Posted on: 14 October 2015
If you're a novice dog owner, there are likely a number of things you don't know about training your new pet. Thankfully, there are professionals who can help, but it pays to understand some essential concepts before you take your first foray into dog training. Having the right mindset while training your dog can make all the difference, turning a frustrating day into a learning experience for both owner and animal.
Understanding Your Dog
While dogs are often remarkably smart animals they lack the capacity to form lasting memories, instead learning by association rather than acquiring new knowledge. This can be to your advantage, as it means that they can be broken of bad habits and helped to develop positive behaviors more readily than people. The keys to either goal are repetition, consistency and, most importantly, not dwelling on failed attempts.
Since dogs are incapable of long term memory retention, each new moment is a new opportunity to succeed. Keep this in mind during house training and leash training. Reinforce the positive behavior you want them to demonstrate, and reinforce boundaries that you need them to recognize by using both rewards and discipline to help them form the necessary associations.
When you first bring a new dog home, pay attention to them, watch their body language and behavior. You'll quickly learn to recognize signs that will help you predict the behavior that follows. The sooner you learn to address these behaviors quickly and appropriately, the faster your dog will start displaying positive behaviors.
Mistakes and accidents are going to happen, so be prepared for them, and avoid reacting with anger. Your anger will provoke a fear response from your dog, which can be just as undesirable as an aggressive response. Be firm and assertive with corrections, and use a leash to help apply a correction quickly when needed. If you feel yourself growing frustrated, take a few moments before resuming training.
Training a dog well can be a very rewarding experience, establishing a rapport and trust between owner and animal. Don't hesitate to acknowledge your own lack of experience though, and seek guidance to ensure that you're attaining the goals and results you're looking for from your dog. Remember, it's an ongoing process, so don't expect perfection after just a few training sessions. If you can remain consistent about enforcing boundaries and rewarding positive behaviors, you'll start seeing the fruits of your efforts.Share