Top 10 training tips for dog owners
Training a pup into a full-fledged companion takes a lot of time and patience. Here's a quick little guide to get the best results out of your training sessions
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Top 10 training tips for dog owners

Do you want your dog to be a real champ? Or perhaps you need a friend who is just nice and behaves well? Disregarding your goals as a dog owner, you will be inevitably engaged in your pet's training process. Your actions define what types of behavior will be reinforced. So it is a good idea to have at least some degree of understanding of how dog training works and what you can do to be efficient about it. We have gathered some simple tips that will help you to make training fun and understand your pet better.
1. Always tell your dog what you want it to do

If you tend to tell your dog "no" when it does something wrong, please stop. Dogs are wired differently than us humans and don't extract the same amount of information out of a simple "no" as we do. For instance, when your dog jumps on someone and you tell "no", it understands the negative message but this negativity can apply to anything in the canine brain. So the dog's thought process looks something like this: "My owner doesn't like something about what I've done just now. Maybe I didn't jump high enough? Alright, I will try jumping harder from now on". Thus, you can see how harmful your "no" can be.

Instead, ask your dog to do something every time you want to say "no". So when your pet jumps on someone, tell it to "sit". This will result in your dog obeying your command instead of doing what it originally wanted. Reinforcing such behavior sooner or later will make your dog refrain from jumping on people altogether.
2. Provide positive feedback to your dog

Expressing dissatisfaction with your pet is usually not a problem for most owners. However, when it comes to your dog doing good things, most people tend to be restrained in giving due praise. That is a major mistake in training. Dogs need to be rewarded emotionally when they do something right. So try to be as positive as you possibly can and tell your dog nice things every time it obeys command or acts as you want it to.
3. Be realistic and patient

Training is essentially changing a dog's behavior, and you should prepare to be patient about it, as this takes time. Depending on when you decide to start training, it may require more or less time as well. Puppies are easier to work with and quicker to learn than an adult dog that has never been trained. So keep that in mind and adjust your expectations accordingly. If your dog gets the "sit" command almost instantly, this doesn't mean that every other command will come as effortless. Each dog has its own individual traits which you should also take into account. It is important to note that consistent training will have an effect eventually, so don't give up if you fail at the beginning, just keep trying.
4. Use appropriate treats

Find out what your dog's favorite treat is. It has to be something your dog is absolutely mad about. Preferably, pick several treats in order to mix and match them. Generally, store-bought treats are not a good idea since they have lots of additives, so use pieces of different meat, cheese or liver instead. This will make your dog work extra hard during training sessions. Also note that it is better to use something soft so that your dog could eat it in one bite.
5. Learn to be quick with treats and praise

When using treats, it is crucial to dispense them as soon as your dog completes your command. Dogs are quick to forget things, so when you provide a reward some time afterward, your dog may have no idea what it's been rewarded for. Even a delay of several seconds can make it lose the connection of receiving a treat to obeying your command. So keep your treats prepared during training.
6. Keep active training short

Your training sessions must be short so that your pup doesn't get distracted or bored. Start with training a single command at a time, do about 12-15 repetitions and complete the training with a game. This way, your training will attain maximum efficiency.
7. Forget about punishment

If your pet doesn't get something right or demonstrates some kind of bad behavior, do not resort to punishment in any form as this will cause your dog to be frightened of you. Punishments are ineffective since dogs don't make complex connections. Instead, try to distract your dog with a treat, command or game.
8. Time your training sessions right

Your training should be conducted at the right moment. Usually, this means that your dog is well-rested, it's been to the toilet and doesn't want to eat regular food. Make sure that nothing distracts or bothers your pet to have efficient training and a fun time.
9. Be consistent

Once you teach your dog some tricks, don't forget to practice them often. Dogs tend to "forget" certain skills or start reacting slowly to commands, so make sure that you regularly practice outside of your training. It is also a good idea to let your relatives and friends know which behavior of your dog is considered normal. For example, if you forbid your dog to jump on a couch, everyone around the house should know that and react accordingly. Otherwise, your pet will be receiving mixed signals.
10. Don't repeat commands

Your goal is to make your dog react to your command articulated only once. When you repeat a command several times and in the end your dog obeys it, this reinforces exactly this kind of behavior. So it would be required for you to say "sit" multiple times before your dog actually sits every time because you trained it that way.

Try to present commands and tricks as a fun activity while using treats and praise. Switch locations often to keep it fun for the dog. If you know that your dog knows the trick but fails to respond to your command, try to look it in the eye and take a step forward. After your dog complies, praise and/or treat.

If you need some help with training your dog, download eTrainDog for free and get access to the best lessons and tips from the leading trainers worldwide.
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