How to Train a Dog At Home?
It is natural that you want to train your dog, but unfortunately, if you are not well-versed in behaviour science or dog training techniques, it can be a little tough to properly ‘train a dog.’
Many people fall into the trap of thinking that all they need to do is to tell their dog what he should do and then punish him when he doesn’t obey. While this works to some extent but cannot be effective. There is a vast difference between the way humans and dogs learn.
If you want your dog to really “get it” and be willing to follow your commands, you need to understand how dogs learn and use that knowledge and positive reinforcement training techniques in your training.
Dogs Learn by Association
Human beings learn through association, but sometimes we can be too bright for our good. While a human may connect something that happened this morning and tomorrow, it is usually not an immediate process. It could take hours or even days before one event triggers another.
In the dog world, it is far more instantaneous than that. One event triggers almost instantaneously to another one. This is because dogs rely much more heavily on their sense of smell than they do on what they see or hear. Dogs have about 40 times as many scent glands as humans do and can detect scents in concentration nearly 100 million times lower than humans can!
Since dogs rely more heavily on their sense of smell, it is easier for them to make these associations than it is for humans. This means that if you punish your dog after he has done something wrong, then he will begin to associate the punishment with whatever else was going on at that time. Even if you punish him a few minutes later, this can still create problems because, to a dog, it will seem as though you are punishing him for whatever he was doing at that exact moment and consequently, he may begin to avoid those situations altogether. If you only use positive reinforcement training techniques (later on), your dog will be much more receptive to learning. At first, it may seem like you are not making any progress but stick with it. It can take up to 30 days for a dog to learn something new, so be patient!
Punishing Your Dog Can Cause Psychological Problems
If your dog does something wrong and you punish him, he may try to retaliate. This could lead to several psychological problems, which can be very dangerous. The first problem is that dogs don’t understand punishment as we do. Dogs view punishment as the loss of the pack leader or something else that they care about.
Instead of feeling guilty, dogs will become resentful, leading to aggressive behaviour later on. Some of the most dangerous dog bites occur after the dog has been punished for acting out. If you feel that your dog needs punishment as a way of deterring his actions, then the safest thing to do is to give him time-outs.
Learn to Understand Your Dog’s Behaviour
The best way to get your dog to do something is to learn what makes him tick. Every time he does something wrong, try and figure out why he did it in the first place. If your dog starts growling at other dogs while you are on a walk, then you know that can’t be what you wanted him to do.
This will not only help your dog learn faster, but it will help you as well. For example, if your dog starts growling at other dogs on a walk, then figure out how he feels about other dogs. If he is afraid of them, continue to socialize with other dogs. If he enjoys other dogs, begin to teach him to play with them properly.
Positive Reinforcement Dog Training Techniques
The simplest way to train your dog is by using positive reinforcement training techniques. These are also known as operant conditioning or behaviour shaping/modification techniques. All of these involve good rewarding behaviours and ignoring bad ones.
For example, if your dog starts barking at another person, ignore the behaviour altogether. Don’t even look at him or talk to him. This will tell your dog that there is no benefit of barking, and he will stop doing it after a while. When training your dog, always think about what you would like them to do rather than what you don’t want them to do.
Training Your New Puppy
If you have a new puppy, it is best to train him as soon as possible. The sooner you begin the training process, the easier it will be because he will be a lot less likely to develop bad habits along the way. When housebreaking your dog, always remember to put him in the same spot every time he needs to go. If this is not possible, you can purchase pads to show your puppy where it is okay to relieve himself.
Basic Dog Training
Basic obedience training for dogs should be started as soon as you bring them home. Even if they are guard dogs, you should still start with the basics. The best way to train your dog is through positive reinforcement training techniques. When preparing a new command, always remember to associate it with something he already knows how to do. For example, if you want him to sit down when someone comes over, practice this when he comes in the door.
Basic obedience training should continue for at least 30 days after bringing your dog home to ensure that he fully understands the commands. After your dog learns something new, you can start working on exercises like heeling and recall. You can also practice more advanced tricks, such as teaching him how to swim or jump through a hoop.
The safest and most effective way to train your dog is through positive reinforcement training techniques. When training your dog, remember that dogs are not like humans. They will not feel guilty or bad about doing something wrong if you punish them for it. Instead, they will resent you, leading to other problems down the road. If your dog does something wrong, try to figure out why he did it, and be sure to reward him when he does something right.
What Should You Do If Your Dog Gets Off the Leash?
If your dog gets off his leash, do not punish him. Instead, please find out how he got it off in the first place. Is the collar too loose, or is he not displaying any interest in staying close to you? If the collar is too open, readjust it so he can’t slip out of it. When playing with your dog (without leash) with a tennis ball, always have one person hold onto him while another goes and gets the ball. This way, he will be less likely to try and run off when you get the ball.
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