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GENERAL

  • Training your dog properly is a very important part of pet care. With a properly trained dog, you will be able to focus more on bonding with your dog, and less on constantly shaping their behavior.
  • The best chance you have to begin training a dog is within the first week that they come into your home. This is especially true with puppies, who spend their first week in a new home establishing their territory, rules, and general guidelines for their new life.
  • Some dogs pick up commands easier than others. While some dogs may understand a command after only five repetitions, some dogs may require a command to be repeated up to forty times.
  • The best way to train your dog is by reinforcing their positive behavior, not by punishing them for bad behavior.
  • When trying to train an older dog, extra time may be required for the dog to learn a command. The best method is to use food as a motivational reward while engaging in a training program.

TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT

  • Harsh training tools, such as choke collars, spiked collars and electric collars are a thing of the past. Instead, focus on training your dog through positive reinforcement.
  • A fairly new and proven effective training method called “Clicker Training” uses a small clicking tool to help ‘shape’ a dog’s good behavior.
  • When training your dog to walk on a leash, you can either choose a retractable leash or a nylon leash. However, when training your dog for the first time, you may choose to use a leash of a set length.
  • When purchasing a crate for your dog, you can choose between an open wire crate and an enclosed plastic crate. There are advantages and disadvantages to both of these types of crates, so be sure to choose the one that best suits your dog’s needs.

POTTY TRAINING

  • A very effective method for potty training a dog is to use the crate training method. Use a crate to teach your dog that they can only relieve themselves in a designated area outdoors.
  • It is very important not to scold your dog for relieving themselves indoors, especially when they are a puppy. Puppies may misunderstand what they are being punished for, and may think that relieving themselves is wrong.
  • When dealing with an older dog that is not potty trained, you can use most of the same methods that you use for young puppies. However, some older dogs may take a bit more time to become successfully potty trained.

PROFESSIONAL TRAINING

  • When choosing a professional trainer for your dog, be wary of people who claim to be “pet dog care behavioral experts”, though can’t cite any formal education that they received on the subject.
  • Try to choose a professional trainer that incorporates positive reinforcement into their training program.  Some trainers still use harsh, outdated methods that may not be effective in training your dog.

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