The Do’s and Don’ts of Dog Training
When taking on the responsibility of dog ownership it’s essential to establish leadership throughout the whole family. Ensure that every member of the household knows the rules set out for your dog so they can enforce them. But remember, a child must never give the dog a telling off – keep that as your job!
- Watch your body language – it is important not to use aggressive or threatening body language such as hand gestures (pointing, raising etc) when dealing with your dog. Never hold your dog down or tap it on the nose .Staring down your dog can make it feel threatened /intimidated.
- Giving treats/playing – when playing with your dog or giving treats, it is essential that you THROW the item on the floor and don’t simply hand it to them. This establishes leadership between you and your dog with you as ‘pack leader’. You have control of the situation and your dog only receives something on your command.
- Command words and tone –this can be a tricky area when approaching dog training as often you can end up as frustrated as your dog! Keep the number of command words you use to a minimum as your dog will get confused if there are too many and may not respond to you. Keep calm and a steady tone when you speak to your dog.
- Giving Praise – always give your dog praise when he or she gets it correct.
- Household Arrangements – it’s important to have an area for your dog to reside in such as a sleeping crate. This is a great opportunity to teach him to separate from you as you can’t (and shouldn’t) have your dog with you at all times.. Make sure your sleeping dog remains undisturbed and ensure your children know not to wake him. Ifyou have an outside kennel, make sure it’s as close to the door as possible and facing the house door to encourage him or her to use it.
- Patience and care – give your dog plenty of love and be patient when training but it is essential you remain firm about the boundaries and rules you have set. Make sure your dog knows them and sticks to them! Also make sure YOU stick to them …dogs need consistency in their lives if you give mixed messages you will certainly get mixed results from your dog.