If you want a happy dog, there are many things you can do. One of the easiest ways to train your dog is to use yummy treats, encouraging words, and lots of praise. Dogs love to please their owners, so training them will help create a strong loving bond between you and them. Although you could send your pup to dog training school, it’s actually fairly easy and economical for you to be the trainer.
If you’re fortunate enough to get your dog while she’s still a puppy, it will be easier to train her. Be sure to have small treats on hand. You can teach your dog her name, one of the most important techniques, by saying her name and rewarding her with a treat when she responds. Be sure to use a cheerful voice, because most dogs don’t understand a cross voice. Plus, when your dog is in real trouble, and you say, “Come,” in a pleasant way, he or she is more likely to obey.
Many dog breeds, especially Labradors, have a desire to chew. If you don’t want to find chewed up shoes or socks around the house, it’s a good idea to provide plenty of chew toys for your dog. If you’ve ever visited a dog shelter, you may have noticed an abundance of toys, especially ones that resemble real animals, like raccoons, pigs, chickens, and skunks. It’s best to provide toys with no stuffing, but that include squeakers or crinkly paper. Your dog can play with the toys, even eviscerate them, rather than destroy your personal items.
Hide and Treat
While you’re at work, out shopping, or attending an appointment, you can hide treats throughout your living space. Imagine your dog peeking out the window as you leave, asking When will you be back? But then, when your dog starts wandering around the house or apartment, she finds a dog treat behind the couch. And then she finds one under the dining room table, and then perhaps one underneath your computer desk. This game trains your dog to hunt and to remain calm while you’re gone. It also teaches him he will be rewarded for finding the items.
No Idle Paws
Dog breeds such as Border Collies, Cattle Dogs, Newfies, and German Shepherds really enjoy having a job. (As a matter of fact, Border Collies will destroy your home when they are bored.) You can increase your dog’s happiness by training him or her to have a job.
For instance, herder dogs can lead other animals, like sheep or bovine, to shelter. Or you can help your Newfie deliver bottles of water to people in the neighborhood. Not only does the job feed your dog’s desire to feel necessary, it gives them much appreciated exercise.
Offer Lots of Praise
Dogs truly love it when their owners say their name, especially when it’s punctuated with a high, pleasant voice. Just like people, dogs respond very well to positive reinforcement. So, after your dog sits, shakes, or comes when called, be sure to tell him or her what a good dog they are. You may also add an ear scratch, some belly rubs, or a long petting session.
One of the biggest favors you can do for you and your dog is to train them to behave on leash. Walking your dog is good for his health and yours, but it’s very important for both of you to be safe. An untrained dog on leash can invite all kinds of trouble.
Starting early is best, because the earlier you train your dog to walk on leash, the more you ensure your safety. Large dogs, or unruly dogs, can benefit from a gentle leader, which gives a tug when he or she veers away from you.
Also, bring along some treats in case you need to redirect your dog. When your dog sees or hears passersby, other dogs, or cars, they might get triggered into reacting.
If you run into trouble with training, we do recommend contacting a local dog training school, or a private trainer, where you can receive some much needed support and additional guidance.