Top Dog Training Basics | How To Get Started

Training your puppy or dog is always a rewarding experience. Before we go further, hope you’ve got a nice name for your dog that you both are comfortable with. Well, if you haven’t or would want to change your dog’s name, checkout our wide collection of dog names Here.

A standard and proper dog training as well as socialization-development is not only beneficial to the dog but also to the owner/guardian/keeper as well. I mean, you wouldn’t want your dog to be misbehaving around and to prevent that, you need to take-out sometime and train your dog.

It is important to start training your dog as soon as possible and a successful training enhances the bonding between you and your dog and not only that, it actually feels quite rewarding and fulfilling – that already sounds like enough motivation to start off with.

It’s worthy of mention here that regardless of the dog’s age, young or old, all dogs can be trained. You really don’t need to be a professional before being able to train your dog. You can start with basic commands like sit-down, stay, leave, come, go, and to go potty outside etc.

It’s no brainer that training your dog could be quite daunting but the beauty is with one step at a time, you will find it enjoyable and less daunting. So relax and don’t get nervous even if it’s your first try. 

Here are some tips to help get you started:

Start an Obedience Program: 

This is more like the basic foundation for the commencement of any other training. The Obedience program covers areas such as Equipment, Methods, Sessions, Basic Commands etc. Some basic equipment required for a head start include;

  • Dog Collar/Harness
  • Dog Leash (A retractable leash is not appropriate for dog training)
  • Training/Reward Treats

There are a few training methods but the one with the most positive result is the ‘positive reinforcement’ – this method involves rewarding your dog with treats or physically praising your dog. To successfully carry out this, you’d have to know your dog’s favourite treat and/or if your dog prefers praise over treats. 

Another well known method is the clicker method (it’s otherwise referred to as mark and reward) and it includes the use of conditioned reinforcers. In this method, the clicker or marker communicates the exact moment your dog does what you want. The timing of the click is essential and every click must be followed by a reward. 

All these are aimed at helping you set a basic foundation before the dog training begins properly.

Train Your Dog With Games:

Just like ‘fun’ makes learning easier and faster, so it is with your dog. Incorporating some games into the learning process will make it a worthwhile experience for your dog and you.

A simple way to do this is ensuring that the training sessions are not too long while incorporating some cool rewards/praises and you don’t rush it – short and upbeat does it.

Over time, your dog will gradually consider training time as fun time and would do it’s best in order to be in it’s best behaviour in so as to get some cool rewards in return.

Eight Weeks to a Well-Trained Dog:

As much as you want your dog to adapt as fast as possible to the training, it is also important to note that a well-trained dog is a product of time and consistency. 

Using a well planned schedule as a guide, you can teach your dog the basics in about eight weeks.

Please not however that some dogs adapt/complete training faster/earlier than other dogs.

Positive Reinforcement:

As already highlighted, there are quite a number of different ways to train a dog, but most dog professionals agree that the ‘positive reinforcement’ is the best for both the dog and trainer.

In summary, to achieve the best possible result,

  • Minimise distractions
  • Break training up into short but regular sessions so your dog isn’t overwhelmed
  • Be patient
  • Have Fun
  • Always end with something your dog knows, so the session finishes positively

Training is always an ongoing process that will never be completely finished. Even when your dog has mastered all the basics, it is important to continue training your dog on obedience throughout its lifetime.

The training process will always help keep your dog active, fit and mentally stimulated. This by extension will help strengthen the bond between you and your dog.

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