If you are a dog owner, you know that learning how to train a dog is critical in a blissful pet-owner companionship. If you do not have a dog and are looking for one to join your family, now is the time to do your research and find out if you want to train your dog or if you want to hire someone to do the job. Whatever you choose, don't fret. We are sharing all of our advice here, so stay tuned.
What Breeds Are Easier To Train?
All dogs are special, and all are trainable. With that said, a few dog breeds are easier than others when training a dog.
These dogs are born and bred herding dogs. They have a lot of energy and are fast and intelligent. These dogs can focus easily and are pretty docile. It does not take long for them to learn a task.
Similar to Australian Shepherds, these dogs are also farm or herding dogs. Very smart and easily trainable. They love to run and have a lot of energy.
It is advised that only experienced dog owners try to train this breed on their own. They are often utilized in military and police-type jobs. They are very strong, fast, and incredibly smart.
As their name suggests, these dogs are born and bred to herd sheep. This makes for a quick-witted and fast animal who is easily trained.
German Shepherds are used in several different lines of work because of their quick ability to learn new commands. They are also intelligent and protective.
This breed of dog is as loyal as they come. They are friendly and docile, and eager to learn and play.
How Do I Know If I Want To Train My Dog Or Pay Someone To Do It?
Training your dog will take time and resources. Here are a few questions to ask yourself when deciding to train your dog personally or hire out.
- Do I have a particular time slot every day to spend training my dog?
- Do I have time to research tips and videos on properly training my dog?
- Do I have the cash to pay a business or independent trainer?
- Do I have the mental capacity to set a training schedule for weeks to months?
- Do I have an end goal for training my dog?
By thinking about these questions ahead of time, you will find out the best route for dog training for your family. If you answered No to more than 2 of the above questions, it might be helpful for you to research a business that trains dogs that also use positive reinforcement. It's not a bad thing if you do not have the time. Find a solid business you can trust and schedule a meet and greet to get to know more about what they offer for training methods.
Where Do I Start Training My Dog?
If you are training your dog on your own, the easiest way to do this is for you to pick a few main commands and tasks to learn and start there. If you are not sure what ones to choose, we have you covered. There are basic ones to teach first, and then once this foundation is learned, it is easier for your dog to advance to more complicated commands.
One of the most important tasks you can teach your dog quickly will be how to go to the bathroom properly outside. When you get your puppy, monitoring their behavior will help you prepare them to go to the bathroom faster. Taking them out at every 1 ½ hour mark to see if they have to go to the bathroom is an excellent place to start.
Once they go to the bathroom, bring them back inside. It is also helpful to bring them outside to the same spot, so they are familiar with going to the bathroom there. Take them out after naps, before bed, when they wake up after eating and drinking, and when you notice they are sniffing around for a spot.
The key here, as with any command, is to use positive reinforcement. As with any command you try to teach an animal, using force or loud, angry commands does not work. Using a treat, you can get your dog to learn how to stay on command. Think of a treat or food they like that is small and that you can repeatedly give.
Next, you choose a hand signal or word to use as soon as they complete the task. You could raise your hand in a stop position or say “good boy.'' The trick is to use the signal or word as soon as they finish the task. Reinforcing good behavior is vital in teaching your dog how to stay.
You can use the same strategy here with teaching the stay command. Use treats, have a command word or action and reinforce good behavior.
Not every dog owner chooses to crate train their dog. If you figure that you will want your dog to have a place to sleep that is not your bed or would like them to be trained for when you go on vacations, it might be something for you to try. To start, choose a crate that your animal will like. Purchasing a wire crate is the most used option - as it gives the dog a chance to see their surroundings fully. You want to make sure the crate is a good size. This means finding a crate that is not too large, but your dog does have room to stand and turn around in. Introducing the crate should be a positive experience.
Make sure to have something soft set inside the crate and a few toys that they are familiar with, as well as some treats. Keep the crate door open and allow them to explore. Keeping the door open and exploring will make them more comfortable. From here, you want to practice shutting the door and allowing your dog to be in the crate. You slowly extend their time in the crate as they adjust to it being their new space.
It is natural for dogs to jump up on people in excitement and show their want for affection. It is also common for dogs to jump up on furniture to find a nice comfy, and warm place to sleep. For instances like this, teaching them the down command can come in handy when you want them to stay down. You never want to pull the dog down by the collar or use force. This is discouraging and will not aid you in training your dog to follow the down command.
As specified before. Practice (and patience) makes perfect. If your dog is on the couch, show them a treat by their nose and motion it toward the ground, saying the command “down.” Immediately when the dog obeys, give them praise and their treat. Use treats, positive reinforcement, lots of pets, and your dog will be trained in no time.
Don’t fret if this tactic seems not to yield the results you want. For every dog owner, it is different, and researching other positive training solutions will give you more resources to try to reach your goal.
Other Helpful Commands To Train Your Dog
Here is a list of 10 more helpful and or fun commands to train your dog once some basic ones have been learned.
- Lay Down
- Watch Me
- Roll Over
- Drop It
- Leave It
How Long Does It Take For A Dog To Learn The Skills I'm Teaching?
Depending on the task you are trying to teach your dog and the difficulty level, the time it takes to teach them will differ. For shorter tasks such as using the bathroom outside, it can take anywhere from one week to a few months, depending on your training style and your dog's mentality. Training your dog takes time, so decide to invest in it now and remember to have patience.
Overall, the easiest way to train your dog is with positive reinforcement and love. Ditch the old ways of disciplining and trying to get your dog to behave with force. Dogs and all animals, for that matter, thrive when they are met with love and kindness. Treats, repetition, positive reinforcement, patience, and practice will get you to the finish line.
Visit Plush Paws
At Plush Paws, we are happy to provide you with advice and resources on training a dog. We know that these fluffy companions are also family members as fellow dog owners. The better equipped you are to train them, the easier transition you will have, welcoming them into your family.
If you have questions about owning a dog and how to care for them properly, we have you covered. Visit our storefront located at 24600 S.Tamiami Trail Suite 212, Bonita Springs, Florida. Or give us a call at 1-239-323-0630. Contact us today!