A complete guide on how to train a dog correctly

If you want your dog to be smart, obedient and well mannered, you cannot do without training. But do you know how to train your dog correctly? If you are not sure that you know how to set off on training your dog right, read our guide.

10 important rules on how to train your dog 

1) Choose your dog’s favorite treat for training. Offer your dog different treats,  find out what their favorite one is and use it in training.

2) Reward your dog for every single success they make. 

3) Don’t reward your dog for nothing. Otherwise, the dog will get confused.

4) Never mix reinforcement and punishment. Don’t shout at your dog for nipping your fingers painfully when you give them a treat (yelling and giving a treat at the same time may lead to more problems in the long run). Give your dog a treat the way you might feed a horse. 

Never push a dog if they put their paws on you or scratched you when giving a paw. If this happens, think how to avoid it next time but don’t yell at your pet and don’t become unpredictable. 

5) Introduce new commands only in a calm home atmosphere. When your dog is familiar with a command, try some practice in a quiet place outside. When you see that the command is learned perfectly, go and practice in more stimuli-saturated environments. 

6) Talk less, praise often. People talk too much when they are training their dogs but may forget to praise the pet for doing something right. So don’t be like them.

7) Train one skill at a time. If you are teaching your dog to sit, don’t praise them for laying down. Take a step back, wait until the dog stands up and try to make them sit again. Do not try to alternate commands, for example, teaching your dog  to “Lie” and “Sit” at the same time. Only when your dog learns the commands well, should you repeat the commands one by one.

8) If you see that your dog fails to do something right, take a break or go back to the previous training step.

9) End training sessions on a positive note. The dog should always feel that training was successful. Always keep a piece of a treat for the end of training, give your pet a simple command they know and praise for good performance. If something goes wrong, don’t stop the training session at a failure. Always find something to praise your dog for and praise before the training session ends.
10) Don’t speed up training and don’t slow it down. It is important to choose the right pace for training. Multiple repetitions are the keys to successful training. However, if a week has passed and you don’t see any signs of improvement, you are probably doing something wrong. Going to a professional dog trainer is the best solution in this case.

How to train your dog using a basic scheme

You can teach your dog practically any command using a basic scheme. This scheme is good because the behavior of the dog ceases to depend on the presence of a treat in your hand, and you can switch to variable reinforcement, rather than offering a tasty bribe every time.

The basic scheme includes the following steps: 

1) The first stage is called prompting. This involves giving the dog a clear and concise hand signal prompting them as to what to do. The dog should follow the hand which has a treat in it, and after the dog performs the desired action, we reward them with the treat from the same palm.

2) At this stage, the prompting hand holds the treat but we feed the dog from the other hand. 

3) Prompting is done by the right hand without a treat. However, the right hand is clenched into a fist, as if there is a treat inside. The treat is given from the left hand. Most often a voice command is introduced at this stage. 

4) A voice command is given. In this case, the right hand without a treat does not prompt the dog, but only shows a gesture. The treat is given from the left hand after the dog performs the command.

7 reasons for choosing positive reinforcement for training your dog

There are quite a few ways to train dogs, but nowadays more and more talented trainers choose positive reinforcement methods. So what is so good about positive reinforcement and why should dog owners choose it for training their pets?

1) A reinforced behavior is shown more often, which means that you are pleasantly and painlessly teaching your dog to behave correctly. And with positive reinforcement, you  can teach your four-legged friend virtually anything.

2) Positive reinforcement learning makes the dog’s bond with the owner much stronger and helps to build relationships on trust. 

3) You do not suppress the dog, but teach them to cooperate with you, which means that you increase the level of your dog’s motivation.

4) Dogs which are trained with positive reinforcement learn faster and with more enthusiasm and therefore, the skill is learned better.

5) You teach the dog to cope with frustration, control themselves and show initiative and perseverance.

6) Your dog obeys you because they are really willing to obey and not because they are afraid to be punished for disobedience. 

7) With the help of positive reinforcement, you will be able to not only train your dog, but also correct their behavior. And besides, such methods of correction are more reliable, safer and have a more long-term effect. 

August 20, 2020

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