I’m sure we’re all amazed at people who can get their dogs to follow every command and instruction. There are even television shows about dog trainers who can turn wild dogs into perfectly behaved pooches. Then we look at our own pets and wonder, “Why can’t I do that?” Fortunately, most people are capable of training their own dogs. They just don’t know it yet.
Of course, you can always go for private dog training, but where’s the fun in that? The propensity for obedience differs from breed to breed, and even individual dogs, but if you adopt the right mindset, you can make your dog more obedient. All you need is a dash of patience and a basic understanding of dog psychology. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Lay down the ground rules and stick to it
The first thing you need to do is establish a few ground rules that everyone in your family must observe. That way, when you bring home your new dog, everyone is on the same page about things they can and cannot do. The goal is to make sure that your pet receives the same treatment from everyone and won’t get conflicting instructions.
Let’s say one of your house rules is no pets on the couch. If someone in your family lets your dog go up the soda when nobody is looking, this will only sow confusion. The dog has to choose between someone who’s strict and someone isn’t, and they will naturally go for the person who allows them to do things you don’t want them to do.
It’s important to meet everyone and make sure they know what the ground rules are. Your kids might think that some rules are cruel, but if you help them understand the rationale behind the rules, they will quickly acquiesce. Some things you might want to talk about include feeding times and where the dog will sleep.
Choose a name
The secret to obedience is consistency, so you need to be consistent in every part of the dog’s life, including its name. Choose a name and make sure everyone knows that. You don’t want to give your dog one name only for another person to call it another. If you’re adopting an older dog, you’ll also have to use the name it’s already been given.
After a while, the dog should be able to respond to its name every time it’s called. You should also avoid using non-word sounds such as whistling to call your dog. You could confuse them if you bring them to a public place.
Housetrain your dog
All dogs, whether old or young, have to be housetrained to ensure harmonious coexistence within your home. The last thing you need is everyone screaming at your dog because it chewed someone’s someone shoe or ate an important document. Housetraining is best done while your pet is young, although adult dogs can be trained as well.
Dogs should be taught the proper time and place for sleeping, eating, and drinking. Hygiene is also an important issue, so you need to dedicate a spot for their food bowl and toilet. Make sure they eat, sleep, and do other activities in the same spots to avoid mess and confusion.
Use positive reinforcement
Dog trainers rely on positive reinforcement when teaching dogs how to behave or perform tricks. Just as we’re more likely to perform better with a reward on the horizon, dogs will do something over and over again if they associate the act with a treat. If your dog something that you like or want to encourage, give them a treat.
Dogs aren’t exactly the most complex creatures. All you have to do is play with them and show them kindness, and they’ll repay you in kind. A treat doesn’t have to come in the form of food as well. A hug and a kiss are just as effective in reinforcing positive habits.
The bottom line
These are just some things you need to remember when housetraining your pooches. It will require a lot of patience, reliability, and perseverance on your part, but if you do things right, you will be rewarded with a dog who will obey your every command.