog will most likely be in social situations when taken on walks, runs, etc.
Communicating with your Dog
Communication with your dog is key. Much like in any relationship if communication is bad or misunderstood the relationship suffers. Yes, it is human to animal, but the same principles apply. The owner must understand the dog's moods because if the dog is giving off signals to which the owner doesn't understand or respond to correctly the quality of dog training will suffer. The majority of training revolves around the consequences of the dog's behavior. Positive and negative reinforcement and punishments are designed to add or remove something from the situation to either increase or decrease the chances of the behavior from being exhibited again. Positive rewards can be a treat, a walk, being brought into a social situation, etc. Negative punishments can be a sharp “No” or any other verbal warning. Physical abuse should not be used as this leads to a skittish dog that can be fearful and unwilling to co-operate.
The web offers many useful dog training sites which can be a great resource when trying to find specific solutions to your individual dog or puppy training needs. Always remember that a dog must be trained and that the animal's behavior is a reflection of the owner and the work they have put into that particular dog. A dog requires a lot of training and proper attention to be a well behaved pet. Dog's are great companions, loyal and loving, please take great pride in your pet and treat him/her with the respect they deserve.
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