by Gabriella Ciaccio
Teaching your dog basic commands is something you should do when he/she is a puppy–but it’s never too late! Despite the cliché “You can never teach an old dog new tricks”, a dog can learn anything at anytime! As long as you’re putting in the effort and spending time training your dog daily, he/she will learn commands over a short period of time. Here are some tips that will come in handy when you’re training your dog.
Consistency is key when it comes to training any kind of animal. You should apply the same words and the same rules when teaching an animal the same command. For example, if you’re teaching your dog to sit, then say the same words and make the same motions with your hands. Most people have the treat ready, and put it closer to the dog’s nose to make him/her sit. Then, after he/she sits, the treat is the reward. This works every time!
Give your command just one time. Saying it over and over again is confusing for the dog. Your dog will always understand something better if it is said one time, with the same hand gestures or treat each time.
If you’re training your dog in an open area, like a dog park, or even in your backyard, make sure they’re attached to a leash and that you’re holding it tightly. Even if your dog is thoroughly trained not to go anywhere, he/she can still get distracted by a passerby or another animal nearby, and it’s important to be prepared for those kind of situations.
Have treats handy!
Giving your dog little treats after saying the commands is how they learn that they did the right thing. Rewarding your dog isn’t a bad thing when it comes to training. Just break the treats up and give them smaller pieces, so you’re not overfeeding them during the training process.
Showing affection is also key when it comes to training your dog. When they do the right thing, it’s a good idea to exclaim “Good job!” in a happy voice, or give them hugs and kisses. They will know when they’re doing the right thing if you’re verbally showing it and giving them affection every time. Dogs love you, and they love when you give them attention. The training process is fun for them and they love it even more when you show excitement over something new you’ve taught them.