With just 15 minutes a day, you can make a huge investment in your relationship with your dog. Training your dog will not only help them stay on their best behavior, but it’s also a great bonding experience for you and your furry friend. Whether you have a new puppy, a rescue dog, or are struggling with behavioral problems, training will help you create a healthy relationship between you and your dog.
Choose The Right Pup-quipment
Choose a harness, leash, and treats for your dog. A harness helps reduce strain on the throat, will give you better control, and prevents easy escape by dogs that like to wriggle out of collars. Choose a sturdy leash with a comfortable length for both you and your pet. For treats, we recommend using a biologically-appropriate and nutritionally-superior snack like Primal Treats, which are made from real meat.
Reinforce Good Behavior
Rewarding good behavior is proven to be more effective than punishing your pet when they do something wrong. Remember that your dog doesn’t have the ability to reason – they don’t associate any punishment you give them with the specific behavior you dislike. They are actually more likely to connect the punishment with your presence and will continue to do the undesirable behavior when you aren’t around. A reward, whether it’s affection, a click, or a treat, tells them what behavior is acceptable and desired immediately. Positive reinforcement helps to build a strong, affectionate relationship with your pet, rather than one based on fear.
Train your dog daily or every other day to help your training stick. You don’t have to train your pet for hours—five 15-minute sessions are more effective as your pet is more likely to stay attentive for a shorter period of time. Begin your training sessions in a quiet area to help your dog focus. As they get better at obeying your commands, you can start training them in more distracting environments to help you prepare for situations out in the real world. Make sure you both have fun! If your pet is entertained and mentally stimulated, they will enjoy the sessions more and respond better to your instruction.
Teach Basic Commands
“Sit”, “stay”, “come”, and “lay down” are essential commands for your pet. You will likely also want to teach your pet how to walk naturally with a leash without pulling. As they progress in their training, you can teach them more advanced commands, like how to come during an emergency or how to go to their crate.
If you need more help, consider enrolling your dog in an obedience program, or hire a dog trainer. Good luck with training!