One of the most important things you can do for your dog is to begin obedience training once they are old enough to learn basic commands. Dogs with obedience training are better-behaved and more likely to listen to their owners when they need to. Not only is obedience training for dogs important owners who want their pets to learn positive behavioral habits, but it can also mean the difference between a safe dog and one who gets injured due to negative habits.
If you are interested in teaching your dog obedience training below are a few tips to get you started.
- You can begin obedience training with your dog at any age, but if you are going to take your dog to a school where he will be around other dogs then you should wait until they have their first shots and are protected against diseases. Three months is usually the recommended age for obedience training a puppy outside of the home. Also, contrary to popular believe, older dogs can benefit from obedience training just as much as younger dogs do.
- An important, and often overlooked, component of obedience training is keeping to a regular daily schedule as much as possible. Keeping to a daily schedule will help your dog in all aspects of their life by providing a secure and consistent environment. Your dog will know what to expect at various times of the day, and your obedience training will greatly benefit from this consistency.
- You should start your obedience training offering a small food reward after each command that is correctly performed. Each food reward should be a small bite-size treat that can be eaten at once rather than a large piece of food that will take time to eat. As your dog becomes more familiar with the commands you are teaching them you can gradually reduce the food reward and replace it with verbal and physical praise. As time goes on even this verbal and physical praise can be reduced until you are rewarding them with a pat on the head or a verbal “good boy,” or “good girl.”
- Do not overwhelm your dog by working on many different commands at once. The best way to train a dog is to introduce one new command at a time. Once your dog is very confident with performing the new command then you can move on to introducing another command. The reason you want to introduce each command slowly is because your dog may become easily overwhelmed and unable to follow even one command when you introduce too many at once. As your dog begins picking up a handful of basic commands like “sit” and “stay” you can then slowly start introducing more advanced commands such as “fetch” or “bring.” Working at a slow and steady pace ensures that your training will be successful.
Teaching your dog obedience training should be looked on as an educational and fun exercise. If you treat obedience training like a chore you will not end up getting very far with your dog. Instead, follow the tips listed above and have fun; your dog will become well-trained in no time.