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Training Your Dog the Right Way
Home Pets Dogs
By: Mailey Mclaughlin Email Article
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Whether your dog is just a puppy or well into adulthood, there are many things you, as a pet owner, need to be aware of. Training your dog is an important step in starting off on the right foot and teaching him obedience. All dogs - no matter how old - need some form of training so that they can be easily handled in all situations. A wise investment in your new best friend would be basic training or obedience classes that will help you to build a bond and learn to control your dog. TV shows, books, and articles abound on dog training, but tips that are truly effective are harder to come by if you don't do the necessary research.

There are many reasons for training your dog. Training allows the dog to understand your expectations, helps him become calmer and more relaxed in all situations, in new places, and with new people, provides him with much-needed structure, makes him easier to manage, and perhaps most importantly, helps keep him out of the shelter. Unfortunately, the biggest reason that dogs are in or are returned to shelters is due to their lack of training and out-of-control behavior.

Dog Training Tips: The Necessary Commands

Because dogs thrive in packs and are naturally social, once they come to your home, they expect you to be the leader. Training your dog appropriately with a few highly effective dog training tips teaches him to follow you, understand your necessary commands, and learn to accept his place in your "pack." To avoid problems later in life, it's recommended that you enroll your pet in obedience and/or training classes early on, or at the very least, begin training your dog yourself, rewarding him each time he learns a new command. The following dog training tips are some of the more vital guidelines in ensuring your pet will be a well-behaved, functioning member of your family. If you have the patience and the time, here are some ways to begin training your dog at home:

  • Always enforce your commands - don't let your dog ignore a command, but most certainly reward him when he does follow it. If your dog does not follow it immediately, help him perform the command, then reward. Above all, however, do not call your dog to you and do anything negative to him when he comes. If he disobeys and you react with anger, your dog will learn to fear you and may not listen to you in the future. Attempting to integrate any other dog training tips after that may be futile.

  • Reward your dog immediately when he listens. Positive encouragement in the form of treats or praise is always welcome and helps the dog learn that he is doing well at responding to what you say. During training, have treats in hand and deliver them quickly when the dog performs correctly. Don't punish your dog or 'rub his nose in it' should he have an accident. When training your dog, these tips will help you avoid discouraging or even confusing your pet.

  • Master one command at a time - go slowly and over time, your dog will learn the command. Don't overload multiple commands into one training session as this approach will likely result in failure. Most experts recommend 5-10 minutes at the most for one session. You'll need to be patient during the process of training your dog; chances are that your dog won't respond to every command or even learn them in just a few weeks - it will take time.

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Mailey E. McLaughlin, M.Ed, is the Training and Behavior Coordinator at the Atlanta Humane Society. A Certified Dog Trainer, Mailey has been training professionally for over eight years. She teaches all the AHS dog obedience classes, which include Basic and Intermediate levels, and runs the free pet behavior hotline.

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