How to Train Your Dog to Listen to Your Instructions

How To Train Your Dog

Does your dog chew up the house, bark, and run away from you when you call it?  Disobedient pets can be a hazard. Dog Training offers many rewards. First it is exciting to watch him or her listen and respond to your commands.  Second, I’ll admit, it’s fun to show your dog off to friends and family. 

 

More importantly, however, it provides your dog with stimulus and lets them release emotional and physical anxiety.  Every dog wants to be trained, because they love the attention and reward.  They love pleasing their masters and can sense when you are happy.
 
Understanding Your Dog

Training involves a few things.  You first need to understand the way a dog responds to the world.  Unlike humans who use reason and deliberation to make decisions, dogs should be trained by habituation.  With humans, you can explain why one action is beneficial while the other is not.  With pets, you need to correlate their actions with praise or blame.  Praise is the most effective method (positive reinforcement), and use the most effective tool to give praise – food!

The Best Way To Train Your Dog
 
The theory is simple; your dog does something good, he gets food.  Then he will be inclined to do more good things!  If you punish your dog for bad behavior, rather than thinking “I did something bad, I shouldn’t do it again,” they think “This person is hurting me, I want to stay away from him.”  So, you should always praise and not punish.
 
Applying this theory is a little more difficult and it requires a certain amount of patience.  This next step involves repetition.  If you want your dog to sit, you say ‘Sit’, you push him down to sit, and then you give him a treat.  If you do this over and over again, he will associate the action of sitting with your word ‘sit’ and a treat.  Eventually you can stop using treats and just pet him or say ‘Good dog’ lovingly.
 
If you don’t want your dog eating too many treats, you can use a clicker.  Any pet store will have one for a couple of dollars.  This works through association too.  You click the clicker and give your dog food. Do this a few times a day and soon, the sound of the click will be enough of a treat for your dog.  When he hears it, he will know he did something good.

Getting Started

Just teaching your dog one trick will make it a lot easier to do others.  He will get used to the fact that you are trying to show him  how to do something and will be much more receptive.  Training is exciting for both you and your dog, and he will be less likely to disobey other commands you give him.
 
It’s best to start with simple commands like “sit” and “shake.”  Then you can teach him to lay down and roll over.  Even how to jump through hoops or hop on your back!

Be Patient
 
Some breeds are easier to train than others.  Whereas a poodle might learn to sit in 2 minutes, a Chihuahua might take 30 or more.  The important thing to remember is be patient!  Never punish your dog, or he will get mixed signals and fear you.  If you persist with gentle positive reinforcement, you are guaranteed to see results.

I have trained many dogs and the three most important and effective tools are:

1. Rewards – Treats, Clicker, “Good Boy,” or just a nice petting.

2. Repetition – Say the same command and repeat your hand movements until your dog listens to you every time.

3. Patience – Expect your dog to go slower than you want him to.  Remember, you should enjoy the process of training.  You get to spend time together and bond with your pet.

So get started and good luck!

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