If you are a first time dog owner, it can be a little overwhelming when you bring your new dog or puppy home. Owning a dog is a big responsibility and training takes up a lot of your time at first. A few months of hard work will set you up for the next 14 years of their life and surely that is worth the effort.
A dog or puppy of any breed can start training shortly after you bring it home. This is important so that you can establish boundaries and gain better control over your dog through obedience. Puppies are generally easier to train than older dogs. However, this doesn’t mean it’s never too late to train an older dog and owners should not adhere to the old saying that “you can never teach an old dog, new tricks” because you certainly can!
All dogs should work towards knowing the “eight essential commands” needed to become a well behaved member of the family. These commands are WATCH ME (focus) – SIT – DOWN – STAY – COME – LEAVE IT – DROP IT – HEEL. Once your dog knows these commands, incorporate them into your daily routine and you’ll be on your way to owning a very well behaved dog.
Some breeds of dogs are more challenging to train than others. This is usually due to the fact that some breeds learn commands very easily and some breeds need more time, consistency and patience to learn commands. It is important that owners do their research on the different breeds of dogs first and make sure they have enough time for training if they choose dogs who need a patient owner!
The best method to use when training your dog or puppy is the “Positive Reinforcement” training method. Positive reinforcement is anything added that follows a behaviour that makes it more likely that the behaviour will occur again in the future. A good example of this would be teaching a dog to SIT. You lure the dog into a SIT with a treat and once the dog sits, you deliver the treat. The dog soon learns that offering the behaviour (SIT) more often, gets himself a treat.
One mistake owners make while dog training is thinking that their dog is a small human-being in a furry suit! They’re not – they are dogs and should be treated like dogs. Dogs do not feel the same complex emotions as humans do and prefer relationships built on kindness, with structure and boundaries. Dogs like to obey – it provides them with security and owners should remember this.
Once you bring your new puppy or dog home, join a Dog Obedience Class in your area or get help from a trained professional. Socialise your puppy or dog with other dogs and people and start training as soon as possible. Don’t let training issues get out of hand and seek help before the problem becomes a much bigger one! Happy Training!
To follow up or make an appointment or find out more information about Ringwood Dogs, Ashley Heath on the Dorset and Hampshire border, please contact Isabelle Adams-Papé by clicking on the Contact Me tab.
I look forward to meeting you and working with your dogs.
Happy dog training.