It is fun and at the same time challenging to train your dog, especially if you are doing it for the first time. If you follow the right dog training principles, it should be a fairly easy task.
Most dogs will respond well to simple dog obedience training. They usually are able to get the hang of new commands with just a few repetitions.
But, what about retention? Will your dog be able to remember what he has learn recently?
Here are some tips that will not only help you to increase your dog’s ability to learn, but also to improve his retention in training.
Be consistent with commands
Always use the same word or phrase for each command. Your dog will be confused if you are not consistent with your commands. So, at the very beginning, before you start training your dog, establish the words to use for each command you are going to teach him.
Let the same person do the training
At the beginning, it is advisable that the same person in the household conduct the training. After your dog has gotten used to being trained and has learn the basics, then you can teach the training methods to the other family members.
Keep it short
Dogs are likely to lose their focus after 15 minutes of repetitive training. Instead of having a solid one-hour training session, it would be better to break it up into several 10-minute sessions.
Make it fun
If your dog finds the session enjoyable, he is likely to be more engaged and to retain the training.
Reward your dog
Your dog will learn a new trick or command faster if he is rewarded for doing it. Once your dog is able to link the behavior to the reward, he is very likely to repeat it often.
Use a variety of rewards
Different dogs have different preference when it comes to rewards. Some prefer toys, others like treats and some just like you to play with him. You may want to experiment with different rewards and see which ones he responds to the best.
Use distance commands
Once you have taught your dog the basics, you can start to teach him to “come” or “stay” from a distance. Start by giving the command close to your dog; then gradually increase the distance between you and the dog.
Do things the same way each time during the training sessions until the dog gets the hang of it. This will help establish a solid foundation for your dog and will help him to better retain his training.
Do not move on too quickly
Let your dog learn at a steady pace. Do not move too quickly from teaching one trick to the next before he is familiar with the first one. Otherwise, you will confuse your dog.
Use simple sequences
If you are teaching a complex trick to your dog, create a sequence of simple steps to work up to the big trick. Do not try to teach the complex trick all at once.
For example, if your are teaching your dog to jump through a hoop, first teach him to walk through the hoop. After he has learn that, then teach him to jump on command.
Training your dog need not be a frustrating experience if you do it the right way. Be consistent with your training methods and make it fun for both you and your dog. Not only will your dog be able to learn quickly, but he is able to retain the training too.
Click here to learn more from certified dog trainer, Adrienne Farricelli.