Bonding with your dog is important, since it forms the foundation for your relationship with your dog. Proper training is essential, since it helps to facilitate a relationship of mutual respect. In the wild, dogs trust their “alpha” to be their pack leader. For domesticated dogs, this concept remains the same. By being your dog’s “alpha”, you are instilling your role as your dog’s teacher. There are many dog training techniques that can be used for dog training. Understanding how to train your dog requires that you are familiar with all of these techniques, as well as why they are effective.
Before attempting more complicated commands, it’s best to give your dog basic dog training. This should start with teaching your dog their name. Repeat the name while keeping your dog’s direct attention with a treat. After you’ve repeated this several times, try getting your dog’s attention without displaying a treat. When they respond, immediately give them a hidden treat reward. After several repetitions, your dog will begin to understand that when you call their name, they should give you their full attention.
Once you have taught your dog their name, you can move on to more of the basic commands. “Sit” is a popular first command, and can be easily accomplished using a method similar to the one above. Using a treat to keep your dog’s attention, repeat the command in a firm, non-threatening tone of voice. When your dog obeys, immediately give them their reward. It’s usually best to use a combination of treats and praise for your dog at first. After they master some of the basic commands, you can eventually save your treats, and offer praise instead.
After mastering the basic commands, you may want to teach your dog more complicated commands. Some dogs can be caught to retrieve the paper, open doors and even turn on water faucets! Depending on the specific command that you want to use, you will have to adopt slightly different training techniques.
Clicker training can be useful for both simple and complicated training. Since clicker training focuses on “shaping” a dog’s behavior, it can be used to help guide a dog towards the many actions that are required in some of the more complicated commands. With practice, the “click” emitted by the clicker will eventually be associated with good behavior in your dog’s mind. Complicated commands, when combined with the “shaping” ability of the clicker, are much simpler to accomplish.