5 Tips For A Successful Start in Dog Training

Starting dog trainingYou hear the word control in dog training a lot, but it isn’t a dictator style of control.  Instead, think of it as control of your emotions and control of your classroom.  Just like a teacher in a kindergarten room, you cannot teach in an atmosphere of chaos and disarray.  You need to make sure you are “walking the dog” and that it’s not the other way around.  This guide will give you some great pointers that will help you train your dog effectively and efficiently.

  1. Ensure that the mood is calm as you get ready for your training session.  And while some will say that a little play before a training session will help get your puppy in a learning mindset, you cannot teach a student that is checked out and riled up.  Playtime is great, but sometimes it is just not appropriate when it comes time to start training.
  2. Especially with excitable puppies, avoid acknowledging him in an overly excited manner as you enter the training area.  This helps to maintain a controlled atmosphere.
  3. Stay in control as you reward your dog’s good behavior.  If your dog is responding to your commands and is not overly excited, give him a treat.  Don’t let your own excitement get your dog overly excited or they will lose focus.  There is a time when you will build drive and excitement into a maneuver, but after they have learned it.
  4. When training your dogs, always use the same tone of voice and volume level when you give a command.  Your voice should have a consistent tone that is clear and not muddied with excessive wording.  Your dog will learn to recognize your tone as time for work and time to pay attention to you.
  5. Start with the easy stuff and short training sessions. Smaller, more easily learned behaviors are more likely to produce timely successes and a solid foundation for future training efforts and helps ensure your training sessions stay positive.

There is definitely time to play and a time to learn.  With some dogs it can be a fine line between happy praise time and out-and-out loss of emotional control.  Some dogs you may need to get a little “crazy” with to get their attention on you and get them in a “happy” learning frame of mind.  Just don’t get so carried away that your dog switches out of learning mode.  Remember to always keep it upbeat and light, if you aren’t having fun then the dog isn’t having fun and it may be time for a break or some outside help.

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