Friday, February 14, 2014

Top 3 Dog Training Tips

Among the many important responsibilities dog owners have, training is among the most important. A well-trained dog is easier to care for, causes less trouble and will ultimately live a happier life. Whether you're in the process of training your pitbull or about to welcome an XL pitbull to your home and want to know how to properly train your dog, here are our top three tips to help. 

1. Set realistic expectations

Always remember that teaching your dog how to obey the rules takes time, so don't expect them to learn everything right away. The bad behaviors that are the "normal" for dogs -- like barking and jumping -- will take the most time to control. Also, take how long your dog has been able to get away with certain behaviors into account. For example, if your dog has jumped up on the couch for a few years and you want them to stop now, it's going to take more time for them to understand, since the dog is used to being able to do that. This doesn't mean it's too late, it just means it will take more time than training a dog that you just brought home would. 

2. Be consistent with training

When training your dog, it is crucial to be consistent. This means setting aside time each day to train your dog. You should plan to spend 15-20 minutes every day teaching your dog; however, don't go overboard with training, as it can leave your dog tired. 

Also, make sure that everyone in your home is on the same page about the training rules. Whatever expectations you establish with your dog, make sure your family is aware of and reinforces them. For example, if you don't want your dog lying on the bed, it's important that no one breaks this rule. If you don't reinforce the rules, your dog will have a hard time learning what is wrong and right.

3. Use positive reinforcement techniques 

Many owners use treats as rewards when training their dogs. While this certainly helps, you can also reinforce your dog's good behavior with praise, touch, games, walks and toys. Positive reinforcement is crucial, as it will influence your dog to act the way you want them to. Keep in mind that how your dog behaves should produce the treat, not the other way around. Only reward your dog when they behave as you ask.

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