Starting to feel like learning how to train dogs is impossible and better off left to the pros? Don’t quit yet. There are several effective ways to train your dog the key is to learn which method works best for you and your dog.
Any behavioral specialist (and any parent!) will tell you that you get better results with rewards than you get with punishments, and with a little of thought, it’s easy to see why this is the best way to train your dog. For your dog’s own safety and for your own sanity, you’ll find that using a rewards-based system is one of the most effective ways to train your dog and to make the training stick.
The positive reinforcement method can help you train any dog. Contrary to what you’ve heard you can teach an old dog new tricks. This method is great for dogs of all ages so whether you’re learning how to train a new born puppy or an older dog it’s extremely quick and effective.
The key when starting out with the positive reinforcement method is to give your dog a cue that you will use consistently throughout training. It doesn’t matter whether it’s word or a gesture. Your cue will signal your dog to perform the desired action so make sure it’s something that’s relatively easy to understand.
As an example you may choose to train your dog to sit down. Start out by telling him in a clear, moderate tone, “sit.” You follow your command by assisting him in that task by pushing his back legs down. Once the task is completed be sure to lavish your dog with lots of praise. You may even want to give him a little treat. Your dog needs to know you’re happy with what he’s done.
Remember that should only reward your dog when he performs at your command. If, for instance, he comes up and sits or rolls over without any prompting for you, do not give him a treat. If you do, you can think of it as him training you, instead!
When you’re learning how to train your dog using positive reinforcement it’s important to keep in mind that dog training does take time and focused effort. Don’t lose control and start yelling at or hitting your dog. Don’t forget that your dog loves you. If he behaves badly reprimand him firmly but don’t be so harsh that you make him afraid of you.
With patience and a little effort you’ll have your dog trained in no time. You’ll feel comfortable with your dog’s behavior and your dog will be happy because he’s pleasing his owner.
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