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Whether you are training a new puppy or trying to improve your dog’s behavior, training is an important part of dog parenting. Training can take place in planned sessions but it’s also essential to remember that training happens all day long in our everyday lives. Interacting with your dog on a daily basis has as much of a training impact as puppy classes. Remember, anytime you respond to your dog, you are training him. Being aware of the unconscious training you are doing on a daily basis can help inform your interactions with him. Here are some tips for getting a well-behaved, obedient dog.
Calming your restless baby: Does your dog jump every time you get up? Is he restless and never relaxed? While some breeds are more prone to this, you can calm a restless dog by encouraging relaxing behavior. One of the best ways to train your dog is by rewarding the desired behavior. Keep some treats in an easily accessible place. During the day, get a treat and walk past him. If he jumps up, don’t give him the treat or interact with him, just put the treat back. Do this several times during the day. When he finally decides you’re not going to give him the treat and stays where he’s resting, put the treat between his paws and walk away. Be sure to not excite him or praise him, just place the treat and walk away. This will begin to reinforce his positive, calm behavior and before long you will have a calmer dog.
Sit: You can use unconscious training to teach the “sit” command. You shouldn’t have to tell your dog to “sit” a dozen times or push his bottom to the ground. Get some of the potty treats and keep them handy. Throughout the day try to get him to sit. Raise your hand up with a treat in it to get his attention and cause his bottom to lower. Say “sit” once and wait. If after a few seconds, he does not sit, hold it a bit higher and move it back toward his tail until he sits but do not repeat the command. When his bottom hits, the floor say “yes” or “good boy” and give him the treat. Do this periodically throughout the day. He’ll quickly learn to sit immediately upon the first command.
Barking: Part of the reason many have a dog is for protection, so sometimes barking can be a good thing. But a constantly loud dog can be annoying. When your dog barks, pay attention to why he is barking. If she doesn’t need anything or nothing is wrong, try saying “Hush” in a deep voice. Also, award good behavior. When your dog is barking, wait for a pause and say “yes” or “good boy” then give him what he wants. Check out this article for tips on how to train your dog to bark on cue.
House breaking: It is critical to start potty training your puppy immediately on introducing her to her new home. Being consistent and setting up a feeding schedule are key. Feed her at the same time every day. Track how long it takes for her to potty after eating. That’s when you should take her out.
One of the best methods to getting her to go is using treats and praise. Use small treats to reward her when she goes. Let her see the treats and give her the command, whether it’s “outside” or “potty” and lead her to the spot you want her to use for her bathroom. While she is going, praise her and use your potty command and her name then give her a treat immediately. If she doesn’t go within a few minutes, try again and keep trying until she goes. Praise her lavishly when she goes. Remember, positive reward is always better than punishment when training.
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