by Steffi Trott
Did you know that we all have our secrets that will make training a ton easier for you? If everyone knew these, we would be out of a job … but here are 5 of them that will make training and living with your dog much easier!
It is all about the treats
Your dog’s behavior is only going to be as good as the treats you are feeding him. The treats are your payment for his work, and if he is not getting paid well – then his work will probably be lacking, too!
Many dog trainers actually carry treat bags with their own “secret” treats in there that they will use when training your dog.
What’s in there? Often a combination of meatballs, string cheese, chicken and hotdogs.
Make your dog chew, all the time
About half of all clients that we see are puppy training clients. They have just adopted a little one that they now want to teach how to be a good pet. The most common complaints are that the puppy chews on shoes and furniture as well incessant biting of hands and feet.
A very easy, yet highly effective cure is to simply provide a large amount of chew toys for your puppy at all times. Filling a Kong with different recipes is an excellent way to provide long hours of chewing fun for your puppy. And once he has chewed on all his toys, he won’t want to chew on your couch instead anymore!
Walks are not enough
Many dog owners struggle with their dog’s boundless energy. Often this energy is expressed in less than desirable ways – from dogs barking non-stop over reactivity to difficulty being trained. Unfortunately, on-leash walks are not enough activity for most healthy adult dogs, especially working dogs. They do not suffice to satisfy their desire to run and be active.
In addition to on-leash walks, try out day care, doggy playgroups, playing fetch or even some agility to give your dog an outlet for his energy.
Adding a dog can mean a lot of trouble
A lot of owners think that adding a second dog will make their lives easier as it gives the first dog a “playmate”. This could often not be farther from the truth! It is not guaranteed that the second dog will in fact want to play with the first dog. The second dog will also come with its own set of potential behavior problems, challenges and need to be trained.
Unless you are willing to put in double the time – do not double your dogs!
Training is about repetition
Training can not be done in a day, a week or even a month. As soon as you stop consistently training your dog, he will regress in his skills. It is not enough to visit a training class and then never think about training your dog again. A well-behaved dog has many repetitions of the correct behaviors behind him – and in front of him! Training will never be done, there is always something to improve upon and refresh.
Steffi Trott, founder of SpiritDog Training, is a dog trainer in Albuquerque, NM and offers local training classes, online classes and online consultation. Ask her questions in the comments below.