Dogs are cute and loyal companions, but before you think of getting a pet, you should be aware of the responsibilities that come with being a pet owner. Not only will you have to look after your new pet, you will also have to find the time and energy to train them. After all, it’s all fun and games until your pet takes a dump on your mom’s expensive carpet.
Here are some dog training tips to remember when adopting a dog:
Dog Training Tips: What New Pet Owners Should Remember
Puppies are infant dogs, not miniature adults
This means that you can’t expect a puppy to arrive fully trained. Adjust your dog expectations, considering that they also have physical and mental limitations. Be as patient with your puppy as you would be an infant, because it will be a grown up soon enough.
Puppy-proof your house
Much like having a human infant around the house, puppies also tend to be a danger to themselves. When not supervised, they too, should be kept in a safe place so that they can’t get into trouble. This is why it is important to puppy-proof the house with baby gates, crates, or dog pens to lessen possibilities for accidents and destructive puppy behavior. You would not want to return to your home after a long day from school or from work with your shoes chewed on or furniture scratched on.
Dogs have a different language than humans
As early as childhood, we were taught that dogs bark. Unfortunately, this basic knowledge seems to slip from the minds of many new dog owners. The basic dog commands, including “stop,” “stay,” and “sit” cannot be taught on demand. Instead of expecting your new pets to do exactly as you say, one of the most important dog training tips is to show them what you want them to do instead.
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Learn body language too
Keeping a pet is foreign territory, and you should treat your initial relationship with your dogs as such. Like babies, it is quite difficult to figure out what your dogs want to tell you, but soon enough, you should be able to tell how they act when they’re trying to tell you something, such as when they are feeling hungry or thirsty or when they just need a bit of doggo love.
Always remember treats during training
Dogs work harder when they get something out of it. While puppies and dogs in training will work for a piece of chicken breast or a strip of meat, these can only work in distraction-free settings. Over time, the job gets more difficult, so there is a need to get out the good stuff. Make sure that these are soft, easy-to-chew treats, though, so that they won’t be distracted with chewing instead of continuing with training.
Reinforce good behavior with rewards
While it is easy to scold puppies when you find that they are getting themselves into trouble, rewarding him out of the blue for good behavior lets him know that he is doing the right thing and will reinforce such behavior. This is one of the most significant dog training tips new pet owners should always remember.
Dog behavior is reinforced by human behavior
If your dogs do things that you don’t really like, you may have to take another look at the way you behave as well. Owners tend to reinforce undesirable behavior that pets follow, from excessive barking to taking food off the kitchen counter. If you keep leaving food within their reach, they will learn when and where to look for them. That being said, keep a positive attitude because dogs can also tell when their humans are upset, and this could affect your relationship with them.
Be quick to treat and praise them
If rewards come more than a few seconds after your dogs have done something on command, they will not register properly what they did to earn the treat. Sure, they will gladly take the reward, but you as a dog trainer and owner, you’ve failed to establish a teaching moment.
Keep a sunny disposition, whether or not you called your dog to you
Owners usually complain that their dogs don’t come when called. However, high, harsh tones don’t help with getting dogs to bond with their new owners. Never punish your pets when they do come to you, even though it took more than a few calls to get their attention.
Provide exercise and mental stimulation
Dogs, when bored, get into a lot of trouble. However, it is important that you provide just enough physical exercise and mental stimulation. For puppies, mental stimulation can be as tiring as physical exercise, so make sure that you don’t overwork your pets to the point of exhaustion.