Your dog is always learning. The problem is – how do you get your dog to learn good habits and NOT bad habits? Dogs understand things very differently than us humans, so frequently when you are training your dog (or even when you think you are NOT) you are actually making behavior problems worse!
When formally training your dog to complete specific skills like sitting or shaking hands on command, work with them in short slots of time interspersed throughout the day. Just as humans can grow bored or even angry when being required to complete one monotonous action after another, so can dogs.
Your friends and family, in most cases, are not dog trainers. While those around you may have advice and opinions on how you should handle your dog’s training, it does not mean they are correct. This input may be well-meaning, however, you can ignore most of it if you have taken the time to do your homework.
Consider your dog’s personality as you begin your training program. Make sure to start slowly if your pet has aggressive tendencies. If you try to exert control over a dog that prefers to be dominant, your pet may react aggressively toward you and derail your training plans.
If you are trying to train a dog that seems unresponsive and even aggressive, check to see that the dog’s basic needs have been met. A dog that doesn’t get enough attention, for example, will be grumpy and not respond well to training. And of course a hungry dog will be unlikely to respond as well.
For a dog to become house trained you should always have them on the same feeding schedule everyday, so their elimination time is always the same. This will give you an idea of when the dog is likely to have to go, so you can take it outdoors to take care of this matter before an accident occurs on your rug. This schedule also teaches dogs what it means to “hold it”.
Never punish your dog, or discipline him, after the fact. If you find that he urinated on the carpet earlier in the day, punishing him now won’t help. Dogs cannot reason and have very short term memories, so they will not associate the earlier accident with the punishment at hand.
Accidents are a part of training your puppy to go potty outside. Your training will go more smoothly if you always clean up accidents right away. Carpets are known to trap the smell of urine and encourage the dog to return to that spot for further marking. Many products are sold that will neutralize these odors, so ask about them at your local pet store.
Try these simple techniques yourself in your next training session with your dog. Try as few or as many of the tips as you want. Once you have practiced and then mastered these strategies with your dog, he will become the well behaved member of society you dreamed he would be.