How can you get your dog to quit barking at everything that walks by or to stop jumping on the kids when they play in the back yard? Unfortunately, not everyone has a reasonably-priced dog trainer living next door. There are some things you can try on your own.
Enforce every command that you give, and do not repeat yourself repeatedly to get your dog’s attention. Do not let your dog decide when to listen and when not to listen. If you do not have the time or energy to enforce a command, do not give the demand in the first place.
Make your expectations realistic. It is never too late to change a dog’s behavior. However, it takes time to do so. For example, if you have allowed your dog to do a certain behavior since he was a puppy, and you no longer want him to do it, it will take longer to undo the behavior. Having patience and realistic expectations make training a dog to undo or learn a new behavior easier.
The earlier you start training your dog the better. It is much easier to train a young puppy than it is an older dog. This is not to say that older dogs cannot be taught new things, however, it does take longer and more perseverance to train a dog the older it is.
To help you begin training your dog you should understand that having patience is very important. All dogs are different and do not learn at the same pace. Some learn quickly while others at a slower pace. Having patience is a key first step as you set out to train your dog.
If you leave your dog outside, provide shelter. Dogs will dig to create a shelter if left outside to stay cool in the summer and to warm up in the winter. You can stop the dog from digging up the yard by creating a shady spot for him or installing a doggy door, so he can go in and out of the house or garage.
To improve your relationship with your dog, you should incorporate basic obedience training as an every-day task. Ask for simple behaviors like a sit or a down before letting your dog out into the yard, or before putting down his food bowl. Your dog will learn that you control his access to priority resources, which will reinforce his relationship with you as he starts to learn to look to you for direction.
If you want to train your dog tricks, but don’t really want to offer too many treats, then use his regular dog food. By using a portion of his daily allotment of food, he is still getting a reward for doing as you want him to, but is not in danger of getting too much in the way of treats.
Now that you have successfully graduated from training, you and your dog will be much happier. As you probably have discovered, there are a multitude of ways and means of training. Whichever you choose, either singularly or multiple accesses, you can now hold your head high knowing that your dog is well-behaved.