Five Tips That Make It Easier to Train Your Dog

by Olivia Kight Google
A trained dog makes a better companion and a happier pet.

A trained dog makes a better companion and a happier pet.

Apple Tree House/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Training your dog can either be a chore or a bonding experience for you and your pet, depending on how you approach the activity. By keeping some general training tips in mind, you can make the learning process enjoyable and beneficial for both you and your dog.

Use Positive Reinforcement

Dogs respond well to positive reinforcement training techniques. By rewarding your dog for a good behavior when teaching a new skill, you can help him understand what you want from him and encourage him to continue looking to you for guidance.

Conduct Short Training Sessions

Dogs, puppies especially, lose interest in learning after a few minutes. Keep training sessions short and concentrated so your dog does not become bored or frustrated.

Provide Meaningful Rewards

While some dogs are extremely food-motivated, others enjoy playtime, toys or physical affection more than anything. When you find out what your dog loves, you can use it to reward him after a good training session.

Graduate Slowly

When teaching a dog a new skill or command, take small steps. For example, if you'd like to teach your dog to come when called, begin by keeping your dog on a leash, close to you. Then you can go off-leash, in a fenced in yard, before moving on to the next step. Set your dog up for success by going slowly and not letting him get overwhelmed in the process.

Be Consistent Verbally

After you've taught your dog a new skill, make sure you use the same verbal command each time. Everyone in your family should be familiar with what and how your dog communicates and understands your commands. Since dogs don't understand conversation, only commands, the words that you use should always be simple and consistent.

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