It doesn’t take much to improve the behavior of your pet dog, just a little time and patience is all it takes. If you have these available the next thing to take into consideration is the correct course of action. That’s it! That is all you need to enhance the relationship between you and your dog.
Here I have listed 10 very important tips for your dog which I think anybody, just with a little time, can implement and benefit from in a relatively short amount of time.
1 – Do you know what your dog is saying?
It may seem rather odd but have you ever taken the time to learn how to listen to your pet? For instance if you’re dog isn’t very good around animals or even people, then have you tried to understand the reason behind it?
By no means force the issue, as this can sometimes make the matter worse, ideally acclimatizing dogs in and around other people and animals should be done at puppy age as this is when it is easiest to do.
If your dog is much older patience and not forcing the integration is the best way.
2 – Right Time for Praise
Many dog owners tend to become vocal or take action when their dog has done something wrong. Actually, it is the reverse of this which has a more powerful impact on a dog. Without doubt you should be making a point of all the good things that your dog does, but that be in the form of a treat or verbal praise, it is these moments that your dog is likely to remember more, as this way you are more likely to have a more conditioned response for the good behavior rather than the bad.
3 – Having the Right Treat
Us humans have a very good advantage over dogs, we can enhance behavior and to some degree manipulate dogs simply by offering their favorite treat. However, always be 100% sure that the treat you are offering is something that the dog loves and looks forward to eating.
By having your dog excitable over a treat that they love eating you are far more likely to have a positive response. Take note that the soft and chewy treats tend to be more popular amongst dogs than the hard and crunchy treat, but ultimately don’t take this for granted, and be sure the treats that you are offering are your dog’s favorite.
4 – Communicate with your Dog
“No” is a very strong word to use with your dog, it is also important that your dog knows what the word “no” means. But don’t just leave it at that, when you are trying to correct behavior instantly follow it up with an instruction of what you do want them to do.
For example, your dog keeps jumping up at people, first say “no”, but then follow it up with a positive instruction such as “sit”.
That way your dog is replacing one action with another.
5 – Consistency is Key
One of the worst failings I regularly find with people who are trying to train their dog is consistency, or should I say lack of consistency.
If you are telling your dog to do one thing one week and completely reverses the next, or don’t follow the same rules regularly, your dog can actually become confused.
Also all family members must be singing off the same hymn sheet. If person A tells your dog one thing and person B tells your dog another you will not make any progress.
Dog training is all about consistency; without this you will not succeed with it.
6 – Be Realistic
Whatever breed of dog you have, however intelligent you may or may not think your pet is, one thing is certain, dog training will take time. Stopping your dog barking for instance is not always the end goal. Sure, we aim to the very least reduce the amount the dog barks, however, but do bear in mind barking is a conditioned response from any dog.
Some dogs will take to training quicker than others, this is just inevitable. But patience is required with all breeds. Yes, you can teach an old dog new tricks, however if you have a pup or a younger dog these are the most prime years to drill any behavior into them so it becomes more natural to them sooner.
7 – High Quality Dog Food
All living animals, ourselves included, need a healthy balanced diet. This is no different to your dog. Offer them a high-quality diet with plenty of protein. The more active your dog the higher quality of food and protein you should offer them in their diet.
By keeping them healthy with a good diet, think of it as an investment in later years so you save money on less vet bills, as your pet stays healthier for longer.
Good advice -always seek professional veterinarian advice for the best diet for your pet.
8 – Sometimes the Problem Starts with You
Many people always think about the dog when it comes to dog training. But in truth, it’s fair to say that often behavior from the human needs to be addressed also.
If your dog barks at you when he wants you to throw his toy, then you throw it, he is going to keep on barking!
It is therefore the mindset of the person who needs to change to manipulate the way your dog is thinking.
9 – Bribery Works
The best way of getting an animal to do what you want is by bribing your pet with food or treats. Unequivocally this works. Everything you do with your dog is an opportunity for your dog to learn. If your dog does it well and does exactly what you are asking of it then you reward your dog with the treat.
The next best thing to treats is to offer your dog praise. Dogs do listen, and dogs will always do the thing that benefits them the most. As a dog owner you can control what benefits and what the dog deems as a treat, do not underestimate the power of treats and praise!
10 – Get your Dog to Earn Respect
I see this often, within the first week of a family taking in a puppy that puppy has full run of the home and within weeks feels “King of the Castle”. It shouldn’t be like this. Dogs need to earn the right for freedom around the home. Dogs will take advantage if they are given the opportunity.
Always bear in mind dogs are “pack” animals, their mindset is hierarchical, if you let your dog do whatever it wants you will be at the bottom of that hierarchy.
Inadvertently what you will be doing in this instance is allowing your dog to see itself as “the boss”.
Later down the line this makes behavioral changes more challenging and your animal will not have as much “respect” for you as you will be considered lower down the pack.
Always remember with the dog… you are the owner, you are the boss, you need to be pack leader!