Training your dog can be challenging at times, but it’s a very important part of being a dog owner. As well as getting them to behave better and learn the house rules, training is also an opportunity to bond with your four-legged friend. There are several common behaviours that dog owners would like to correct such as chewing, and ignoring commands. Dog training takes patience and understanding, but if you persevere you’ll finally get them to stop misbehaving or chewing household furniture.
Get to the root of the problem
Perhaps your dog simply hasn’t learned the household rules yet, but in some cases there could be a specific reason for certain behaviour. If your dog is chewing up the furniture there could be a couple of causes, for example. Puppies often chew when they’re teething and older dogs can chew out of boredom or frustration. It’s important to understand your dog and get to the root of the problem.
Teach them to distinguish toys from household items
Dogs need to be taught what they can and can’t do in the house. If you find them chewing up your shoes or other items, keep these out of sight and introduce plenty of chew toys instead. Chewing helps to maintain healthy teeth and jaws and keeps them entertained. When you’re training your dog, give them a toy as a reward.
Use praise and treats
Positive reinforcement is vital in dog training. Dogs don’t always respond to punishment as they have trouble associating it with specific behaviour. Use treats and praise to train your dog and make sure you do this as soon as they obey you. Keep a little bag of treats on you when you take your dog for walks. Always be prepared for a challenging training moment.
Timing is everything
Timing is everything with dog training because your dog needs to understand what exactly it’s done right or wrong. If you reward or punish your dog too late it won’t remember or associate this with its behaviour. Ideally, praise your dog and give it a treat in the moment. It can also be more effective to have a training session after a walk. Your dog will have burned off some of its energy and boredom from being inside and might be more open to listening to you.
Give them plenty of exercise
Plenty of exercise is essential for all types of dogs. It keeps them entertained and is good for their physical and mental wellbeing. The amount of exercise needed depends on the age and breed of your dog, but it can have a positive effect on dog training. Dogs often misbehave due to boredom and frustration and exercise can help relieve this. At the end of the day, a worn out dog is generally a good dog.
Dog training can be hard work, but it’s very rewarding once you get it right. For more tips and tricks on training and other advice for dog owners, check out our blog.