The new year is right around the corner, which means that New Year’s resolutions can begin, and so can National Dog Training month! January seems to be a month of improvement, so why not extend the focus and improve alongside our furry friends! Training can lead to improvement of manners, behaviors, and the general well being of your dog. Ensuring your dog is well trained will make you a more confident dog owner, and your dog will be more confident in their abilities to perform and behave as well. Here are some points to consider when training your dog.
Start Them Young (But Training is Never Too Late)
Training your dog while they’re a puppy is ideal; however, it is never too late to train a dog. When your dog is young, they are full of energy, eager to learn, and eager to please, making them the ideal student. At a young age, dogs’ minds are moldable, and their energy will have them coming back for more. Despite the excitement of training at a young age, older dogs can still be trained as well. Training an older dog does come with more challenges as they may have less energy and can be slower to learn. However, with patience, dedication, and attention, you can still teach an old dog new tricks, despite the alternate saying. To find a dedicated training program for you and your dog’s needs, please contact East Paws for their expertise.
Physical and Mental Interaction and Stimulation
Training naturally comes with physical exercise and mental stimulation. These are two essential factors in your dog’s life to ensure healthy development. Dogs are intelligent creatures that thrive and grow from interactions. Our dogs register all our actions towards them and want to understand what we ask. With proper communication and training, they can learn to understand cues. The appropriate guidance and care can nurture your dog with the attention they need for a healthy and successful development to become a great dog.
Consistency and Discipline
Despite the common belief that training only occurs in enclosed areas for a specific amount of time, training can happen anywhere and anytime. Taking your dog out for a walk, for example, is an opportunity to train walking on a lead, walking beside you, and listening to cues when distractions are around. Similarly, a day at the dog park can also be the right environment for training with more distractions around to overcome. Daily consistency of hearing cues with everyday activities can lead to successful training since the discipline created over time will become second nature for your dog to follow.
Reinforcement and Rewards
Daily exercise and practice of training cues will help reinforce these actions; however, sometimes, you may find yourself needing to find new ways to reinforce actions and behaviors. Finding what motivates your dog will help in creating a more fulfilling and successful training regimen. For example, if your dog is food motivated, it may be a good idea to invest in a treat pouch, and some training treats to be ready to reinforce good behavior. Other dogs prefer affection and attention as a reward for positive behaviour. It’s important to find out what encourages your dog to do better and set them up for success in the future. Of course, there are many types of reinforcement to use with your dog. For tips and advice on ways to improve your training with your furry friend, contact us at East Paws, and we’ll be happy to help.
Take Training Seriously but Don’t Forget to Have Fun Too
Training is typically viewed as a strict and disciplined activity with no room for fun, but we must not forget that training can be fun! You don’t need to limit your dog to only learning the common tricks and cues. You can also expand their training potential and teach your dog to roll over or to fetch you a beer as well! Training is essential to ensure your dog’s safety and confidence no matter the circumstance, but don’t forget to have fun and enjoy the bonding experience with your dog as well.
Whether you’re training for a purpose or training for fun, training with your dog will strengthen your bond and make you a better pet owner regardless of your goals. Repetition and reward can bring about a successful training outcome, but don’t forget to have fun with it at times. After all, your dog will be happy with the fact they get to spend all this time with you.