Tips For Training Your Dog
The Metro Paws Pack is filled with dog parents and dog lovers. We know just how exciting it is to bring a dog into your home. With that excitement, comes the challenge of training. Nobody wants their pup to chew on their shoes, jump on guests, or pee indoors. Luckily, we’re providing you with some training tips that will help you and your pup.
Train As Soon As Possible
After your dog comes home, don’t wait too long to start training. Yes, dogs need to get acclimated to their surroundings, but if you wait too long to start then the harder it will be.
Use Treats as Incentives
It goes without saying that dogs like treats. Treats can be effective at training when used to reward good behavior or after a dog does what you’ve asked of them. Make sure that you are quick when giving them treats, as you don’t want to inadvertently reward the wrong behavior. As you re-train your pup, you might find that the normal store-bought treats don’t cut it and have to upgrade.
Get Rid of Distractions
Just like humans, dogs can be distracted by their toys or surroundings. When training, try to do so in a quiet place away from children or other pets. Once you feel your pup has mastered commands in-home, it’s time to start using them outside of the home. This will help strengthen behavior. Additionally, keep sessions no longer than 15 minutes, or else your pup will lose focus much more easily.
Puppy-Proof Your Home
Use a crate, gate, or pen to help keep your pup out of temptation's way. In these younger months, puppies need to be supervised more or they will get into trouble. Offer them safe toys and eliminate the chance they will chew on those expensive shoes or plants. This will also help stop bad behavior before they turn into habits.
Consistency is Key
Dogs thrive when they have a schedule. Give your pup a routine by walking, feeding, and playing with them at the same time to help your dog learn. When training commands, make sure you’re using the same words or phrases each time.
Keep It Simple
English isn’t exactly a dog’s first language, however they can learn up to 250 words and phrases. When you start training, keep your commands short and simple. For example, “sit”, “stay”, and “down” are all one-word commands. Longer words or phrases will confuse them, especially early on. While you’re at it, learn what dog body language means. This will help you understand them better!
Reinforce Positive Behaviors
It’s easy to be mad at a dog for doing bad things, but we should also praise our dogs for doing good things. Treat your dog out of the blue to let them know they’re doing well. Conversely, sometimes giving attention to the bad behavior reinforces it. For example if your dog barks and you react, it could signal to your dog that you like their barking. It may be better to ignore those bad behaviors.
Re-Hone Those Skills & Introduce New Ones
Re-teach positive behaviors and commands every once in a while to help keep your dog’s mind fresh. This will also help strengthen your bond. Once you have the basic commands down, you can teach your dog new commands and even fun tricks!
While some pups can pick things up quickly, others might need several months to be fully trained. A dog in a new environment might have some stress or anxiety, so treat them with grace if they aren’t quick to train. Additionally, give your dog time to react to your command. Say a command once and then count to five (in your head) to allow them to react. If your dog is having trouble then try guiding them with a hand motion. If you find yourself getting impatient or angry, stop the training and pick up again at another time. Your dog can tell when you’re getting upset.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask For Help
Some parents may prefer to train their dogs in-home or by themselves. However, there is no shame in hiring a professional trainer, asking your vet for tips, or reaching out to other pet parents for their advice. Sometimes it takes a village to raise a dog, and it’s okay to ask for help.
Don't forget to get everything you need from Metro Paws. We have the essentials that you and your pets will love, like our colorful compostable Poopcase, our biodegradable Poopy Packs, and Metro Wipes for quick and easy grooming.