No dog owner would deny the importance of proper training for their pet. However quite where to start can be a difficult question. After all, everyone has their own opinions.
In light of this we decided to ask three well-known canine experts for their top three dog training tips for beginners. The results, as you might expect, are fascinating.
Expert 1: Kimberly Gauthier, KeepTheTailWagging.com
Tip #1: The purpose of dog training is to help the humans better understand their dogs and better communicate with their dogs. The term “dog trainer” is kind of a misnomer, because it’s the dog owners who are in training. The best trainers give you homework.
Tip #2: Dogs are always communicating with us. Yes, some dogs can be more stubborn than others, but it’s important not to assume this – sometimes what may seem “stubborn” is your dog trying to send you an important message.
Tip #3: Dogs crave a leader and if we don’t step up to the position, they will do the job for us. I’ve found that consistency, confidence and exercise are 3 things that make life with 4 dogs a lot of fun. Yesterday, our dogs heard something in the woods surrounding our house and started running towards the sound – a firm “back in the yard; let’s go inside” stopped their progress and all 4 turned around and followed me inside.
Expert 2: Lindsay Stordahl, ThatMutt.com
Tip #1: My number one training tip for beginners is to sign your puppy or adult dog up for a group obedience class. I know classes can get expensive, but I highly recommend making it a priority. Not only will this help your dog learn to “work” around distractions, but it will be your opportunity to ask questions and learn from both the trainer and the other handlers in the class. If your dog will not to well in a group setting, then you could also look into hiring a trainer to work with you and your dog one on one.
Tip #2: My second tip is to walk your dog every single day for at least a half-hour, but preferably an hour for most dogs. A tired dog will have an easier time staying relaxed and therefore more capable of paying attention during training. Plus, walking your dog is the easiest way to socialize him and expose him to a variety of different dogs, people, sights, smells, etc.
Tip #3: My third tip is to find a training collar that helps you maintain the most control over your dog. I do not like to recommend a specific collar, but find something that makes it enjoyable to walk your dog, whether you go with a no-pull harness, a slip collar, a Gentle Leader or whatever. Just find something that works for you and your dog. That, and find a treat your dog can’t resist such as pieces of hot dogs or real meatballs.
Expert 3: Diane Silver, ToDogWithLove.com
Tip #1: First, you always want to keep it positive. Dogs respond to positive reinforcement, so whether you reward with a treat or a toy, remember to keep it positive and reward for a job well done. If your pup doesn’t quite get it right the first time, simply ask them to try it again in a positive voice.
Tip #2: Second, keep your training sessions short and fun! You might train a down/stay before feeding dinner each night or teach your pup a fun trick like shaking hands in a series of short, three to five minute sessions. Keep your dog interested by mixing it up and training in short, frequent sessions.
Tip #3: And finally, play with your dog! Run around the back yard and encourage him to run after you! Reward him for chasing and coming to you! Play with interactive toys, throw a ball or disc or play hide and seek games! Playing with your dog helps to build the bond between you and your dog and it’s a terrific way to exercise the brain and body too.
We’d just like to publicly thank our interviewees for their valuable time. We know how busy you all are, so thanks for taking the time to speak to us today 🙂