6 Tips to Help With Dog Training in Pewaukee, WI
If you’re trying to train your dog—either on your own or with the help of a professional—it may be very difficult for you to figure out where to get started. And if you’re training your dog and encountering some problems, troubleshooting can be just as tricky.
In this article, we’ll walk you through six of the most important tips to help you learn more about dog training. These tips are great for first-time dog trainers who have never been through this process before and who need a little extra boost of information to help out. If you have any questions, call Pewaukee Veterinary Services at (262) 347-0787.
Patience is Key
You’ve probably been told this before, but it bears repeating: patience is the most important factor in your dog’s training experience. The more patient you can be with them throughout the process, the more likely they will be to pick up the right skills for the right commands.
If you feel yourself getting too overwhelmed or frustrated, your dog is going to sense this too. At this point, it’s a good idea to take a break and revisit the skills later on that day or even the next day. Working slowly is important, and preventing yourself and your dog from burnout is too.
Use High-Reward Treats
Some dogs may be so food motivated that they respond well to training even when you just give them pieces of their usual kibble. However, most dogs will need something that is a little bit more of a high reward to encourage them to learn, practice, and perform their skills and commands.
You can find training treats for this purpose, which are very soft and easy for dogs to eat. You may also find high-quality regular dog treats, or you might want to opt for something even better like peanut butter or pieces of cooked chicken. Cheese is another great solution for this purpose.
Work a Little at a Time
Try not to overwhelm your dog by introducing a variety of skills and commands at the same time. Instead, work slowly, focusing on one or two skills a week and building your dog’s repertoire from there. Over time, she will know how to do many different commands, and she will be ready to “study” them periodically too.
Once your dog has solidly learned their commands, you can start combining them in the same practice session. This helps your dog stay interested in the experience of training and gives them a better chance at succeeding too.
One Command for One Skill
Make sure the commands you’re using for training your dog are all unique and independent from each other. For example, if you’re using the word “down” to mean “lay down,” you should use a different command (such as “off”) to mean “stay off of the furniture.” Otherwise, you risk confusing your pet and making training too difficult for them.
Try to keep commands to one word as much as possible. If you must use a short phrase (such as “come on” or “roll over”), keep the words short and simple so you don’t confuse your dog, too.
Praise, Praise, Praise!
Dogs usually respond very well to praise, and some may want praise even more than they want treats. Because of this, you should praise your dog thoroughly every time they get something right during training. The more praise they receive, the more they will understand that they’re doing what they should.
Praise may come in many forms, depending on your own personality and your dog’s responses. Clapping, bouncing happily, cheering, and saying things like “yes!” and “good girl!” can all work well for praising. And of course, you should never underestimate the power of a pat on the head.
Don’t Forget Playtime
Training your dog is stressful and taxing for you and your pet both. This is why it’s important to make sure you spend time playing with them as well.
“Study” sessions when you work on training skills should last anywhere between 10 and 30 minutes, depending on the age and skill of your dog. But you should play with your pet even more than this, making sure to take plenty of breaks to relax, have fun, and bond with each other.
Remember that these tips really only scratch the surface when it comes to dog training. They can provide you with a good, solid framework to help you get started, but they are not the full extent of everything you need to know about dog training, either.
If you’re having a lot of trouble with your dog’s behavior, a professional trainer may be the best way to go. Professionals can work with even the most difficult of dogs to find solutions that help them and their owners both succeed at training. You may want to ask your veterinarian for recommendations in your area. Call us today at (262) 347-0787.
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Since 1977, Pewaukee Veterinary Services has provided progressive veterinary medicine to pets of Pewaukee and the greater Milwaukee area. We put a strong emphasis on preventive medicine and alternative therapies aimed at keeping companion animals healthy and happy. Yet, if your pet is ill, there’s no better place to entrust their care. Our animal hospital in Pewaukee not only has the most advanced veterinary equipment in the area, but also the skilled veterinarians and staff to use it.