Dog Training – 4 Easy Steps To A Perfect Dog
In this blog post, I will be telling you 4 easy steps about dog training. These steps are your go to if you want to have a perfect dog (I know that there isn’t such thing but at least aiming for a good behavioral dog)
If you just adopted a new pup and would like to learn how to potty train him, here’s a blog post I wrote just about that: How To Potty Train A Puppy?
Ok so back to our main subject, let’s dive directly into the delicious details!
Step #1: How To Handle Dog Over Excitement
An excited dog can be great fun, but an over excited dog can be boisterous, and difficult to control. In our previous chapter, we discussed the correlation between over excitement and continuous barking. Whereas, in this chapter, we’re going to look at the easy solutions that will result in a calm, and manageable dog.
You should never feed a dog too many treats, as they can gain excess weight. Instead, why not make him work for his food? A solution to this is to give him pieces of dog food as a reward; a great incentive for the dog controlled by his stomach! If you’re not home enough during the week, why not have this as a weekend activity
Above all, the most important job that you have when it comes to training your dog; is to stay calm. Your dog won’t want to work with you if you’re here, there, and everywhere with your emotions. Going back to them being a pack animal; your dog will look for a calm and stable leader; as their owner, it’s your job to be that for them!
Some dogs are more hyper than others, and it’s your job to do all of the necessary research before buying, or rescuing them to make sure that his exercise requirements fit in with your lifestyle. A lot of times, I’ll hear from owners struggling with overly excited dogs that jump up, bark incessantly or that are difficult to deal with. In encouraging these owners to increase the exercise schedule of their dogs; in the majority of cases, it results in a much calmer dog.
As well as the physical requirements, are you sure that your dog is being challenged enough mentally? Doing daily obedience training will be one of the biggest solutions you have to make your dog chill out, and be a nice member of the family!
Depending on the breed of dog that you own, you may find that obedience training isn’t enough to keep their brains occupies. In this case, you should consider fun activities, including teaching your dog tricks (see chapter five), or perhaps even agility training!
Step #2: Training Your Dog to Behave at The Vet
Many dogs aren’t the biggest fan of going to the vet; it’s a stressful environment; they’re being poked and prodded, not to mention – there are a lot of other animals there. I’m going to show you how to teach them that it’s no big deal, and set your dog up for easy vet visits for life!
When you take your dog to the vet, it’s almost always when they’re in pain, or ill. Combine this with the need for a full examination, which in your dog’s eyes is just him being manhandled, and stabbed with needles. And of course, he won’t love being there!
Instead of taking your dog to the vet only when it’s needed, why not pop by on a social call to get a treat from the vet instead? Give them a ring and ask when is a quiet time to pop by, your vet, and nursing team will appreciate your active role in making your dog “vet proof” and welcome you with open arms!
Full Body Handling
When your vet conducts a full exam, it’s very different to the normal petting your dog gets at home; and oftentimes they need to use more force to check for any lumps and bumps.
Conduct practice exams at home by popping your dog up on the garden table, and handling him all over. Not only is this great practice for him, but you’ll also spot any irregularities as soon as they appear, which could save you money, and time spent at the vet in the future!
Socializing With Other Animals
Sometimes we forget that there are other animals in the world except for our pets, that’s because they’re the center of our universe, and rightly so. But, if your dog’s trip to the vet is the first time that he comes across a cat, or a bunny – then it’s no surprise when he freaks out.
Do you have any friends with exotic pets? Perhaps you can arrange a socializing date? You can get your dog used to their lizard, or bird – and in turn, they get used to your dog!
Be very cautious when allowing your dog to interact with other animals, and always keep them on a lead. Nothing ruins a friendship quite like one pet eating the other, just ask Ron and Hermione!
As much as we want to control the way that our dog behaves at the vet, you must also consider how your vet behaves towards your dog. If he’s rough, and not very patient; then perhaps the best decision would be to find a new vet that clearly loves all animals?
Step #3: Car Manners For Your Dog
Taking your dog on a ride to the park or on a camping trip should be hassle free and fun. Unfortunately, for a lot of dog owners; even a five minute trip in the car is too much for their dog to handle. We’re going to run through the three types of undesirable dog behavior whilst in the car, and give you some top training tips to overcome them!
While we’re accustomed to the motion of a car from the get go, our dogs rarely experience the feeling of riding along in a vehicle. The rocking of the car may make your dog feel unwell, hence causing him to become upset.
Some dogs find the whirr of the engine, and the smell of the car frightening, and this can cause them to become destructive, anxious and noisy on car journeys. Not fun for you, or your dog.
If your dog is incredibly protective and sees the car as his territory, he may bark at anything he can see from his window, including other dogs, and cars.
It’s never advisable to drive with a loose dog in the car as they may cause themselves an injury on a sharp turn or stop, and can hinder or distract the driver. There are a lot of options for the conscientious dog owner, including crates, and doggie seat belts.
5 Tips To Car Proof Your Dog!
- Feeding your dog in your parked car is a great way for him to associate the car with positive experiences. You can start by opening up the driver’s door, sitting on the edge of your seat, and letting him eat his chow just outside of the car. Then as he gets more and more comfortable, you can ask him to hop into the trunk – but be sure to leave the door open in the beginning; we want him to know that he’s not trapped, and if he wants to hop out, that’s completely fine.
- Hide his favorite toy in your car, and make a game of him having to find it. We’re looking for anything that we can do to create a positive environment that your dog can be calm, relaxed, and happy.
- Now that your dog thinks of positive experiences in the car, you should show him that you like being in there too. Open up the trunk and let him in there, leaving the door open; now you can hop in the driver’s seat, and hang out! Start out just sitting in there for a minute, and increase the time incrementally; you’ll probably find that it turns into his favorite nap spot!
- When starting to drive with your dog in the car, only take short trips. Just moving forwards to the edge of your driveway will do in the beginning, as we’re showing him that it’s no big deal. You can increase it to around the block trips, and eventually trips to the store.
- A lot of people struggle with their dogs being destructive in the car when left alone while they run into the store – and that’s because they haven’t been trained to be left alone. Much like in exercise 3, you’re going to pop your dog in the trunk, and close the door. Now, go into your house, and immediately return – then taking up your position in the driver’s seat. Just as everything when teaching your dog, start very slow, and increase incrementally.
Step #4: To Treat or Not To Treat
We’re all read our fair share of articles relating to positive reinforcement when it comes to training dogs. It seems to be everywhere at the moment, and to that, I say – finally! An animal will never learn, or want to learn if he’s shown negativity and cruelty; but with positivity, encouragement, and just the right amount of incentive – your dog will not only learn, but enjoy doing it.
So, where do treats come in? Well, that depends on your specific dog! Take a look at the list below for the option that will best suit your four-legged friend.
For The Fat Dog
When it comes to feeding treats, you should be careful not to overfeed your dog, especially if you have a dog prone to weight gain; as the associated medical conditions that go along with dog obesity don’t even bear thinking about.
A great alternative is to make your dog work for his food. Instead of just popping his food down in a bowl twice a day, why not start a new obedience training routine? Twice per day, when you’d normally just give him his food – you can feed him piece by piece as a reward for him performing the commands that you’re asking of him. An added bonus is that he’s getting extra exercise too!
For The Thin Dog
If you have a thin, or normal sized dog; you can be less cautious when considering the waistline! But, do remember that not all treats are healthy, and even though some treats might not be making your dog fat – they might not be doing him any good either.
Do some research and you’ll see that there are in fact a lot of healthy dog treats available. You can even ask your vet, and they should be happy to recommend a brand!
For The Dog That Isn’t Bothered By Food
If you happen to be the proud owner of a dog that just isn’t ruled by his stomach, don’t worry; you can still find a reward that he’ll work for. All you need to do is find the “treat” that works for your dog. For example, does he love playing fetch? Or how about getting a belly rub?
As soon as you’ve figured out what the biggest reward is for your dog, then use that as his treat! For example, doing obedience training can work just as well if you need to take time in between commands to play fetch!