Dog Training Is All About Your Mindset!

In dog training, there are several overriding guidelines for a successful and contented partnership with your dog. Dog training and daily harmonious living are two sides of the same coin: you can’t have one without the other.

Little girl training a dog

Before getting into the “dos’, don’ts, and how-tos,’” it is important that you – the pack leader – get into the best mindset about your role as a dog owner, a handler, and a trainer.  Here are the golden rules.

Positivity and Encouragement All the Way in Dog Training

Dogs are naturally optimistic and keen to please. If the dog trainer maintains a positive mindset, the effects will be faster and more enjoyable. Positivity is more than an attitude, it is about praise. Suitable praise is vital for your dog’s learning and understanding process. Dogs genuinely desire to be praised – the attention, positivity, and enjoyment of it get them going. They are quick to learn about the “action-reaction” and will do everything they can to ensure it occurs again. Think about the reverse for an instant. If you continuously scold your dog and only ever communicate what not to do, they lose their natural enthusiasm and bravery. The pitiful dog spends the day attempting not to do bad things and having no clue what “the bad things” are. The end result is usually a scared, stressed dog that develops all sorts of unpleasant habits.

When it comes to you and your dog, praise is the only thing on the planet that costs nothing at all but buys you (and your dog) a great deal. Praise is not just fun, it is a complete bargain. Give it a great deal and give it generously with enthusiasm. Acknowledge their good behavior and proper responses by praising their actions. Let your dog realize that you are pleased with them – appreciate them – and acknowledge the things they do to please you.

Fairness Leads to Harmony in Dog Training

Always be fair. Dogs are clever, but it’s a rare dog that will get everything right for the first time.  All dogs require correction every now and then. When getting started, there will be a large amount of correcting to be done.  Accept this – it’s a process. The ball is in your court; it can be as fun or as tiresome as you choose. Whenever you feel you’re not getting anywhere, consider whether you are making the instruction very clear. Do some role reversal. It isn’t always easy to step into your dogs shoes, but remember that you have a lot more intelligence, learning, and comprehension than they do.

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Always make sure that the consequence always fits the crime. In many instances, a straightforward stern “no” is more than sufficient to let your dog understand that you disapprove. Occasionally, training is going to be frustrating, but it’s essential not to lose patience. Just one tantrum can take weeks to get over.  A dog recalls an outburst.  A correction should never be an angry outburst.  A correction could simply be the lack of praise – and, oh boy, dogs simply loathe being ignored.

Corrections are a required part of the training process. They also have an additional, essential benefit. Corrections establish you as your dog’s leader and let them know exactly where they fit within your human pack.  Dogs must understand from a very early age who the boss is – and yes that is you. Dogs are pack animals and they are most happy if they understand the hierarchy in their environment.

Teamwork Brings Maximum Success in Dog Training

You and your dog are on the same team. You are the captain; they do almost all of the work. You give the guidance and instructions, but the results are a team effort. For this winning formula, you need your dog’s full cooperation. Make things exciting and fun. Bond with your dog:  spend a lot of time together.  Make them part of your daily life; occasionally simply hang out; plenty of play; and continual training. There’s simply no reason not to practice your “sits” and “downs” at any time throughout the day. But bear in mind, your dog needs to learn the “plays” before they can master the “game.”

Happy training!

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