Training Tips For New Dog Owners

So you've taken the plunge and finally welcomed a dog into your home? Congratulations! This is a fantastic new chapter in your family's journey. Your dog will be a great companion and a great source of fun and exercise for everyone in the family, however without the correct training your four-legged friend could cause problems that you'd never even considered. Jumping up at guests, going to the toilet in the house, and barking at every Tom, Dick, and Harry who dares to pass by your home, are just some of the bad behaviours your dog can fall into. So how do you instill good behaviour into your canine companion? Here are some tips you might find useful.

Find somewhere distraction-free
Training your dog at home is useful, as he will need to get used to the sounds and distractions that can be found in and around your home. However, in the early stages of his training, find somewhere quiet and distraction-free, where you can focus on individual parts of your dog’s learning without anything else getting in the way. A local field or patch of remote land is great for this, where it’s just you and your dog getting to grips with each other during the training process. Then take this training back into your home, and anywhere else you and your dog spend time together.

Use vocal and visual cues
Dogs are like young children, they don’t know their behaviour is wrong unless you tell them. With a firm ‘no,’ and an accompanying 'stop' hand gesture your dog will soon learn what is right and what isn’t. Dogs learn better when there's a sign as well as a voice command which is something to bear in mind. Be consistent with the tone of your voice and the words you say. Screaming and shouting will just confuse and scare your dog, but a simple ‘no’ given in a stern manner will be enough. Practice this every time your dog does something wrong, being consistent until your dog gets the message.

Reward good behaviour
Always give out treats sparingly. If your dog does something wrong or pesters you for a reward, don’t give out the treat. Many dog owners will dole out treats just to keep their dog quiet or for no reason, but this diminishes the effect. When you tell your dog to ‘sit,’ for example, give them a treat when they sit. Eventually, your dog will learn good behaviour brings good rewards. Be careful of what you give them too. Chocolate is a big no-no as its dangerous to your dog’s health. Betsy Farms dog duck treats are one example, they have all the nutrition your dog needs. But there are all kinds of healthy dog products on your store shelves that your dog will love so experiment and find out what they like most.

Be sparing with attention
When your dog does something positive, give them all the attention they deserve. However, similar to young children again, your dog will do anything to get your attention, including bad behaviour. On these occasions (assuming your dog isn’t destroying your house) ignore him. Don't give him lots of attention when you first get home and he's very excited, as tempting as it is all this is doing is praising excited jumping around. Return calmly and once your dog is in a calm frame of mind, then you can give him lots of fuss.

Don’t give up
Dog training takes time and patience, and it can be easy to give up or stop practicing techniques after a while. Don’t! Your dog will follow positive behaviour patterns eventually, but it’s still good to practice regularly. If you are having difficulty with training, either because of time or your dog just doesn’t respond well to you, consider taking them to a trained professional who will give you all the advice you need. A few obedience classes will be of great benefit to both you and your dog.

Finally, with time and patience, you should have a well-behaved dog. You will have many happy years together, and you will benefit from all the joys your faithful friend can bring.