To obtain a healthy co-habitation with your dog, you will need to invest some time in training him or her. While housebreaking your dog is a must, teaching your dog things like how to stay or sit can make life with your dog easier. If you desire the best dog on the block, the one that knows all the tricks, obedience training is the way to go. All dogs are trainable, just some more so than others.
In order to train your dog, you will need to show him who is in charge. Consistent and firm works best. If your dog senses that he can overpower you to get his way, he will never obey. If your dog growls or barks at you it is important to stand your ground. Pause, and then continue with the lesson you are trying to teach until he obeys.
It is important to begin training puppies as soon as they are old enough. Older dogs will be slightly harder to train due to the fact that they have already developed certain habits, but are still trainable nonetheless.
It is important to never yell at your dog, and never ever hit your dog. Doing so is not only considered abuse, but will give you nothing but a nervous, scared dog that will not be easy to train because it is concentrating on fear instead of the lesson at hand.
Since habits are formed by repeating an action over and over, use lots of repetition in training. Repeat the train action over and over until you are sure he’s got it. Once mastered, test him on it from time to time to ensure he retains the knowledge.
Even if you choose to never teach your dog any tricks, you will want to housebreak him. If you have just gotten a puppy, start this process as soon as he reached eight weeks old. A crate, or small cage, can be an effective tool in housebreaking. By using the crate as a play and sleeping area for your puppy, the puppy will soon come to recognize it as it’s personal space. Since dogs are not fond of using the bathroom where they sleep and play, locking them in the crate will teach them to hold it until you can take them out. Keep in mind that no puppy should be locked in a crate for more than two to three hours at a time.
Try to establish a routine by taking your dog out at about the same times daily. If the dog senses that he will be able to go out soon, he will be more likely to hold it. Watch for clues that will tell you that your dog needs to go out. Wandering around sniffing, or scratching at the door are sure signs that he needs to go.
Until your dog is completely trained to use the restroom outside, it is important to praise him each time he does so. Key words such as “hurry” can be incorporated in training to make sure that your dog knows what you want him to do once the two of you are outside. A key word can be invaluable if the weather is bad, or you live in a cold area, as it can make taking the dog out a faster process.
Whether you just want your dog to do his business outside, or have him do something super impressive like turning off a light, training will get you there. The time you invest in training is time well spent, and will make for a happy owner and happy dog.