Before you start training your dog, it’s important that you first build a loving bond with him. This is important because it helps you to understand his needs, his instincts, his preferences…and more importantly, it allows your dog to trust you.
Building a Loving Bond with Your Dog
This is the most crucial step in training your dog successfully. As soon as you bring your dog home, you must immediately start to develop a loving, caring relationship with him in order for him to trust you and have confidence. When dogs feel secure with their owner, and if they’re made to feel like they belong to the family (pack!), they’ll respond better to training techniques. Just like with any successful relationship, mutual trust and respect is essential.
Four Ways to Build a Relationship with Your Dog
1. Spend quality time together.
2. Take him out – experience life together!
3. Establish mutual respect.
4. Learn to understand each other’s needs with communication.
Having a loving relationship with your dog will not only make training way, way easier for you, but it will also help your dog to be calm, quiet, and extremely well behaved.
Your Dog Will Love You Back
Once you’ve built a bond with your dog, you can fully expect that training him and teaching him new tricks will be easy.
How Dogs Learn
Your dog’s learning process can be broken down into five phases:
Phase 1 Teaching. This is where you physically demonstrate to your dog exactly what you’re asking him to do.
Phase 2 Practicing. Practice makes perfect! Once your dog learns a command or lesson, practice it with him so he’ll remember it.
Phase 3 Generalizing. Continue practicing with your dog in a different environment or different locations, and also sometimes with a few distractions. Take him out or a walk or to a park, and practice the commands you’ve taught him in each place.
Phase 4 Testing. If you’re sure your dog has learned the commands…if he responds correctly almost every time…then start testing him in newer locations, with even more distractions. For example, take him to visit a friend and while he’s in that new place and excited, test a command out and see if he still responds correctly.
One of Two Things Will Happen:
- He succeeds! (insert little victory jig)
- He fails. Now listen…don’t lose hope or get discouraged! Just re-examine the situation, your location, the environment. Review the training techniques. Practice with him more. Then try testing again.
Don’t give up! Keep on trying until he succeeds. He will! Remember that absolutely everyone, people as well as dogs, need three very important things in order to succeed at being taught anything new: patience, persistence, and praise.
Phase 5 Internalizing. Finally, the last phase of your dog’s training process is where he truly “gets” everything you’ve taught him. He responds every single time, with or without treats, and in any location. Congratulations!
Never scold your dog if he fails. The student is only as good as the teacher. It’s likely your fault, not his!
You must be persistent, consistent and patient in order to get good results.
Praise, appreciate and love your dog when he does it right! Praise and affection go a long, long way in dog training. A little encouragement will work wonders!
Dog Training is Easy When You Do it Right
I hope this article has been helpful. Congratulations on beginning a wonderful new friendship with your beloved dog. I personally think dogs are precious gifts, well worth the time, effort and money we spend on them. Go to TrainPetDog.com and sign up for the free mini course! You’ll also find tons of valuable information about any dog issue you can think of. This website really is a wonderful resource! Debra 🙂
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