House training a dog is an essential part of welcoming a new canine friend to your home. It will ensure that the dog conducts properly and minimize damage and bad behaviour!
There are many aspects to consider when training a dog for the first time, but most of all you must make sure to be persistent, consistent and patient for the training to be successful. Also remember that if the training is not working, it’s not the dog that is doing something wrong, it’s because the method used is flawed and must be reassessed.
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The first important rule when house training a dog is to refrain from physical punishment!
Not only is it ineffective and won’t get the dog to behave the way you want it to, but it will also make the dog fearful and confused which might result in aggressive behaviour later on. The right way to encourage your dog to follow commands is by positive reinforcement. By either praising the dog after behaving well or by offering a treat, the dog will understand much quicker and more efficiently how to behave. Another good strategy rather than using physical punishment when the dog behaves badly is to ignore it. Since dogs continually strive for attention, ignoring the dog when it does something bad will help the dog understand that the behaviour is unwanted.
Lastly, another important aspect of house training a dog is preventing bad habits from forming.
Behaviour such as jumping on you or others when you arrive or asking for food scraps at the table might seem cute when the dog is a puppy, but could become quite disruptive as the dog grows. Therefore, it is imperative to start teaching the dog what behaviour is acceptable early on to prevent it from developing bad habits.
To do this, teach the dog alternative behaviour that is more acceptable. For instance, you can teach your dog to sit and wait when you or guests arrive and offer praise or a treat if the dog stays calm throughout the process.
This way, the dog will quickly learn to stay calm at the arrival of newcomers even if it is excited to see you or others. There are, of course, many other things to consider when house training a dog. New dog owners can get help by enlisting the services of dog trainers, and we have great ones. Come read their blogs!
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