How to Train a Puppy or Dog
The first step in successful dog training is GOOD MANAGEMENT TOOLS! When I’m working with dog training clients, the first thing we discuss when outlining any kind of dog training program, whether it is new puppy training, treating any kind of dog phobia, or dog aggression is management. Good dog training cannot happen without good management in place, especially if you are trying to change a dog’s behavior.
If you want to teach your dog not to jump up on guests, you cannot let him race to the front door as you try to open it, greet your guest, and hold your dog back. This would not be a good start to your dog’s polite greeting behavior. If you don’t want your dog rushing the fence line, running up and down chasing the neighbor dog, you better not let him outside unsupervised. This would not be productive if you wanted to teach your dog how to hang in your backyard without getting all fired up.
Try to remember your dog is a living, breathing, and thinking being. You are his teacher. You need to guide him and help him make what we think of as appropriate decisions. Believe me – he won’t make them on his own.
Your job, when you made the choice to bring a dog into your family is to be a parent to that dog…..your dog. He now is your responsibility. You are the one who brought him into your home, happily promising to love, care for, and train him to be part of the family. Dogs are not an afterthought.
Start to think about your dog’s environment, things you would like to change about his behavior, things you want to keep and things you want him to learn. You then need to set up his living environment so that it is next to impossible for him to be wrong. Setting him up to be successful and preventing him from doing things you don’t like goes a long way in his learning and your happiness. Remember to reward your dog for any and all “good” behavior. If he enjoys the rewards, he will offer that behavior more often.
Some Management Tools To Consider:
- Planning ahead
- Baby Gates
- Dog Crates and Dog Kennels
- Dog Leash and Dog Harness
- Inside tie outs (leashes attached to furniture etc. while in the same room with you)
- Puppy Proofing (nothing accessible)
- Exercise (mental and physical)
- Chew bones
- Busy food toys
Are you one step ahead of your dog or is he one step ahead of you? Tell me in the comments.
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