7 Tips from Professional Dog Trainers Pet News by Main Glenn - February 2, 20210 Training your dog to be well behaved is one of your most essential duties as a pet-owner. A well-trained dog is one that responds to your commands promptly and displays a low amount of destructive behaviours. Dog training helps prepare your pet for safe social interactions and strengthens the pet and pet owner’s bond. Trying to shape your dog’s behaviour can be a futile exercise if you do not follow tested and proven training techniques. Although there are several methods and strategies for training puppies nowadays, here are seven tips from professional dog trainers about the best practices to utilize. Table of Contents Establish a Good RapportUse Positive ReinforcementTrain with a ClickerCrate TrainingMaintain ConsistencyPay Attention to Your DogSpace the Sessions Establish a Good Rapport It will be difficult, time-consuming, and highly frustrating to train a dog who does not trust their owner. Hence, it is important to establish a good rapport between you and your pet before implementing training techniques. You can form a bond with your dog through feeding, physical contact, joint activities, and sufficient interactions. A dog that trusts you will be more likely to go along with your commands, thereby making the training process more effective. Use Positive Reinforcement Positive reinforcement involves rewarding your pet for only good behaviours while ignoring bad conduct. Rewards such as treats, toys, or games should be given to the dog immediately after completing the desired action. Gradually, the dog begins to associate the treats with the behaviour and becomes eager to repeat it. For this method to be effective, care must be taken not accidentally to reward undesired actions. Good conduct should be rewarded immediately after it takes place. Use small and easily chewed treats to keep from diverting your puppy’s attention. Train with a Clicker Using a clicker involves making a clicking sound to signify the completion of a command. It lets the dog know that they have successfully carried out the desired action. The clicker can be used in addition to positive reinforcement for a more effective training process. The dog associates the clicker’s sound with rewards and becomes conditioned to carry out activities that will elicit the sound of the clicker. Crate Training Crate training involves conditioning your pet to remain within the confines of their crate for a set period. The dog is trained to eat, play, and sleep in the box without exhibiting destructive behaviour or emotional issues such as anxiety. Techniques such as positive reinforcement are ideal for getting your dog to stay in his cage. Make sure you clean the crate regularly to provide a clean and safe environment that will further encourage the puppy to stay there. Maintain Consistency It is critical to be consistent with the methods or strategies you choose to employ in dog training. Using the same techniques for every training session eliminates the risk of confusion on the dog’s part and facilitates prompt compliance. Always use the same command words, such as ‘sit,’ ‘stay’ or ‘come’ during the training sessions. Refrain from using variations as it makes it difficult for your puppy to comply. Pay Attention to Your Dog Your dog is a living and breathing being with feelings, emotions, and health issues. Hence, their physical and mental well-being needs to be adequately monitored before, during, and after each training session. Inspect your pet regularly, taking care to check for anomalies that can signify illness. Provide adequate treatment and grooming for your dog to ensure that he is in optimal physical condition. Space the Sessions It is best to train your dog in short 8 to 10-minute bursts of training sessions instead of using hours at a time to ensure adequate retention and compliance. This way, you can easily fit these periods into your schedule and daily activities. The pup will be well-rested and more receptive to commands with this method. You would also be able to keep your pet’s total attention during the training as they usually find it challenging to focus on one thing for long periods.