Going through obedience training with your dog is crucial if you want to be a devoted dog parent. Raising a pup is pretty much like raising a child. You have to impose certain rules, and these rules must be followed.
You and your dog must be on the same page at all times. This can be achieved if you get to train them on obedience early on.
It’s all about starting off on the right paw. Yes, that’s a pun. Seriously though, your dog should know exactly what is expected of them. This will give them the security of having clear goals to power through.
Obedience training should be conducted with positive reinforcement as the core principle. Positive reinforcement simply means providing a commensurate reward for accomplished tasks or jobs well done. Here, the idea is not primarily to give your dog a kind of bribe.
What you are doing through positive reinforcement is allowing your dog to enjoy something they deem to be of value for every appropriate behavior they manifest. This is the exact opposite of training using punishment. Punishment has been found out to be counterproductive to canine obedience training.
Studies have shown that dogs punished during training tend to become unsure and confused. These considerably affect their learning and their memory retention. Punishment is never the way to go when it comes to obedience training.
The only way to go is via the patient route. You should be able to empathize with your dog. Understand that you cannot expect your pup to easily get the hang of things you want them to learn.
This is where reinforcement comes in. It can be anything you think your dog happens to love or enjoy. For most dogs, training treats like kibble or dried liver are enough to do the work.
Other forms of positive reinforcement include praises, petting, and dog toys. The idea is to give your pup a treat, a toy, or lavish praises soon as they do what you expect of them. This will make your dog associate their good behavior with enjoyable rewards, hence they will favor these good behaviors more and more.
The earlier you conduct obedience training, the better. Ideally, at the 8-week mark, or as soon as you bring a pup home, obedience training should already commence. To make these training sessions effective, keep them brief, between 5 and 10 minutes as the most recommended duration.
Five core commands
All dogs should be able to learn the appropriate responses to five core commands. These commands are as follows:
- Leash walking
- Lay down
These commands have varying degrees of difficulty regarding teaching them to your dogs. But you must power through each one and stop only when your dog has successfully comprehended what these are. Each of these core commands is crucial when it comes to making sure that you are in full control of your canine companion, especially in social situations.
For example, if you take your dog to their very first dog park visit, without one of these five core commands, you might find yourself in all sorts of trouble.