Owning a dog is a big responsibility.
Not only do you have to make sure your pet has everything it needs, including food, water, toys, and exercise, but you also have to train it properly.
Many people assume this means enrolling their dog in a costly training program at a professional dog training school but that’s not necessary at all.
Training your dog can be a daunting task, but it is not impossible to do on your own. Many dog owners successfully train their dogs without any help. By using positive reinforcement techniques and taking things slow, you can successfully train your dog yourself. Just remember to be patient and consistent with your commands.
Training your dog
Here are some tips to help you train your dog yourself:
1. Start with basic commands such as sit, stay, come, and down.
2. Use positive reinforcement techniques such as treats, verbal praise, and petting to reward your dog for good behaviour.
3. Be consistent with your commands and do not give in to your dog’s begging or whining.
4. Avoid using punishment as a training method as it can be confusing and ineffective.
5. Take things slowly and be patient with your dog. Training takes time and patience.
Is it better to train a dog yourself or via a trainer?
The best option is to do the training yourself as, even if you use the services of a professional, you will need to learn how to train for when your dog returns.
A professional trainer will go through a range of exercises with a dog and develop the dog’s ability but, when the dog comes home, he’ll need the same level of input from you.
So, it’s best to do it yourself.
If you don’t have the time
If time is an issue or you simply are not confident or knowledgeable enough to embark on training, then using a professional could be beneficial.
However, you will need to spend time with the trainer to understand how to work with your dog, learn the commands yourself, understand how to deal with problems and how to develop the dog’s learning.
So, even if you do send your dog away to ‘doggy bootcamp’ you will need to spend time learning yourself so that you don’t undo the time and effort of the trainers.
Dog training is as much about training the owner as it is about training the dog
Is it good to send your dog away for training?
This depends on you, your dog and the type of training that you need.
For basic training there really is no reason why the average person would need to send their dog away.
Most people are perfectly capable of training a dog to a reasonable level of obedience and, if you are prepared to spend some time reading and learning, then it’s well within your ability.
If your dog is to be a working dog, such as a gundog, then there may be some benefit in sending your dog to a professional trainer.
It may be that you don’t have access to the same level of facilities or resources that are required to bring your dog up to the necessary standard, or you simply don’t know how to do it.
But, again, when the dog returns, you are still faced with the need to continually develop your dog’s learning.
Can I use a book or video to train my dog?
Yes, you can. You’ll find many books and videos available that will give you an introduction to dog training.
However, they are no substitute for actually spending time with your dog and working through the exercises yourself.
They are a great way to enhance your knowledge and you’ll find breed specific books and more general training books at places such as Amazon.
Training your dog can be great fun and extremely rewarding. It’s a chance to spend some quality time with your pet and develop a bond that will last a lifetime.
So, whether you decide to go it alone or use the services of a professional, make sure you enjoy the process.
And remember dog training never ends, so regardless of which route you choose you will need to do it.