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Top 10 Dog Training Tips

By Editorial Staff

Contributed by Cindi Pearce, Catalogs.com Info Guru

If you don’t take the time to train your dog, down the road you are going to wish that you had. Training a dog is very much like training a kid. It’s hard work and requires consistency, but in the end you are glad that you did it because life is so much easier when your dog (just like your kids) behaves himself.

Start training your pooch early on. Don’t wait until he’s long in the tooth to introduce him to the concept of learning commands. Maybe you can teach old dogs new tricks, but it’s much easier to teach young dogs. When training, be kind and gentle and make it a fun experience for your dog. Training should be a time that he looks forward to.

The top 10 dog training tips are:

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10. Get real



If you don’t have the time to invest in training a dog, don’t get one.

9. Then, be realistic



If you give your dog a command that is just ridiculous—“Albert, cook supper”—which, of course, is absurd, your dog will quickly learn that some commands can’t be enforced so following commands is arbitrary, and he might decide not to obey you. Be realistic in your expectations of your dog, and be realistic with your commands.

8. Keep it short



Don’t expect your dog to train for two hours straight and enjoy it and perform well. Train in short sessions. A lot can be accomplished in five or 10 minutes. As the dog matures, you can lengthen the sessions but don’t get carried away.

7. Watch your tone



Speak softly but firmly when giving a command. Only give one command at a time. Don’t tell him to sit and stay. Tell him either to sit or stay. Too many commands are going to confuse him.

6. Learn the language



Use succinct words when giving a command. Don’t say an entire sentence. Better yet, use words that end in hard consonants, such as K, C, X or T, because you can shoot out this type of word, and it makes more of an impression on your dog. Your dog is only going to remember the command for two minutes tops. Do not reiterate the command. Move on to something else.

5. Consistent praise



If your dog’s reward is going to be your voice and not food use a high voice in a sing-song manner, which dogs like to hear. If petting is the reward pet him exactly like he likes to be pet (on the belly or on the head.) Some dogs work best with a training clicker. When you are done with the session use a word such as “release” or “go” that lets him know he is finished and has done a good job.

4. Reward liberally



When your dog behaves well, reward him. This is basic human and dog nature. You applaud for people so applaud for your pet and also give him a healthy dog treat. Give him the treat immediately after he has done what he was supposed to do. Do not wait to reward him because this will confuse him.

3. Don’t over-react to failure



When your dog is being a big pain in the butt do not over-react and do not give him too much attention pursuant to his obnoxious behavior. If you do, you are reinforcing what he is doing, which is the last thing that you want to do.

2. Use your dog’s name



Use your dog’s name when you are talking to him. “Albert, come here.” Look at your dog when you are addressing him. Try to use his name in conjunction with positive behavior. “Good job, Albert” Try not to use his name when you are correcting him for bad behavior.

1. Don’t yell



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Do not hit or yell at your dog if he isn’t learning quickly enough to suit you. If you do punish him, he is going to associate this with training, and he’s not likely to cooperate in the future. He might just dig in his heels and say the heck with this. Instead of punishing him for his lack of cooperation simply do not give him a treat or reward.

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