Dog training

Dog training is tough. These 5 things make it easier

Training a dog isn’t easy, but it’s integral to their ability to become a good canine citizen. With dog trainers in greater demand than ever due to the pandemic puppy boom, you may have decided to go it alone, which is fine as long as you know what you’re doing or are willing to learn on the job. .

We know that dog training is challenging, that it takes time, patience, and repetition, but some things make it easier.

What you need to know about dog training before you start

You should not start training your dog without any knowledge of dog training. Getting it wrong at first can lead to bad habits that are hard to break. Luckily, it’s not too difficult once you get the hang of it, but you’ll need a lot of time and a lot of patience.

Use positive reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is a training method that foregoes punishment and involves rewarding your dog for performing the right behaviors. It works for all kinds of training, from obedience and trick training to eliminating unwanted behaviors, such as chewing or peeing around the house. Although you should learn more about the nuances of positive reinforcement training before you begin, it essentially involves rewarding your dog with treats and praise for doing things right. You will first need an adequate supply of dog treats, especially high value treats that your dog is willing to work for.

Repetition and consistency are key

Patience is a necessity when training your dog, as you will need to repeat tricks and reinforce other behaviors over and over again until they are embedded. You also need to be consistent with your training. Otherwise, you will end up confusing your dog and he won’t know what you expect from him. For example, if you’re trying to teach your dog to heel, you’ll need to correct his behavior every time he pulls on the leash (standing still or turning around and walking the other way). If you let it slip half the time, they won’t understand what you want and the training will take a lot longer.

Start in distraction-free environments

If you start training your dog around distractions, such as strangers or other dogs, you are defeating them. Instead, start training a new trick or behavior in a quiet, distraction-free environment, like your home or an enclosed yard. Once they can work reliably without distractions, try them with more distractions and be prepared for some recoil at first.

Articles that facilitate the training of dogs

Vital Essentials Minnows Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Treats

It’s important to use high value treats when training your dog, and the tastier and stinkier the better. Use these treats to train new tricks or behaviors only so they stay new and your dog is ready to work for them. These freeze-dried whole minnow treats are ideal for dogs that love fish, but other 100% treats work well.

Sold by Chewy and Amazon

PetSafe Sport Treat Pouch

PetSafe Sport Treat Pouch

You need easy access to treats when training your dog so you can give them at the right time to reinforce the desired behavior. This pouch has a detachable belt and belt clip and multiple pockets that can hold treats. You can choose from several colors, and there are clips for attaching clickers and other training accessories.

Sold by Chewy and Amazon

Downtown Pet Supply Dog Training Clickers

Downtown Pet Supply Dog Training Clickers

When your dog performs the desired behavior, you need to mark him so he knows what he did right. While you can mark behaviors with an upbeat “yes” or “good,” some people find it easier to get the timing right using a clicker. This pack contains multiple clickers, so you always have spares on hand.

Sold by Chewy and Amazon

Hi Kiss Long Dog Training Leash

Hi Kiss Long Dog Training Leash

Training your dog to come when called can be a minefield. You can teach it in your home or in an enclosed yard, but trying it with lots of distractions can be dangerous if your dog ends up not obeying you. Using a long leash is a great way to practice recall safely, as your dog may wander away from you but may not run away. This leash is available in lengths between 15 and 100 feet.

Sold by Amazon

Zak Georges Dog Training Revolution

Zak George’s Dog Training Revolution

If you’re unfamiliar with dog training techniques, it’s a good idea to read a book or check out a range of other resources before you get stuck. This book is written by a popular dog trainer with a successful YouTube channel and outlines gentle, positive training techniques.

Sold by Amazon

Sign up here to receive the weekly BestReviews newsletter for helpful tips on new products and great deals.

Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their buying decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.