A dog may be a human’s best friend, but they aren’t always the most well-behaved friends, are they?
Sometimes they drool everywhere, other times they chew up your favorite shoes. If you’re not careful, they’ll go to the bathroom all over your beautiful white carpet! It is true that dogs are loving and reliable friends, but they are friends who must be trained.
Here are some tried and true methods for training your pooch
- Use the same name often – Try not to give your dog too many nicknames, pick one good name and stick with it. Make your dog used to hearing their name plus a command and it will make your life much easier.
- You must start early – I’m sure you’ve heard the saying that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Well, it’s true! Puppies are much easier to train. Like human babies, they just absorb new information more quickly. I’m not telling you to give up on your older buddy, just that you should work hard to train them while they’re young.
- Always reward good behavior – You can’t reason with your dog and they are never going to do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do. Your dog will do what you want it to do because it will get a reward. Sometimes the reward can be as simple as a pat on the head and kind soothing words. Other times a nice savory treat will do the trick. Once they get used to the routine they will enjoy doing tricks for you – and for the treats.
- Develop a firm “NO!” – Your “no” should sound like the voice of god to your dog. Train it to stop whatever it is doing at the moment when you say no. Your pooch should know that whenever they hear that sound, they shouldn’t be doing whatever they are doing at that moment. If you say “no” when they aren’t doing anything you’ll just confuse them, so you have to catch them during the bad behavior. Eye contact is also important here because you’re backing up your firm “no” with firm eye contact.
- Keep it simple in the beginning – I know you want to teach your dog to play dead after shooting them with your finger gun, but that’s too ambitious for a new puppy. They learn new things like Humans do; easy things first and build up difficulty over time. Start with commands like “sit” and “stay.”
So there you are, five tried and true methods for training you best friend to act like a good friend. The truth is that when a dog acts badly it isn’t usually their fault; it’s their owners’ fault. Responsible dog ownership means training them how to be good. And don’t be afraid of losing your friend because you’re too mean; dogs are forgiving and cuddles will surely follow!