Thursday, August 7, 2014

How to Train a Dog

Right off, you should know that you will not learn how to train your dog from this blog. However, you will learn some dos and don'ts.

Recently, an adopter put out a plea for help on facebook.  She described her problem and received many different suggestions.  A month later, she was asking our SPCA trainer for help.  So what went wrong? 

First off, training a dog requires patience. For those of you who have housebroken a puppy, you know that the puppy does not learn in one easy lesson.  It requires consistent, repeated, positive training.  So teaching a dog not to bark, chase cars, jump on visitors, counter surf, etc., requires consistent, repeated, positive training.  And that takes time and does not happen over night.

Secondly, the owner of the dog needs to decide which training method to use and stick to the plan.  Our SPCA dog trainer trains with positive reinforcement.  Dogs receive lots of play and praise for doing the right thing.  So if you decided to train positively, you need to do it consistently and not change when you don't see instant results.  Changing patterns of training confuses the dog and frustrates the owner.

Third, it is worth spending the money to take a class or two.  Trust me on this one.

Fourth, training does not end with the classes.  If you want a well behaved dog, keep up with the training from leash walking to where the dog sleeps.  Both the dog and owner will be happier.

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