There’s nothing like coming home from a long day to be greeted by loving eyes, a wet nose, and a wagging tail. (I’m talking about your pet dog, by the way.) A beloved pet has a way of offering unconditional love. We are their whole world. They bring us so much joy, and we can do the same for them.
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Dogs feel safe and secure when they know their boundaries and what makes us happy. They’re basically 3 year old toddlers with fur. Effective training can do this. While there are a variety of training methods, the foundation of effective training is to C.A.R.E.
- Reward and Reprimand
To reward or reprimand one time and not the other is very confusing to them. A confused dog is a frustrated dog, resulting in yet more unwanted behavior. It can quickly become exhausting and frustrating for you both.
Analyze their Learning Style
What’s your dog’s learning style? Some respond more to affection, while others are ALL about the treats. Some are sensitive to loud noises, while others to the tone of your voice. Before getting frustrated that your dog isn’t responding, try different methods of praise during playtime and see what your dog naturally responds to.
Reward & Reprimand
Our canine buddies live in the moment. Immediately rewarding or reprimanding certain behavior is essential. If we try to train them several seconds after the good or unwanted behavior, they may not associate the reward or reprimand with the appropriate action. With diligent consistency and quick reaction time, you will eventually impress on them the appropriate behavior.
What kind of rewards? Our mind often goes to treats. However, belly rubs, affectionate verbal commendation, or even a few minutes of play time may work just as well.
Reprimands are also essential for letting your dog know what behavior is unacceptable. Never use violence or physical reprimands to correct. Not only is this cruel and inhumane, they are also ineffective. Your dog will only learn to fear you and will unlikely connect the discipline to the unwanted behavior.
A more balanced and loving form of reprimand is with your tone of voice. Firm, simple commands such as “No” should get their attention. Follow that command by clearly showing them what they should do, and immediately praising them when they do it.
Training puppies early, or rescue dogs early in their new environment, will help prevent bad habits from becoming deeply ingrained. Putting the time and effort in early means more time to enjoy a loving bond that isn’t marred by a constant battle of wills. Learning the basics, like leash training, are the building blocks to a well behaved pup.
So, remember to C.A.R.E. Fight the temptation to tire out and give up. You can do this! Yes, being a pet parent of a fur baby takes plenty of sacrifice and hard work, but isn’t the reward of a happy and well-behaved furry friend well worth the effort?
Related: Leash Training A Puppy