Find out some of the best dog training tips dog training technique for puppies you need to follow in 2020. This dog training commands list will help you things to know about dog training. Dog obedience training tips are necessary to get good results.
Why not make 2020 the year you start looking at dog training in a more positive light? Expert advice can help with the following 10 tips and insights.
I have always loved training dogs, not least because of the ever stronger bond it allows you to build with your canine best friend, so it saddens me how many owners view the process more negatively.
Training is something they feel obliged to do, rather than really want to do, or they don’t really understand how dog training ‘works’, or they get demoralised if they don’t get the results they want quickly enough.
So, if any of this describes you, it’s time to take a different view.
Understand Why You Are Training Your Dog
Every new year, people book their dogs or puppies into training classes, without really asking themselves: ‘Why am I doing this?’ or: ‘What difference will training make to my dog’s future behaviour?’
The best answers I can give you are that, first, training is the key to all communication with your dog, and his ability to better understand what you want him to do at any given time.
Without it, you just find yourself shouting more and more in frustration at a progressively more stressed animal, and also get pretty stressed yourself. Second, you cannot keep a dog who is not trained safe, or stop him harassing or endangering others.
Finally, well-trained dogs always have more freedom and live happier lives. So many dogs spend their whole lives on leads, simply because they are not trained.
Training builds the bond between you and your dog
“…you cannot keep a dog who is not trained safe…”
Understand How Dogs Learn
You cannot begin successfully training any dog until you understand how dogs learn, which is from the immediate consequences of their actions.
So, if they do something and instantly get some reward from it, they will want to repeat the action. If they get a more negative response instead, they won’t.
Often dogs only develop and ingrain ‘bad’ behaviours because they have been consistently allowed to derive some reward from these, even if this is just attention, or the release of some kind of inner tension or stress.
The only way to change this is to keep making more desirable behaviours far more rewarding for your dog instead.
Timing is also critical, in that a dog needs to be rewarded for a right behaviour within the second it occurred, if this lesson is to be reliably retained.
Teach your dog to keep watching you.
The Value of One to One
Group training sessions or classes certainly don’t suit all dogs, especially if they are more nervous, easily distracted, or generally get stressed out by the amount of noise and commotion going on around them.
This is why one-to-one training for you and your dog can often bring far better results, providing both you and your dog feel totally in tune with the trainer concerned, and find the whole experience highly positive and enjoyable.
Dogs need the least amount of sensory distraction in order to learn new things. Then, only once they have learned these well, can you gradually increase the level of distraction going on around them, while still getting the same quality of response.
One-to-one training can often bring better results.
The Value of Teaching Focus
How often do you see owners who cannot hold their dogs’ attention for more than a fleeting second, before it vanishes again somewhere else?
This is because people do not realise the need to teach their dogs to focus, and keep attention on them, is a separate and critical first training exercise in itself. For if you can’t hold your dog’s attention whenever required, how can you ever teach him anything else?
To do this, start by asking him to sit and ‘Watch’ you in the least distracting environment, like at home. If he watches you for just a second, instantly reward him with a treat.
Then build up to making him ‘watch’ you ever longer, up to five, 10, or even 20 seconds before rewarding him. Also ask him to ‘watch’ you for up to 10 seconds before he gets anything rewarding from you, like a walk, toy, or his meal.
The more rewarding you make ‘watching’ you for your dog, the ever better his concentration on you will get.
Focus on priorities — such as loose lead walking or recall.
Star With Your Most Immediate Priorities
Owners can often get overwhelmed by all the things they feel they need to teach their dog. But it is always best to focus first on priorities, in terms of what commands or exercises will best help you manage your dog’s behaviour.
Make the greatest difference to your lives together — things like recall, or lead training, how to train a dog to walk on a leash, how to train a dog for toilet, or just everyday good social manners.
‘Down’ and ‘Wait’ — The Brakes on Your Dog
Apart from the all-important focus on command, one of the best things you can ever teach your dog to do is lie down and wait, or stay, until you tell him to move again.
Because, if you think about it, these are the basic brakes on your dog, in that whatever he is doing that you do not want him to do, he has to stop it in order to lie down and wait.
Similarly, this is an incredibly useful safety command, in situations where your dog might otherwise get into trouble — like near a busy road, or running towards cliffs, or when you do not want him to approach other less friendly or sociable dogs.
Time after time this training has got my dogs out of tricky or potentially dangerous situations, and I recommend it to everyone.
‘Down and wait’ is a really useful exercise to teach.
Do Not Compare Your Dog to Others
It is very important to understand that not all dogs have the same level of ability when it comes to the speed of what they can learn and retain.
The training of any dog must take this into account, and it is futile constantly comparing your dog to others on this front. Also, keep remembering that training is not something you do to a dog, but with him, always working as a team or partnership.
So, you can only progress at the speed he is capable of going.Sometimes dogs may have other background worries or stresses, or even some source of pain, that is hindering their ability to concentrate or respond to what you are asking them to do.
These must be identified and addressed if you want ever greater success in training. Most of the things that go wrong in training are to do with our inability to communicate to a dog what we’d like him to do, or not make this consistently rewarding enough for him.
When things go wrong, it is often down to our poor communication.‘
Be More Patient
In general, far more is achieved in training through patience and persistence, than any amount of shouting and jumping up and down.
Understand that the latter is simply the way we express our own frustration at not being able to communicate better with our dogs.
Dogs do not understand this, however, and instead just get increasingly stressed by the more hostile or pressurising way we behave towards them.
It is also a sure fire way to put dogs off the whole training process, due to the more negative associations they then make with it.
Don’t lose your patience!
Yes, Rewards Do Matter
Frequently owners will tell me that they don’t think dogs should be given food or other rewards in training, and just respond to them instead out of ‘respect’, whereupon I ask them if they go to work every day out of respect for their boss, or because they get paid.
Motivation is everything in training, and nothing makes dogs learn quicker or respond better than the prospect of getting something they really prize — be this food or their favourite toy.
The brain of a dog, like that of a person, is hard-wired to want to repeat whatever rang the reward bell before. Often, I will see owners out with young dogs who are behaving so well, and no one is consistently rewarding them for this, in order to keep the good behaviour continuing.
Instead they ignore it, then just give the dogs attention when they behave badly, which simply makes bad behaviour more rewarding for the dog.
Find out what your dog prizes as a reward — be it food or toys.
Do Not be Afraid to Fail
In all my years of working with dogs and training them, the most valuable lesson I have learned is to not be afraid to fail.
Sometimes certain exercises won’t initially go so well for a particular dog, because they need a different approach to it, or simply just more time.
There is always so much more of value to learn from what goes wrong in training than what goes right, as it is the former that forces you to get far more imaginative in your approach to dogs, in order to solve their problems.
Also, remember that no one has ever failed in dog training until they give up. So just never give up! May 2020 be the year that you and your dogs learn something really valuable and new.