I think animals should be treated with kindness and lots of love. There’s no reason to yell at a dog in order to teach it how to obey commands. There are plenty of training techniques available and they have been tested with all breeds of dog. Here are 8 tips on training your dog the right way, without using excessive force or being mean.
8. Use Clicker Training
I remember how skeptical I was of these little gadgets when I first heard about them. I thought my dog wouldn’t respond to a clicking sound any more than he would my verbal commands. I was wrong. I was able to use the clicker method to train my rambunctious lab and was pleasantly surprised with the outcome!
7. Purchase a Radio Collar That Uses Smells Instead of Shocks
I’ve personally never seen these in action, but have read a lot of testimonies by people who have used them for training even the most stubborn dog. These collars emit a spray of noxious odor whenever you press the button on the remote control. They are used in the same manner that the clickers are. The command is given first and if it isn’t obeyed, then the button on the remote is pushed to release the scent. Dogs have very sensitive noses. The scent is supposedly citrusy and very irritating to dogs.
6. Offer Tasty Treats when a Command is Obeyed
This method is the one I used in the beginning when training my malamute various commands. She’s perfectly content to follow commands now without being given a treat. Most dogs respond very well to food. I always made sure to have treats in my pocket when I’d take Annika for a walk, just in case she decided to wander off. I’d give her a treat whenever she’d come back to me, so she never went very far.
5. Use a Crate when Housebreaking Puppies
I don’t think I would have made it through the housebreaking period without a kennel. I learned this tip from a friend who had raised a few labs in his lifetime. Dogs have no desire to make a mess where they sleep, which is why kennel training works so well. Put a comfy bed and lots of toys in crate for your puppy. As soon as you take the puppy out of the crate, take him outside or to his piddle pad so he can do his business. Use the crate at night too. This will eliminate the chance of you stepping in a puddle in the middle of the night or first thing when you wake up in the morning.
4. Positive Praise Goes a Long Way
Dogs might not understand what you are saying, but they definitely know when you are happy with something they have done. You could be petting your dog’s head and murmuring the word ‘cucumber’ over and over again in a sweet voice and your dog would take this as a good sign. Gentle touches and kind words generally make a dog crave even more attention, which causes him to want to please his human as much as possible.
3. Learn to Recognize when Your Dog Has Had Enough Training for One Day
You can try to drill commands into your dog all day long, but he’s only going to absorb so much. Take a break from training every so often and give your dog a chance to play. This playtime will allow you both to relax.
2. Don’t Try to Teach Too Many Commands at Once
It’s best to work on one or two commands at a time. Once your dog has mastered these commands, then you can move on to something else. It’s too confusing to switch tasks constantly and expect your dog to keep up. Just think back to when you were learning how to do things when you were little. You didn’t learn the alphabet all at once, did you? Take it slow, one step at a time.
1. Be Patient
It’s hard to have an unlimited supply of patience. However, the more patience you are able to muster up, the easier training will be for both you and your dog. If one training method doesn’t seem to be working, then try something else.
These 8 tips on training your dog the right way work for all ages of dog too, not just puppies. I had a retired sled dog that was 7 years old before she ever learned the command ‘sit’. All it took was patience and treats to entice her to follow what my Labrador had already learned. Do you have any additional training tips you’d like to add to this list?
Top Photo Credit: Melissa_A