Every dog owner wants to have an obedient, well-behaved dog. But the problem is that most owners find it to be a very difficult task. Dog training is not that difficult. You don’t need to be a professional dog trainer to train your puppy. Neither should you send your dog to a dog trainer for training, because if you send your puppy out for training, he will learn to listen to the trainer, but not you.
One reason why some owners train their dogs very easily while others are struggling to train their dogs is that those who make it look simple know the secrets of dog training. These secrets will help you with all types of training, from home training to agility training. These secrets are a set of principles that will help you become an excellent dog trainer. Whether you want to train your dog to behave well or you want to develop your potential as a professional dog trainer. The following ten dog training secret will help you train your dog to be obedient and well-behaved.
1. Define your goals: Before you start training your dog, you must know what result you are expecting. The way you train and the time you will have for training will differ depending on your goals. Training your dog to achieve a level of high competition in dog sports will require a different strategy and schedule than you will need if you only want your puppy to behave properly at home. Make sure you define your goals clearly before you start training.
2. Be determined: Many dog owners start a training course with the intention of educating their dogs, but when they encounter some more or less intense difficulty (for example, that the dog is easily distracted when there are other dogs nearby) they decide to abandon everything. These people do not have the determination necessary to train their dogs and therefore are unable to overcome the difficulties that arise in the process. Keep in mind that to achieve high-level training you have to be convinced that you will achieve success. You must have the determination to achieve your goals.
3. Start at the beginning: In dog training, as in other disciplines, there are charlatans who claim that they do not need to do the basic things and can skip the initial stages because they are superior to others. Phrases like “I don’t work in basic obedience. I only do advanced training »are typical of these pseudo-trainers and show their ignorance of the general training process. If you want to reach advanced levels of training, you have to start at the beginning, even if you just want to teach your dog a few silly tricks.
4. Take one step at a time: Although time is an important factor, you have to prioritize the quality of the training over its duration. To properly train your dog you have to advance little by little, without requiring your dog to understand everything at once. Focus your efforts on a single criterion per session and you will see more effective results, and progressing slowly will allow you to achieve faster results than if you try to cover a lot in a short time.
5. Surround yourself with successful trainers: One of the secrets of success in any discipline is to surround yourself with successful people. If you want to be successful in training your dog, it’s a good idea to start hanging out with successful trainers. Obviously, these trainers have to be successful in the field that interests you. If you want to get into dog sports, you need to get together with competitors of the sport that interests you. If you want to train your dog for search and rescue, you need to surround yourself with people who practice this type of training.
In some cases, it is not possible to find successful trainers in the discipline that interests you. For example, you may live in a country where dog sports are not practiced. In that case, you won’t be able to meet coaches who are successful in these sports. If you are in this situation, find the books and videos of these trainers and form a working group with people who have the same interests. It is not the same as surrounding yourself with successful trainers, but it is better than doing nothing about it.
6. Respect training times: This principle is simple but is often ignored. In the schedule that you have destined to train your dog, dedicate yourself to training and nothing else. Rest, play with your dog and do whatever you want at other times. Training time must be sacred if you want to reach an advanced level.
7. Keep a record: Most trainers do not keep a record of the training of their dogs, with the exception of a few who practice clicker training. However, keeping a record helps a lot. When you keep a record of each training session, you can know with certainty how far you have progressed and what problems exist. Memory is fragile, so don’t rely on it to keep track of your training sessions. Use the old paper and pencil method and keep a record of each session, noting your dog’s percentage of correct answers, the length of the session, time, date, and some observations that seem pertinent to you.
8. Maintain your enthusiasm: Since training takes time and doesn’t happen overnight, it’s easy to lose your enthusiasm. There is nothing better to keep you excited about dog training than watching competition videos. Look for videos that interest you (there are many on YouTube) and watch them from time to time. In addition to helping you stay enthusiastic, they will give you plenty of ideas for training. Remember that you can only achieve high-level training if you remain enthusiastic.
9. Don’t go overboard with training: While training is a great way to improve your relationship with your dog, and to provide your best friend with intellectual and physical stimulation, it is not the only important thing. To have a healthy and happy dog, at the same time that it reaches its maximum potential in training; it has to be balanced on three main planes: physical, mental, and emotional. Therefore, you must give your dog the necessary health care, a healthy diet, sufficient physical exercise (walks and games), the company of humans and dogs, a quiet environment to live and lots of love.
10. Don’t justify failure: It is common for trainers to justify their failures by blaming external factors. Sometimes they blame the environment (“too noisy,” “too many dogs present,” etc.), other times they blame the dog owners (“they don’t have the necessary leadership,” “they can’t channel their energy,” etc.), and other times they blame the breed or lineage of the dog (“Akita can’t be trained”, “this dog can’t stay still because he has a lot of drive. All those excuses only serve to collect the salary without appearing incompetent.
If you want to push your dog’s training to the limit, you have to be aware that occasional failure is part of the process. Whenever you fail in some area, view that failure as a challenge and an opportunity to learn. Instead of justifying that the dog did not respond to the call, ask yourself what went wrong in the training process and correct it.
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