Dog training encompasses everything from raising, understanding, guiding, and respecting dogs and everything they mean to us!
Here are my training tips that I'd love to share with you, whether you just got a dog, or are working towards becoming a dog trainer. Here are some dog training tips for beginners.
Let's start with the most important one!
1. Seek to understand, not to fix.
No matter which dog you're working with, if you're looking to modify a behaviour and replace it with another, you will want to take a close look at what the potential cause is, that lies behind the issue in question. Ask yourself questions, take notes/logs of when and how the behaviour manifests itself, and go through little day-to-day scenarios where you can get a feel for how your environment is affecting your dog, to better understand him or her.
2. Use less cues or commands = more listening on both ends.
You and I navigate society verbally, but if you want to truly understand your dog and build the best relationship possible, you will want to practice communicating with them more by listening and guiding them, as opposed to relying on cues and commands often. Verbal communication with your dog is great and essential, but when just starting to get to know your dog or tackle something new with them, pay close attention to how much you speak to them verbally, vs how much attention you put towards his or her actions.
3. Don't rush.
Dogs are never in a rush, and neither should we. We love being and doing things with dogs because they remind us to live in the moment and make the most of what's in front of us today, not tomorrow. If you have a calendar, clock, or even just expectations of where you'd like to be 3, 6, or 12 months from now, as far as your relationship with your dog goes, please don't forget that your dog doesn't share those thoughts, and is simply doing his or her best to take things day by day with you. Subsequently, taking your time with your dog and not rushing them in their environment will make it so they're more likely to display comfortable and well-mannered behaviours, due to a lack of feeling stress, pressure, or any type of anxiety.
4. Get creative as often as possible, when it comes to providing your dog with enrichment.
The more you can dedicate some time and effort in finding free or affordable enrichment options and fun games for your dog to do at home with or without you, the more likely you are to have a dog that feels happy, mellow, and fulfilled as a result!
5. Reward anything that your dog does that you like.
Dogs don't know exactly how our world works, and the only way they get to figure that out is by trying things. This is why it's important that you put a lot of focus on going out of your way to acknowledge, pay attention to, and reward all the big and little things that your dog does on a daily basis, that you like. Especially with puppies! If he or she does something you like and you both feel good about it as a result, your dog is more likely to want to find ways to replicate that outcome.