When it comes to training dogs, these 10 rules that every pet parent should follow will ensure your dogs will be safe, happy, healthy, and well-behaved.
While there are dozens of methods, techniques, and schools of thought regarding how to best train your dog, there are some rules of dog training and pet ownership that every trainer can agree on. Follow these 10 commandments of dog training to ensure you raise a dog that’s not just well-behaved, but happy, healthy, and kept safe, too.
1. Always train with kindness and love. Remember that your dog is a sentient being, capable of feeling love and pain, happiness and sadness. Training with kindness and love instead of force, punishment, and fear will allow your dog to behave and perform cues because he wants to instead of performing for fear of being punished.
2. Be patient. Whether you’re just getting started or working on complex behaviors, your dog is going to make mistakes. Whoever said “patience is a virtue” very well could have been talking about dog training! If, during training, you find yourself (or your dog) becoming frustrated, take a break. Training is a marathon, not a sprint – no need to rush through it!
3. Learn to communicate with your dog. Although dogs don’t speak in the same way humans do, they DO communicate in a way that’s easy to understand – if you know how. Understanding your dog’s body language is absolutely essential, not only in training, but in raising a happy, healthy pup. To better understand the subtleties of your dog’s unique language, check out these fantastic illustrative books on the subject: The Dog Body Language Phrasebook and How to Speak Dog: Mastering the Art of Dog-Human Communication.
4. Be consistent. Consistency is absolutely essential in training a well-behaved dog. Be clear and consistent in the rules you want your dog to follow and make sure everyone in the home follows those same rules. For example, if you don’t want your dog to beg at the dinner table, make sure no one in the home slips him food from their plate. Inconsistency is confusing for your dog.
5. Teach your dog to have good manners. Appropriate behavior from your dog is important, not just for keeping order at home, but for the safety, comfort, and life of other people and animals you…