Did your dog make the list of the 10 smartest dog breeds? Whether he did or he didn't, with "Back to School" right around the corner, now's a good time to implement these 6 dog training tips to make sure your dog makes the grade.
Don't coddle, just cuddle
It can be hard to resist puppies and their adorable efforts to get you to lift them up or play with them; but it's important to remember that they won't be puppies for long. Soon enough her jumping up to hug you and her playful biting can turn into a real problem. Additionally, if your dog won't fit comfortably in your lap when it reaches adulthood, you may want to reconsider teaching her that it's okay for her to jump on your lap when you're sitting down. If you want to hug your puppy and give it love, get down on the floor and show your affection.
Protect your shoes by designating a chew toy
When chewing on something else, it is important to gradually focus your dog's attention on one particular toy or object that is acceptable for them to chew. 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 and not your new shoes. It's okay to tell your dog "no" when he or she is chewing something other than the toy. Once the switch has been made, encourage your dog with praise so that he or she knows that it is acceptable to chew on their toy. A simple "good dog!" will do. For chew toys to grab your dog's focus, 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, he will perceive what appears to be friendly play as your asserting dominance over your domain. This is why pet owners who play with their dog physically will often find that their dog leaps up on visitors. Even if your dog is just playing, teaching them that this is an acceptable manner of play means that they will try to play rough with anyone they meet.
Teaching commands means teaching language
Associate Commands with natural behavior - when your dog goes to the bathroom give the command as he or she starts so that she understands what the word means. If you start trying to give a command without her having already performed an action, your dog will break the association between the word and the action. Don't expect your dog to be obedient when they can't understand what you're asking. It's also best to reward your dog with treats only intermittently when teaching a new command otherwise he or she will always expect a reward when performing a command.
Don't punish your pet; teach him right from wrong
Don't punish your pets when they do something that you don't want them to do. It is one thing to tell a dog "no" and another to scream and use a rolled up newspaper. Punishment is often perceived as arbitrary by dogs, as they won't know what they're doing wrong when they get punished and instead just accept punishment as a part of life. This can lead to more unruly behavior and disobedience which is contrary to its aim. Instead, use positive reinforcement to encourage your dog to behave in a calm and controlled manner.
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 his or 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.