Thursday, 6 February 2014

Training your Dog – The Do’s and Don’ts

We are tempted to get a puppy for the boys, but realise it is a lot of work and commitment training them.  So I thought I better do some research otherwise the puppy might be as unruly as my kids!  Not sure I can cope with three little ones running a muck!

With our old adopted dog Holly I attended obedience training sessions, she was quite nervous when she came home with me, she had been left outside the rescue center at 5 months and no one knew her history.  All we knew was she liked chewing, she chewed chunks out of the sofa, much like this dog in the picture and she ruined a games controller, a phone wire and plenty more she could get her paws on!

Training is a very important process for each and every dog, so you’ll of course want it to go successfully and as smoothly as possible especially when you do not know your dogs background. The main reasons as to why it is so important include:

* The fact that you will have a well respected dog who will be trusted more around children and other dogs

* Certain techniques/training methods can help them conquer fears, such as from things like loud noises or strangers (particularly good if you are adopting a rescue dog, and feliway for dogs is great for helping nervous dogs)

* You and your dog will build a strong and happy bond together filled with love and trust

Training a dog is not the easiest of tasks, but we've come up with some tips to help you along the way.


* Start as early as possible – the earlier you begin training, the easier the dog will find to pick things up and they will get used to it quicker

* Be patient – take your time and remember that it won’t be a particularly quick process 

* Reward them when they do well – little dog treats are important when they do something really well, yet play and affection is just as vital

* Keep things simple and fun – dogs are like children in the respect that they will get bored easily if the activity is too difficult too soon, or very boring, so keep things simple and fun

* Practise at home to begin with – don’t go to public places for training sessions until you are confident that they will be trusted

* Give them a treat at the end of the session – as a reward for their hard work, finish each session with a favourite treat so they know their hard work is being rewarded and recognised


* Punish them every time they do something wrong – they are not going to get everything you teach them straight away, and shouting at them will knock them back and may even make them aggressive

* Chase the dog during the session – if you are trying to teach them the command ‘come’, don’t chase them if they don’t respond as they will think it’s a fun game!

* Pick a time of day when they are tired – schedule the sessions effectively when they are at their happiest

* Conduct practises in a place with lots of distractions – areas with other dogs, children or things to play with may mean the dog is distracted which will result in the process taking longer

* Expect over night miracles – it may be a long process so take pleasure in the small progresses the dog makes, and know that you are both doing well

* Get stressed or frustrated – every dog will master it in the end, some can just take more time than others. Read obedience training books for extra ideas if you find yourself struggling

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