In our last post about dog training, we’ve talked about the basics of house or toilet training, or how to make your little tail chasing friend pee and poop somewhere else than in your home. Now we’re going to learn some more tips for making living with a dog easy and fun.
The Basics of Dog Training
After your little canine friend has comfortably installed into his new home and learned the basic rules about sharing the same house with you, it’s time to continue with some more dog training.
Dogs know how to walk. And run. But more often than not they’ll run around like crazy rather than walk, so they need to learn how to walk alongside you. On a leash. That’s very important, if you live in a town, especially a big one, as your canine friend might get lost and even hurt if left to his own devices.
Also, depending on where you live in the world, there might be regulations and laws on walking with dogs on a leash. So you’d better be prepared. Both of you.
The first step is to introduce your dog to the leash. Snap on the leash and let him drag it around, in an enclosed area if possible. At some point, he’ll get comfortable with it. Some dogs will respond well to it right from the beginning, while others will need some time. Be patient. And don’t let him chew on it. The next step is to pick up the leash and hold it. Use treats when necessary, call him and praise him until he’s comfortable with you holding the other end of the leash.
Practice often and take breaks when necessary. Don’t pull on the leash to correct him. As soon as he’s ready, continue with walking with him on a loose leash. Teach him a command. Something like ‘with me’ will do the trick. Give the command and start walking. Stop when he starts pulling on it and don’t move until the leash is loose again. Give the cue word and start again. Repeat the process until he learns the fact that he needs to leave some slack in the leash to get where he wants to. Use treats, take breaks when needed and be patient.
Using a Clicker for Dog Training
While it’s ok to train your canine friend without it, the clicker might ease your work a lot. The clicker is a small device which makes a clicking sound and it’s used to mark a certain moment in time or a specific behavior your dog does. The idea is to give your dog a treat right after the clicking sound, making him associate what he just did with the click and that delicious treat.
It’s a simple, straightforward and very effective dog training method.
If you may wonder, this is exactly what it sounds like. Teaching your little tail chasing friend to be a good dog and socialize with others – dogs and people alike. And why not, maybe even cats.
Socialization training is very important as it helps your dog adapt to the many situations they will meet in a city. Strangers petting him, vets handling them, kids running around shouting and chasing him or any other situation you can think of.
The idea is simple. Get your puppy or adult dog exposed to as many situations like these as possible. Gradually get him out of his comfort zone and make him interact with various types of people, all kinds of animals and diverse environments. Do this step by step until he’s not afraid or aggressive anymore. It’s going to be a win-win situation.
The last post in this series will cover some basic commands and proofing behavior.