Training tips and helpful hints for dogs
1/19/15 - Seasonal Advice
Training has several benefits. It enhances your pet’s life, bonds the two of you, and can assure their safety. Dogs are eager to please and want to learn. Communication and consistency are crucial. Proper training can also prevent unwanted behavior from your pet. Dogs by nature have the tendency to jump up, bark, and beg. Good training can often eliminate these sometimes annoying canine habits.
How do I start?
If your pooch is a puppy, look for basic classes offered in your community. Often these classes are once a week and are held with a group of other puppy owners. In most classes for puppies, there are basic commands that will be reviewed. You are not just training your dog; you are training yourself to be the teacher. Basic starting commands include sit, stay, down, come, and walking on a loose leash. The other wonderful benefit is it allows for early socialization. Your pup should be fully vaccinated prior to being around other dogs. We recommend you check with your veterinarian.
If your dog is older, there are still classes available in the community. People that adopt an older dog also need a training routine. In this case depending on the dog a beginner obedience class is also very helpful.
Is my dog too old to start training?
While there is research stating that dogs pick up things better at a young age, it is never too late to start. You can teach old dogs new tricks.
Things you should do at home:
Reward behaviors you like. Again, dogs want to please you! Let them know when they are doing something well. Make sure behaviors you don’t like are not rewarded. Many people think a reward is just a treat. In reality even acknowledging them or touching them while behaving badly can be perceived as a reward. Your dog may think “Oh if I bark non-stop mommy will come over and cuddle with me or give me a bone to chew on.” Start with basics. Ask your veterinarian who they recommend as a trainer. Talk to friends, co-workers and neighbors. Often other pet owners have very helpful information to share.
Every pet’s needs are different. Whether they just need some basic training or are having problematic behaviors, there are many options available. Be consistent with your training routine and work at it every day for short periods of time. Most training fails when people lives and routine get in the way. They don’t have time to work with their pet every day or get lax about being consistent.
If you currently have a puppy and want some helpful information on potty training here is a nice link to read. http://www.cesarsway.com/dog-care/housebreaking/Housebreaking
Assistive training items for your pooch:
We love the gentle leader system. This training tool slides over your pup’s head and muzzle and gives you better control. It helps manage dogs who like to pull when walking. We sell them at our hospital and have found our clients to have great success with them. Follow this link for more information on the gentle leader. http://www.petsafe.net/media/manuals/gl-gentle-leader-headcollar-manual.pdf.
If you are working with a trainer, they may have their own system they prefer to use. No method is wrong. The key is to understand how your dog learns and use something that will work for him or her.
Ludwigs Corner Veterinarian offers puppy/beginner obedience training classes at our office every Thursday night. For more information please contact us at 610-458-8567.