When you get a new dog, the first few weeks are rainbows and unicorns! You just cannot get over the fact that your puppy does cute little things like snore and waddle around and come over and snuggle with you. After a few weeks however, you’ll start thinking about starting to train your puppy. There are many techniques you can use to train your dogs, the most common being obedience training with the help of positive reinforcement.
There are many really cool things you can train your dog to do. Starting off from the simple sit and stay, you can advance to more complicated tasks and train him to do a multitude of things. You can teach your dog to pick up the newspaper or even turn off the lights, provided your dog is tall enough to reach the switch! Did you know that dogs can dance? Yes, it’s entirely possible, with the help of a lot of patience and a lot of treats, you can teach your dog to twirl around with you. Talk about showing off!
Dogs Are Naturally Smart Creatures
For anyone who has ever owned a dog, or known someone who does, they can vouch for the fact that dogs are some of the brightest and smartest creatures known to man. Many people have trained their dogs to do amazing and unbelievable tricks. Apart from learning to do tricks, dogs are also extremely compassionate and loving creatures. They can instinctively tell when someone needs a little bit of extra love or a cuddle. Their patient and sweet nature is what makes them amazing guardians to young children.
Dogs aren’t just good at learning tricks. They also make amazing guard and service dogs. They can be trained to do things like fetch keys, turn off light and open doors for army veterans and other people that have some form of disability. They are also stability companions for people who have issues like anxiety and depression. They can be taught to sniff out bombs, drugs and cadavers. In fact, there is a dog that has been trained to play sports like hockey and football! Dogs are naturally smart and curious creatures and they can learn many new things very easily. If you own a dog, you should definitely be willing to test the waters and see how far you and your dog can go!
How Obedience Training Can Help Smarten Your Dog
When you’re thinking about training your puppy, you should definitely look for obedience training exercises that not only teach your dog to do something, but also sharpens its brain. Apart from using positive reinforcement like praise and treats, you should also be patient and persistent, so that you can teach your dog fun things. Many times, you can use tips and tricks to smarten up your dog while you train him or her. It’s like killing two birds with one stone! Some tips and tricks that you should use while training your dogs, so the result is a smart puppy are as follows:
Recognize Body Language
You should always recognize your dog’s body language when you’re training him. People usually think that a wagging tail means that the dog is friendly. That is not necessarily true. You should know what your dog’s body language means so that you can train him properly. You should be able to realize when your dog is tired or uninterested, so that you can stop. If you continue to train your dog even when he is tired, he will not respond well to the efforts and your training will make him unhappy.
People who have owned dogs for a long time learn to recognize the difference between the sounds their dogs make. A low throaty growl can mean to be cautious while raised hackles and a loud growl is a more attack stance. There are differences between an excited yip and a pained yip. Just like that, a happy bark and an annoyed bark are different too. Learn to recognize the nuances in your dog’s barks and growls so that you can realize how your dog is responding to the training. This, along with learning body language can lead you learning what your dog’s strengths and weaknesses are, leading to a well-trained dog.
Have Realistic Goals & Expectations
Never think that your dog can be the nest astronaut on the moon, or the next Picasso! You need to always set realistic goals and expectations with your dog so that you do not tire him out. Also, if your dog feels like he isn’t doing what you want him to do; he will feel bad about himself. You should set small goals and every accomplishment should be celebrated! This is great for your dog’s self-esteem!
Reinforcement Always Helps!
One of the most commonly used and most practical methods is to use reinforcement when training your dog. You can use everything from a favorite treat to praise to a heavy petting! Your dog will learn to recognize that when he does something right, he gets praises and a treat, but if he does something wrong, he doesn’t get anything. Smart dogs will quickly pick up on this and it will make training very easy for you in the long run!
One of the tips you need to remember when training your dog is to always be consistent. If you’ve started teaching him one trick, stick to that and do not veer off onto another trick. This is confusing for your dog and it will cause problems. Take out a portion of your time every day and repeat the exercise with him so that his memory is refreshed. Proper training always asks for a consistent and firm hand. Do not give your dog treats or praise for a bad thing otherwise he will begin to exhibit that trait.
Using these tips and tricks, you too can have a very smart and obedient dog. Stay patient and enjoy every moment with your dog. You will definitely have a blast!