Training your dogs is an important experience for both the dog and the owner. The training process helps to build and strengthen the bond between you and your dog. We have pulled together a list of training techniques that have been proven effective.
If you are struggling to train your dog and looking for a professional, then get in touch with dog training in Essex today. We have highly skilled and qualified trainers who will teach your dog the basic commands and authority.
Dogs are pack animals and will always have an alpha. In a home setting, the dog will see the home as their territory and the family as the pack. When the dog sees itself as the alpha, it has to learn to respect and submit to its humans.
There are a couple of methods used in this technique such as understanding & acknowledging the dog’s body language and responding appropriately, projecting confidence & authority over the dog, ensuring that you go first when eating or entering a room. These simple actions will help the dog understand its place in the hierarchy.
When participating in the training, it is important to establish boundaries such as not letting your dog up on furniture, not letting them watch you eat and not feeding them from the table.
Establishing an alpha is good so that the dog knows who to respond to, however, it should also be mixed in with positive reinforcement training. This way the dog knows it will be rewarded for good behaviour and will restrict them feeling anxious.
Positive reinforcement is an excellent way to encourage your dog and reward good behaviour. When they know they are doing something right and getting praised, they will respond much better and feel more confident.
Using positive languages such as ‘good boy’ or ‘good girl’ and making a fuss of the dog in an exciting way will help the dog understand they have done something correctly and they are good.
Using treats is also a great way to engage with the dog to praise them for their behaviour. Treat giving should always be accompanied by being praised verbally, this way the dog isn’t reliant on the treat as a reward for good behaviour.
Little devices such as ‘clickers’ are used to gain a dogs attention and let them know when they have done something correctly or achieved positive behaviour. The benefit of clicker training is that it indicates the precise moment the desired behaviour is accomplished. The clicker opens up the opportunity of shaping new behaviours and introducing verbal commands.
Some conditioning is involved in this, meaning that when the dog accomplishes the desired behaviour, the clicker should be used and then the reward should be given. As a result of this, the dog learns that when it hears the click, it has done something right and understands the positive behaviour.
Mirror training can be used on the basis that the dog understands and learns from observation. If you’re training a young puppy and have an older, trained dog, you might find that mirror training will naturally occur here. The older dog will set an example and tell the puppy off for bad behaviour.
Mirroring behaviour also works by the dog observing human interaction and one human praising the other for behaviours the dog would be doing. For example, sitting or lying down.
Mirror training uses the dog’s natural instincts to operate socially. The dog is learning by example.
This technique does work, however, if you have a dog that can get distracted very easily, then it isn’t recommended to make it the sole training technique. It can be used amongst other methods such as positive reinforcement.
This technique of training is an excellent way to not only teach your dog commands and correct behaviour, but it also teaches them social skills with other dogs and people. Dog training classes bring dogs together and enable them to interact cooperatively and socially. This is an incredibly important form of training as the dogs learn to work together and understand right and wrong behaviours. Similarly to how children learn social skills at school, dogs learn the same skills in a training class.
Mirror training is somewhat incorporated in social training as well. The dogs will see the other dogs follow a command and be rewarded – teaching them that if they do it too, they will get a reward.
With any form of training, repetition is very important. Repeating the same trick/command multiple times will help to imprint it in the dog’s mind. It can get very overwhelming for dogs to have to hear the same word (for example, ‘sit’) when they don’t know what it means and what they are meant to do. As a solution to this, when you start training your dog, be sure to start off slowly and show them what they need to do. After a short while (roughly 30 mins), take a break from teaching to let your dog relax and play and then later in the day, try again.
If you are looking for help with training your dog or you aren’t confident in what you are doing, then get in touch with Royal Pooches who provide incredible dog training in Essex. They’ll learn social manners/behaviour and the basic commands such as sit, stay and lie down.