Why complain?, when you can train !!

Dogs have to obey. It gives them a sense of security – James Herriot. Any puppy can be trained by following few basic pointers:

The Alpha Position: This is the most important training tip that every pet parent must follow. Remember for a dog to be happy he does not just need to be fed, looked after, exercised and loved but also needs to know where he stands in your pack (family) structure. A pet parent must be an alpha without using outdated methods such as alpha pin downs but kinder and more humane methods of training. Never hit your dog as well as it damages them physically and mentally.

Crate Training: Using a dog crate is a super way of toilet training your pup, as well as curb attention seeking behavior patterns of barking, whining or any bouts of anxiety. If crate training is carried out properly, the dog will soon start using it as a den. However the crate must never be used as a means of punishment.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQIWPEpsjlI

Heel (walking on leash): teaching your dog to walk well on leash in a calm and controlled manner  without pulling you is very essential since dogs require exercise. Many pet parents find walking their dogs a difficult task since their dogs pull. one must remember that a well walked and exercised dog is never destructive at home and is obedient and composed at all times.

One way of teaching your puppy to not pull while out on a walk is to take control of the situation by getting the dog to sit by your side and calm down before you start to walk again. It will not take the dog long to figure out that the moment he pulls the walk will be stopped.

Basic Obedience Training: Basic obedience commands are a vital part of being a responsible pet parent. The responsibility of pet ownership includes properly training your dog for commands such as sit, down, stay, recall [come while being called], fetch etc and socializing him. Always make training fun for both you and your dog by using positive reinforcement training techniques such as praise, treats or toys. Also remember to give commands only you can reinforce.

Consistency is the key: Remember that to have an obedient dog you must carry out all the training tips on a day to day basis. Training can only be reinforced by repetition. For eg if you want your dog to be calm  when you want to leash him before you go out for a walk, remember to not leash him until he is sitting still.

Whenever you are training him, it is important to get all your family members involved as possible, If you are telling your puppy to get “off” when he jumps up on the couch and someone else is saying “down”, while someone else is letting him sit on the couch, how is he ever going to learn what you want. Consistency is the key.

Socialize your dog:  A confident dog is a joy to own so make sure that you begin socializing him at an early age and never reassure bad behavior such as aggression or nervousness in him.

Teaching him to go “QUIET” on command: They can be very vocal and boisterous at times. So an added training tool would be to teach them to go “quiet” on command.
Have realistic expectations: You need to have realistic expectations about changing your dog’s behavior as well as take in to consideration how long will it take to change a behavior that you don’t like. Often behaviors such as jumping, barking and digging are considered normal will take the most time to change but with patience and right training techniques it can be done with ease.

You get what you “REINFORCE” and not what you “WANT”: if your dog exhibits a behavior that you do not like, there is a strong possibility that it is something that has been reinforced before. For instance your dog brings a toy to you and barks to get you to throw the toy and you throw it. Your dog has just learnt that barking gets you to do what he wants. You say “no” and he barks his head off at you!!! And you throw the toy again you will have taught him that persistence pays off. Before you know it you will have him barking every time he wants something. To correct this behavior ask him to do something for you like “sit” or “quiet” before you throw the toy again.

Bribery versus Reward: The idea of using treats to train a dog is often equated as bribery. Always do what works for your dog if using treats gets them to do what you like then why not?. Just remember that the behavior should produce the treat; the treat should not produce the behavior. Also remember to wean the treats off systematically once he has learnt what is desired of him. Another tip is to always reward the dog with praise first then followed by a treat thereby making your praise as the “primary reward” and the treat as a “secondary treat”.

Armed with these tips now training your Dog will not just be an easy task but fun as well. Make that commitment to not just feed,love but also train him.

73 thoughts on “Why complain?, when you can train !!

  1. Malaika, your Blog is such a boon to all the Dog Lovers, across the Globe. A knowledgeable person like you sharing your wisdom on Dogs, is just what what is needed for all animal lovers 🙂 more power to you.

  2. It’s shame that I didn’t find your blog before. I have a dog, golden retriver-labrador and he is nice but he has never been trained. You have nice tips

  3. These are such great tips! I love dogs and I hope that one day when I get a place of my own, I can find the time to actually get a dog and take care of it. They are such an amazing creatures 🙂 Lovely blog and tips!

  4. Great post again. Always love to read them since I love dogs. I got my dog when she was 6 years old. So she was already used to a lot things and new basics like ‘sit’. Walking on the leash was a challenge though. She barked a lot at other dogs. But after investing time in that, het behavior changed. She knows the rules now. And it’s going great!

  5. Thanks for the informative post. As a cat owner I can proudly say that my cat George is like a dog. He comes when called, is potty trained and well….I always say he’s like a pup. Oh and I also bribe him with treats 😉

    • Yes, for a dog just love isn’t enough it is very important for them to know their place in your pack(family) with the help of positive reinforcement training techniques

    • Thank you for stopping by and for your feedback but yes i agree with you training is so worth all that time you put in the end

  6. I’m always amazed when I listen to people complain about their dog’s behaviour, and when I mention training they look at me like I have 3 heads. Thanks for helping to “educate.”

    • Yes but training is worth all the hard work. Its important to not just teach your dog what he cant do but what he can also

  7. Create training worked wonders for our puppy! Totally agreen with socialising and consistancy being key to training a dog and puppy. Ree Love30

    • Yes when training is done using treats weaning your dog of it the right way is easy. We love clicker training too and use it especially with dogs that do well with it

  8. Verbal praise is critical. Two of my three dogs are highly treat motivated so that makes training them a little easier but Piper is definitely more responsive to verbal praise. As you say, patience and appropriate expectations are key. I can’t expect my dogs to never bark or to stop being dogs and I have to give them time to learn what it is that I am asking. Great tips!

  9. One of the best training advice and one of the tips you have here is crate training. I cannot imagine not have that as a tool in my toolkit with our three hounds. They’re safer when we travel and if they need a time out it’s easy to crate them upstairs – if a handyman is over, etc. great advice.

  10. These are all really important commands to train. Consistency is also important, I chuckled when you talked about not using Off & Down to mean the same thing. My sister constantly says Down to stop my excited dog from jumping up & wonders why the dog won’t listen. , I always have to remind her it’s Off not Down, LOL!
    Love & biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

  11. This is so true. In order to train an animal, you need to understand the social needs of the animal. For dogs, being accepted in a social group is really important. Cats are not as dependent on a social group and so training a cat doesn’t involve the same things all the time. I love the point you make about getting the behaviors you reinforce. We forget this so many times! People don’t consider how each interaction they have with the animal will affect their training. What we think of as punishment/scolding, the animal may see as attention.

  12. GREAT post! The only thing I disagree with is the “Alpha” concept. And not because I disagree with a leadership role, more because “Alpha” now has a poor connotation associated with aggressiveness. “Train, don’t complain” is my life motto 🙂

    • I agree with you Kama but people here in India are happy to complain rather train their dog. So just trying to raise awareness. Also one can be an alpha without using tactics like fear/intimidation but solely armed with positive reinforcement training techniques. I agree with you about the connotation bit too so will switch words from alpha to just pack leader

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