When it comes to training your dog, there are two things you should always keep in mind: patience and consistency. Training a puppy or even an older dog takes time, patience, and repetition. The more time you can devote to your training your dog, the faster he or she will learn. Whether you are teaching a basic trick, or training your dog to not bark at the door when a visitor knocks, the techniques are always the same.
When training, the more patient you are, the better. Remember that your dog does not speak English; he or she does not know what you are saying and it is your job to show the dog what you want. Losing your temper while teaching your dog will only hinder the process.
During training, your dog will make mistakes. Do not punish him or her for these mistakes. Instead, say “no” and repeat the command patiently until your dog responds and reward this behavior.
Speak to your dog in a voice that commands attention and respect, but do not yell at your dog. By having a loud voice (but not the same tone you use when reprimanding your dog), you will have their fullest attention.
Reward good behavior. When your dog responds to your command in the way you want them to, offer a treat or praise. Your dog wants to please you and by rewarding him or her, they are more likely to pick up on the command quickly and remember it for longer.
Be consistent! The more time you devote to training, the better. In the very least, try to train your dog when it is appropriate for the command. For example, any time someone comes over and you want your dog to avoid barking, tell your dog “no” repeatedly when he or she barks at the door and reward them when they are quiet. If you can, have your visitor wait outside until your dog is quiet. He or she wants to know what is on the other side of the door, so having your visitor enter is a form of a reward.
You should consider what you want your dog to know for the future. If you do not intend to let your dog sleep on the bed when he or she is full-grown or after you have gotten your dog settled in, then you should not let them on the bed at any point in time. Putting them on the bed at some point in their life will only confuse them and encourage bad behavior.
Establish a routine. Your training should be routine. Your dog should come to expect you to spend a certain amount of training and this will speed up the learning process. Do not skip days on training! If you can consistently spend time each and every day, preferably around the same time, you will find that your dog will pick up on the commands fast.
When training, try to do so before feeding your pet. Dogs are food motivated and treats are a great way to train your dog. However, if he or she has already eaten, they might be less motivated by the treats to listen to your commands. Food can also make your dog sleepy, so he or she may not want to give you their undivided attention.
Training your dog can be a rewarding experience for both you and your pet. Training takes time, so do not expect overnight results. Your dog will make mistakes from time to time, so be patient. Never punish your dog for the mistake; instead, reward their good behavior with some delicious homemade dog biscuits for example to encourage them to listen and obey. Consistency and patience are your best friends when it comes to training, so do your best to establish a schedule for training and stick by it. Both you and your dog will be happy you did.