8 Tips for Training Your Dog in Altadena, CA
When it comes to bringing a new dog into your home, know that it will be an adjustment for both you and your new pet. Whether they are a puppy, or an adult dog, you need to have patience as they grow accustomed to not only you, but also their new surroundings.
But where do you start when it comes to dog training? Whether you decide to train your dog at home, attend training classes with other pet parents and dogs, or take private training lessons, there are things you can do at home to make training an enjoyable bonding experience for you and your pet.
1. Choose a Strong Name
Your dog’s name is important and must be the right fit for the dog and your family. But did you know that your dog’s name can make training easier? It is true! Short names with a hard consonant at the end are easier for your dog to hear clearly. Strong endings of names like Zeke or Ginger make your dog’s ears perk up, especially when you emphasize the ending to them.
Even if your dog is an older dog, changing its name is not out of the question. In many cases, a new name may help them to feel like they are getting a fresh start with a new, loving family. If you are bringing a new dog into your home, and decide to change its name, be sure that you are consistent so that your dog can quickly learn to respond.
Whatever you decide to name your pet, make sure to use it as much as possible in positive situation, so that your dog does not think they are in trouble when you do call them.
2. Make Some House Rules
Do you have other dogs in your home? If so, you have likely already established the house rules for pets. However, if you are new to pet ownership, you will need to decide on the do’s and don’ts for your pet, and make sure that everyone in the family can be consistent.
Some of the rules to consider include:
- Are dogs allowed on furniture? This includes furniture in common areas, as well as beds.
- Which rooms will your dog have access to?
- Can your dog sit near the dining room table while the family is eating dinner?
If these rules are established early, and accepted by everyone in the pet’s life, it will make it easier to ensure your dog knows its limits.
3. Give Them Privacy
No matter how much your dog loves you and spending time with you, there are times they may want to be alone. Make sure they have their own space, like a crate, where they can sleep or eat in peace.
Having their own space will be a great lesson for housetraining and give you peace of mind when you can’t be with them. So, if they behave in their own space, be sure to give them a big treat as a reward.
4. Help Them Relax
Being introduced to new surroundings can be a stressful time for dogs. There are several things you can do to help them feel more at ease. If you bring home a puppy, provide a warm water bottle and maybe a ticking close to comfort them. This sensation makes them feel like they are still with their litter mates and soothe them.
Other items that may bring comfort to your dog include blankets and toys. Whatever you can do to get them comfortable in your home will be better for you both.
5. Reward Good Behavior
While you can make it fun and a great bonding experience for you and your pet, dog training can be frustrating at times. When things are going well though, you should give your dog a reward as positive reinforcement. Toys, food treats, love and lots of praise are all great ways for you to show your dog that you are happy with the progress they are making.
On the other hand, do not reward unwanted behavior. If your dog is doing something they should not, and you give them a reward, it can confuse them and make training more difficult for you.
6. Get Your Dog’s Attention
One of the first things that your dog should know, is to come to you when you call them. It seems simple, but it will make the rest of training much easier.
Begin by getting down on their level and using their name to call them. When they come to you, give them lots of praise to let them know they have done something good. Progress this training by calling them when they are distracted by something else, like food or a toy.
Once you begin to take them out more, this will be a crucial command for keeping your dog in control.
7. Timing is everything
You know that dogs have little to no attention span. A few minutes after they have done something, there is a good chance that they have already forgotten about it. That is why it is so important during training that if you see a bad behavior, correct it immediately. Also, make sure your corrections and techniques are consistent. It will help your dog to establish expectations.
8. Make Dog Training a Positive Experience
Certain experiences can traumatize humans and leave them fearful. For instance, a bad visit to the dentist could make someone hesitant to make future appointments. The same is true for our dogs. If you want them to return to training sessions with excitement, make sure it is a positive experience all around – especially at the end. When each session wraps up, be sure to give your dog lots of attention and praise.
All Dogs Can Learn
Dogs are smart creatures and can continue learning throughout their lives. Whether young or old, training will give you and your dog more confidence when going out with family or friends, or to the dog park, while you have peace of mind that everything is safe and under control.