Good Boy: Six Tips for Training Your Dog - The Trupanion Blog
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Good Boy: Six Tips for Training Your Dog

dog-obedience-training-by-Quinn-DombrowskiAs fun as dogs can be, training them is not always an easy task. Training helps your pet thrive in the environment created for them. While it takes some work in the beginning, correct training leads to a happier and healthier life for you and your pet. Getting started can feel overwhelming, but here are six tips that will help while training your dog.

1. Consequences Must Happen Immediately
It is important to realize that dogs do not have the ability to relate a present event with something that happened an hour or more in the past. This is why you need to make sure consequences happen immediately after or during an event. Dogs will learn whether a behavior is good or bad based on what happens just afterwards. For example, if your dog comes when called, you need to have a treat right away to hand them.

2. Always Pay Attention to Your Dog
Dogs can go through different moods. Your dog might be uncomfortable around someone or in a certain location. It is important to always pay attention to your dog during training. If your dog seems disinterested, nervous or uncomfortable, then it is best to stop training. Trying to force training on your dog can cause problems later.

3. Never Reward Unwanted Behaviors
There are times when you might want to reward unwanted behaviors while training your dog. This can happen if the dog does something cute or seems to be having trouble. It is important not to reward unwanted behaviors since this can derail the training and confuse the dog. Your dog should only earn treats when accomplishing the task you gave them in the first place.

4. Strive For Consistency
Whatever trick you choose, consistency is key to successful training. This means making sure everyone in the home is reinforcing the same message to the dog. It also means leading by example in some situations. Inconsistency could lead your dog to start learning unintended lessons that are counterproductive. Make sure all those who are participating in training know when to reward and what each “correct response” looks like.

5. Train in Short and Simple Sessions
Dogs do not have the same attention spans as humans. Training sessions should be short and simple. Sessions should normally be under 15 minutes long. You should also make sure each training session is focused on a single thing. This will allow your dog to learn more effectively.

6. Train in Different Locations
Dogs do not always generalize the lessons learned during training. Sitting in the yard is different from puppy classes. It will help to train your dog in different locations so that the lessons and behaviors become generalized over time. Daycare training is an effective training option for dog owners who need daycare anyways.

Training your dog usually require time and patience. It is important to always think about how the dog perceives what is going on during training. Focusing on what your dog is experiencing instead of what should be happening can make training much easier.

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