As we are in the summer and many of you have extra time to devote to your furry friends now, I wrote this post so you can train properly taking into account the welfare of the dog and strengthening your bond 🙂
Training should focus on teaching your dog good habits to have a harmonious coexistence and so that he/she can manage life in our human society. From being polite to visitors, knowing how to be with other dogs, walk without tension on the leash, knowing to be calm in public places, etc. to find hidden objects, for example.
🐾 Starting early can prevent future behaviour problems. Puppy classes are often a good option, ideally between 3 months and a half and 4 months and a half. Never before 3 months for the welfare of your puppy, we’ll see why in a future post about puppies that I’m cooking for you 😉
🐾 Above all remember that every dog learns at their own pace.
🐾 Animals learn fast when:
– they have a reward every time they do it well (consistent reinforcement)
– when that reward is very desirable and appetising
– when rewarded immediately after the desired behaviour.
Once learnt, the thing would be that our dogs remembered it. Information is better retained if the behaviour is intermittently rewarded, that is, from time to time until the behaviour is set and we don’t need to use treats no more.
🐾 Sessions must be short. Especially if they are puppies, they have even shorter attention spans, 2-3 minutes session will be more than enough.
🐾 Always reward the behaviour you like and do not punish the behaviour you do not like. Rather I say the phrase in positive, but I would have to tell you “always ignore the behaviour you do not like”, while simply ignoring is not always the best, you have to give your dog alternative behaviours.
🐾 Punishment should never be considered part of a training because it does not educate, it is not a good way to change behaviours and does not teach the animal the behaviour you want.
🐾 Teaching your dog to be calm is a good habit. For example, simply practice “doing nothing”: sit down and do not pay attention to the dog. You can talk to someone or be on the phone, reading, whatever you want but do not interfere, let him explore and he will lie down eventually. Practise home first several times. At first it might be difficult but the dog will end up getting it and when you go for a coffee sitting on a terrace, your dog will understand that he does not have to do anything, he can just rest.
🐾 Your dog should always have options. Leave the dogs making decisions is good to build up their self-esteem and confidence. Example: Your dog may prefer to lie in one place or another, he may want to sit or not, he may prefer walking one path to another, he can decide not to greet another dog, etc. We need to give less orders and more options.
🐾 If your dog leaves in the middle of the session means it has been too long / intense. Let him rest and remember next time to make it more short. You have to finish before the dog gets tired, when he still finds it fun.
🐾 Finish the exercise when done well, no matter the session is shorten, better shorter than too long. When you start back the session always remind your dog the exercise from previous steps from where you left it.
🐾 The treats need to be small, tasty indeed, but small as a quarter of a 0.50 cent coin to be easier to swallow and not stopping the pace of the exercise 😉
🐾 Learning takes time, we’ve all been there, so be patient with your buddy and remember that!
🐾 Training should be fun for both you and your dog. Enjoy together!
Until the next post, doggists! 🐾🐾