Odds are, when you think of dog training, “easy” or “simple” are not the first things to pop into your head. Dog training can certainly prove to be challenging, and it is something every dog owner has had to battle with at some point. There are ways to make it less difficult, though. Here are 2 helpful tips to increase your chances of successful training.
Be Consistent With The Rules
One of the most vital things you must do when training your dog is to be consistent in the rules you set. Create clear-cut boundaries for your dog and ensure everybody in the home is aware of and also follow these rules. If your dog receives the same, consistent commands from everybody, he will quickly catch on to which behaviors are appropriate and acceptable.
If your dog is not permitted to be on the couch, establish the rule with everybody in the home, and make sure they all follow through with it. Do not punish your dog for a behavior for which he may have escaped consequences before, and do not punish him for any behavior your spouse or anyone else in the household may let him get away with. It is unfair for him to receive punishment for anything for which he may, at times, receive a reward.
If you do not want him to beg for scraps at the table, be sure everyone in the house understands and is in agreement. If anyone keeps sneaking him food every night, do not punish your dog for begging. He is not begging as an inappropriate behavior in this instance, he is begging because he has been consistently rewarded with food in the past. Receiving reward and then receiving punishment for the exact same behavior will only serve to cause confusion and frustration for your pet. It may also lead to distrust which can damage the bond you’ve created.
Allow everyone in the household to be involved with creating the house rules for your dog. Once ideas have been agreed to, you must have all guarantee they are on the same page and will adhere to the rules you’ve established. Be very clear about what your pet is and is not allowed to do. If anyone makes any exceptions to these rules, it will only prolong the process and place on your dog the unnecessary burden of trying to figure out what the differences are and why.
Encourage Your Dog’s Good Behaviors
Everybody wants to have a dog who is well-behaved. One of the most efficient ways of improving your dog’s manners is to constantly encourage his appropriate and pleasing behaviors. This is such a simple path to successful training, yet so many seem to forget about it.
Unfortunately, we sometimes tend to dwell on negative behaviors when we are attempting to train our dogs, and often the good behaviors slip through the cracks. As our dogs are always watching us and learning from us, so as we praise and encourage their good behaviors, they are more likely to repeat these positive behaviors going forward. Do not assume your dog will pick up on your silence as being a form of reward for his appropriate actions; you must vocalize your praise.
Even things you might think of as unimportant or mundane, you must allow your dog the satisfaction of knowing he has done something good or acceptable. Your dog will come to know what is appropriate and pleasing when they have these positive associations. They will quickly learn what you expect from them, and he will be inclined to behave in this manner for you in the future.