It may be hard to believe, but summer is ending and "Back to School" is right around the corner. So now's as good a time as any to teach your dog some new tricks! To help- we've compiled a list of 6 dog training tips to ensure that your dog makes the grade!
Cuddle, Don't Coddle!
It can be difficult to resist your puppy's ploys to get you to lift her up and hold her; but it's important to remember that she won't be a puppy forever. Soon enough, her playful biting and jumping can turn into a real problem. Additionally, if your dog won't fit comfortably in your lap when she reaches adulthood, you may want to reconsider teaching her that it's okay for her to do so as a puppy. If you want to hug your puppy, get down on the floor to show your affection to prevent potentially dangerous behavior later in life.
Protect Shoes with a Designated Chew Toy
If your dog is chewing up shoes and other off-limit items then it's important to gradually focus your dog's attention on an acceptable replacement. This is easier said than done but it is the only way they will naturally understand that they should focus their chewing on a toy. When you see your pet chewing on an inappropriate item, move the chew toy next to them until it catches their attention and they begin to play with it instead. Once the switch has been made, encourage your dog with praise so that he or she knows that it is acceptable to chew on this toy. A simple "good dog!" will do. For toys to satisfy your dog's urge to chew, check out Otis and Claude Ballistic Buddies dog toys.
Dogs are territorial
Dogs are territorial by nature. If you play with your dog in a physical manner, she will perceive your actions as an assertion of dominance over a domain. This is why pet owners who play with their dog physically often find that their pooch jumping up to greet visitors. Even if your dog is just playing, teaching them that this is an acceptable manner of play will result in them trying to play rough with anyone they meet.
Teach Your Dog to be Quiet on Command
Many dogs bark uncontrollably which can cause problems for pet owners and their neighbors. One of the most effective methods to prevent your dog from barking is to teach him a "quiet" command. This command is easiest to learn if your dog knows the "speak" command first so you can get him or her to contrast the two actions of barking and not barking. Associate the command "quiet" with your dog's action of not barking and reward it intermittently to ensure it will stick in her head.This trick works best when taught in a quiet environment before practicing it in increasingly distracting scenarios. The "quiet" command works well because dogs often bark to alert their owners of the presence of an intruder. Once the dog's concerns have been acknowledged, it's more likely that the dog will be silent.
Don't Punish - Teach!
Don't punish your pets when they do something they behave in an undesirable manner. It is one thing to tell a dog "no" and another to scream or to rub her nose in an honest mistake. Punishment is often perceived as arbitrary by dogs, as they don't know associate the punishment with their behavior. This can lead to even more discord and disobedience! Instead, use positive reinforcement to encourage your dog to behave in a calm and controlled manner.
Teaching Commands Means Teaching Language
Many dog owners will tell their dog to sit before teaching them what the command means. It's vital that you associate commands with your dog's behavior before attempting to teach her to obey them to ensure that your pup understands what's expected of her. When your dog goes to the bathroom, for example, you can give the command "Go Potty" as he or she starts so that she associates the words with her actions. After a few instances of establishing the phrase's meaning, test it out as a command. If your dog carries out the task in response to your request- reward her with a treat to encourage the behavior.