Dog Obedience Training
An important part of responsible dog ownership is putting your dog through dog obedience training. You can do this by training the dog at home, or you can seek the help of a professional.
If you choose to seek professional help, you will have the choice between classes in which other dogs and their owners participate, one on one training with a professional or a step by step dog training course through the internet. Of course, the one on one training is probably going to be more expensive, but for dogs with severe behavior problems, it could be the best choice.
Many local chapters of the SPCA offer dog obedience training classes at a reduced rate. Also, often if you adopt from an SPCA shelter, you will be entitled to even more of a discount on their classes.
Unless you have some prior experience with training, it is a good idea to take some dog obedience classes with a professional. These classes will provide you with the basic training techniques you will need to train your dog throughout its life. If you do not have the couple of hours to spare going to classes once a week, then again getting a step by step program that you can do from home is the way to go.
If you do choose to do dog obedience training at home, here are some things to keep in mind.
Establish Yourself as Leader of the Pack
That is not accomplished by yelling and getting upset every time the dog does something you do not like. Instead, remain calm and in control at all times. Establish a firm tone in your voice that you use when you really want to get your point across.
If your dog sees you as the leader of the pack, he will obey your every command.
Use One Word Commands
The more simple the commands, the easier it will be for the dog to understand them. For that reason, one word commands, such as “sit”, “stay” and “no” are better than longer commands such as “sit down” or “don’t touch that”.
Also, keep the commands consistent. Don’t switch between “down” and “sit”. Instead choose one word for each command and always use that.
Reward Instead of Punish
Rewarding good behavior is a much more effective method of dog obedience training than punishing bad behavior. For example, if your dog jumps up on you, don’t punish him. Just ignore him. Cross your arms and turn away and give the “sit” command. Only when the dog is sitting calmly will you reward the behavior by petting him and saying “good boy”.
By rewarding the behavior that you want, you are teaching the dog that he can get what he wants – in this case attention – by doing what you want him to do.
Also, it is never ok to yell and or hit your dog. Such actions are not effective for training and constitute abuse.
Don’t expect your dog’s obedience training to change his behavior overnight. It is up to you to be consistent with the training in order for it to be fully effective.
If, after a few weeks, you notice that your training is not making any difference, it is time to forego your home dog obedience training and enlist the help of an expert.
Obedience training is important for all dogs, but it is especially important if you have a large dog, or a dog that is stronger than you and therefore difficult to control.
Lack of dog obedience training can have tragic results. A well-behaved dog will bring you joy for years to come. If you can’t handle the training yourself, then sign up for an obedience class.
Doing so will give your dog confidence and make life easier for both of you.