So, you’ve got your new pooch home. You and your new pal are both buzzing with excitement. But how can you make the long, happy life you and your dog will share together as fulfilling and rewarding as possible for you both? The answer is simple – training!
Don’t worry – we’re not talking about teaching your dog to dance or pull off mind-boggling tricks. When we talk doggy training, all we mean is making sure they’ll obey simple commands, walk calmly on a lead and be nice and chilled when you are in a dog-friendly pub or café.
If you have rehomed your dog from the Scottish SPCA, we’ll have done our bit to train and stimulate your dog before they move to their forever home. But whether you have adopted a rescue or purchased a pup, it is vital you are committed to regular training.
How to train your dog
Every dog is unique, but when it comes to training, they all thrive off a few similar things…
This is the way we train all dogs. Basically, this means rewarding a dog when it does something right and not punishing them for doing something wrong. From our experience (which is quite a lot, by the way) we’ve learned dogs don’t respond well to being made to feel worried or anxious – and that’s what you can get from punishment based training.
There’s a whole host of reasons why reward-based training is best. For a start, it’s super enjoyable for dogs. They learn new things, get treats for it and it provides stimulation for their eager mind. We know how important the human-animal bond is, and rewards-based training is a great way to strengthen this. Dogs take time to learn new behaviours, and your patience and approach is vital.
Persevere and prosper
Good things come to those who persevere. If you are patient with your dog, take things slowly and help build their confidence through encouragement when they are struggling with training or learning a new command, it should come eventually. And the best thing is, your dog will be chuffed to bits with themselves when everything falls in to place!
Consistency. Consistency. Consistency.
Consistency is key. If you want your dog to respond well to being trained, you have to be consistent with the commands you use. Otherwise, you risk confusing the dog and making training an ordeal rather than fun. Settle on the words or phrases you want to use for commands quickly, and don’t change them.
You have to get in to a consistent routine too. Make sure you train your dog regularly. It will help to reinforce the behaviours they have learned and be a fun, stimulating pastime for you both.