Using positive reinforcement to train your puppy is the best way to go about training. You will have to be prompt and make sure to reward your pet immediately so that he knows what he did right. Also, be consistent, use the same command for the same behavior. You must also be flexible for more complicated tricks, reward your dog for coming close to the desired behavior, so that he knows he’s on the right track. And of course, be patient! At first, you will need to reward your pooch with treats every time they do the desired behavior, but you can then gradually move to verbal praise until nothing but a ‘good boy’ is enough!!
Make sure each training session is fun for both you and your dog. Use praise not punishment when you are teaching your dog. You also must never punish your pooch for not understanding something. Instead, take the time to correct the behavior by being patient and using proper training techniques to reinforce positive behavior. Praise and treats will go a lot further than punishment. Also remember to keep each training session short, because a dog’s attention span is relatively short as well. You will want to remember to always teach commands gradually. You first have to establish eye contact. Eye contact is a crucial part of training your dog. Some breeds are more comfortable making eye contact than others, but all dogs can be trained. To teach my two boxer’s eye contact, I used the following technique~ I stood facing my dog and held a little treat between my thumb and middle finger. I then drew a strait line from my dog’s nose top the outside corner of my eye, pointing to my eye with my forefinger. As my dog’s gaze traveled up to meet my eyes, I simply said “watch me”, when my dog’s eyes finally met mine. Then I just made sure to lock eyes for a few seconds, then took my treat back down to my dog’s nose, and of course, let her eat it! After several repetitions of this technique, the movement of me pointing up toward my eye, along with the words, “watch me” is all I need to do now. This command really helped out a lot in teaching my dogs to do other tricks, as well as letting them know when they’ve done wrong, or when they have done something right too.
Some common undesirable behaviors are soiling in the house, excessive barking. Jumping on people, destroying things in your home, and eating stool, (yuck!). These problems can be solved with training and a lot of patience. Some of the problems mentioned above may be due to something else though. For example, if your dog has plenty of chances to go outside, but is still soiling in the house, you should consult with your vet. Inappropriate urination can indicate a medical problem such as diabetes, kidney disease, or bladder infection. If your dog has no health problem and has plenty of chances to go outside, then you will need to do some training. When your dog urinates on the floor, you will need to clean the area thoroughly and use an odor neutralizer as well. They make specific products for this. If you do not do this, the scent will remain, and your dog will want to urinate in that spot again. The next step will be to put your dog is a smaller area, such as a dog crate, or the kitchen, until the problem is fixed. Now some male dogs that are not fixed yet may urinate in inappropriate spots more frequently, in some cases, this will stop when the dog is fixed. Other dogs urinate when they are excited. To fix this, you can try ‘ignoring’ your dog when you first walk in the door, until he has the chance to settle down. You could also try greeting the dog very quietly, not using eye contact, and also go down to their level.
Excessive barking is another undesirable behavior. My two boxers use to be really good at this one! Dogs bark for many reasons such as to protect their property, communicate with neighbor dogs, relieve boredom, and play. Some breeds have a greater tendency to bark than others too. Now of course barking can be very useful and even life-saving, in example burglary, or fire, but excessive barking is just a big problem, especially when it starts to bother the neighbors. A lot of dogs just become overstimulated by things as well. If you are leaving your dog outside all day while you are at work, and he’s barking all day long, try putting him in the house. If you need to crate a dog. Then create a quiet, peaceful environment by dimming the lights, closing curtains, and even putting on some relaxing music for your dog! Another effective way is to get a training collar that releases a burst of citronella when your dog barks. Lastly, if your dog is barking and this is accompanied by bloody paws, nose bleeds, or diarrhea, your dog may be suffering from separation anxiety,m and in this case anxiety would have to be relieved before the barking could be.
Jumping up is another undesirable behavior in dogs. Dogs will jump up when they are excited, want to show affection or to show their dominance. If your dog looks like he’s ready to jump up, avoid eye contact, and do not wave your arms, or talk in an excited tome. Instead, you will want to give the sit and stay commands, and then bend down to their level. You still don’t want to make eye contact, and you will also want to pet your dog on their fore chest, or their side, (not their head). And of course, give praise when they are listening. If your dog jumps up, quickly side step him so that he has nowhere to land, and his paws hit the ground. You can also try turning around and not facing your dog. Your dog should then pause in response to you turning around,m and at this time you want to give him the sit and stay command. When he does sit reward him by turning back around and facing him. To condition your dog to not jump up on people in the first place, you will need the help of another person, (well actually a few different people). Arrange for the other person to visit your home at a specific time, and have them hold on to some treats. Before your friend arrives, put your dog on a leash, so you have better control. When your friend enters your home give the dog the sit command. When your dog sits, have your friend give him a treat. Repeat this often, using different people, at different times, until the dog stops jumping up on people.
If your dog is digging in the yard or destroying things in the house, this is almost always because of boredom and/or lack of exercise. This is pretty common and is best fixed by giving your dog more attention. Try wearing your dog out before you leave the house, or taking them on a long walk. If this is not possible, you will have to crate him.
The eating stool is another undesirable behavior. Many dogs do this. Stray dogs do it because in most cases it is a dietary must; they are not getting enough to eat. But if the average healthy dog is doing this is is for one of a few reasons. The first reason is boredom, the second is to get a taste of the food that is remaining in the stool, and the third would be to hide an accident they had. There are products that can be put into your dog’s food to make it less desirable, but those don’t always work. If your house training a new dog, don’t over-punish when they have an accident in the house, that way they will be less likely to eat the evidence! Make sure you keep your yard clean, and when walking anywhere else, try to keep your dog on a leash so that you can keep an eye on them. Also, dogs will eat everything in a litter box as well, so if you have a cat, get a covered litter box, or put it somewhere where the dog can’t get to it.
Most of the undesirable behaviors mentioned in this article can be fixed by doing things repetitively until the dog learns what is right. If after taking the time to try and fix these problems, your dog is still displaying undesirable behaviors, you will have to talk to your vet, who can then either give you advice, or point you in the direction of a specialist, or perhaps a professional trainer.