Ready to start training your dog? It’s recommended to get your pup learning basic obedience commands and socializing as soon as possible, but if you’ve never implemented training before, you might not know where to begin.
In this blog post, we explore 4 different training methods, so you can make the most informed choice for you and your four-legged student.
Clicker training can be grouped in with the positive reinforcement method, which embodies the concept that dogs repeat good behavior when a reward is presented after they display good behavior.
If a command is not followed, the dog does not receive praise or a reward. Corrections are administered by removing the reward, but remember that harsh reprimands are not recommended.
With clicker training, a small device with a distinct sound is used to alert the dog that it must follow a command. The way the clicker the used can be combined with verbal commands over time to incorporate new lessons and tricks.
This method is effective for learning new commands, but it may not be the best for curbing unwanted behaviors.
This method was brought into the spotlight by Cesar Milan, embracing the theory that understanding a dog’s pack mentality can help shape behaviors through submission.
Pack mentality, as observed with wolves in the wild, demonstrates a social hierarchy where the alpha male is dominant and the other pack members follow.
Dominance training establishes the human as the alpha. Basics of this method include not allowing your dog on furniture and not getting down to the dog’s eye level, as this suggests equality within the “pack”.
This method has been shown as an effective way to curb unwanted behavior, however it must be stated that some experts consider it outdated.
This type of training focuses on how the pawrent and doggo interact together, combining a variety of training methods for a more personalized approach that benefits both.
The key element here is to strengthen the bond by learning your dog’s body language and what motivates them towards good behavior.
Learning commands occurs in steps. For example, you could first teach your dog to obey the “sit” command in a quiet, empty room of your home where there are no distractions.
Gradually make it more challenging, such as training your pup to follow the “sit” command in a park where there are other people and dogs.
This is a great way to build a meaningful bond with your dog, but it does take time and patience!
As you can probably gather from reading the previous sections we mentioned, training your dog takes time and dedication. Consistency is key to reinforce good behaviors, and above all- patience!
The thing is, not everyone has the time to dedicate to training a pet, especially if you work, travel, or have a family.
That’s where board and train programs come into the picture. You can sign your dog up for a program at a reputable facility that can last a week or longer. These facilities provide a safe and secure “home away from home” for dogs, run by professional trainers.
You can drop your dog off and during their stay, and they’ll enjoy a pup-friendly environment where training is consistent and they get to socialize with others.
At the end of the program, you receive a full assessment that gives you a solid plan to continue training at home.