Training a new pet isn’t easy, but once you learn a few simple tricks it can be a little less daunting.
I often work with dog owners who are struggling with one or more behaviors that are becoming a problem at home.
To these owners, usually the answer is a simple fix. It takes plenty of patience and persistence, but the rewards are well worth it. Here are a few easy training techniques that will get great results.
One of the most important, easiest things an owner can do is set the tone as leader of the pack. This is done through simple things like always walking through the door first. It also means not letting the dog take your spot on the sofa or in bed. Soon, the dog will realize his or her place in your household, which will make training much easier.
In most homes with at least one dog, every ring of the doorbell is immediately followed by a bark. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If the person on the other side of that door is an intruder, your dog’s reaction could serve as just the security alarm you need. In fact, this type of barking is referred to as alert or alarm barking. I recommend praising the dog, then putting yourself between your dog and the door as you answer it. This sends the message that you, the pack leader, decide who enters your home.
When you come home, your dog is excited to see you. One way dogs show owners that excitement is by jumping up on them. This can become problematic, especially if your dog is making your guests feel uncomfortable. By reprimanding your dog for jumping, you’re actually demonstrating that jumping gets your attention. Instead, twist around and ignore your dog until all four paws are once again on the ground.
Puppies explore their worlds with their mouths. It is completely normal for puppies to mouth just about everything, including us. If a puppy is applying too much pressure on you and actually hurting you, try saying “ouch” in a loud voice to give him feedback that what he is doing is unwelcome and inappropriate.
Then you want to redirect them toward an appropriate place to mouth. Redirect the puppy on to something else like a squeaky toy, or tug toy, or bone making it much more fun than us.
Puppies need to mouth, so expecting to stop it all together is not realistic, but teaching them where it is acceptable and where it isn’t is our job.
Want more great training techniques? Subscribe to my newsletter, where I regularly provide training advice and answers to common questions. Whether you’ve recently adopted a dog or you’ve long had one in your household, you’ll benefit from these tips.
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