Before we get started here, I have to confess something. I will become a dog-owner at some point in the future. My girlfriend loves dogs. She loves dogs more than she loves me. I’m almost positive that she’d choose the dog (that we don’t yet own) over me, if she had to pick. I don’t mind having a dog, as long as I don’t have to be the one to train it. I hope this doesn’t ruin the relationship or anything.
Back to the subject. Dog training can be a difficult and challenging task. Every dog is different, and even an experienced dog-owner can sometimes struggle. There are lots of different ways to train a dog. Here are some of the more common methods from which you can choose..
Training methods vary, but the clicker method is a well-known and easy to understand one. It relies on the principle of positive reinforcement. A clicker is a small piece of metal which makes a noise. The noise is distinctive and easy for the dog to recognise. When you are attempting to train a dog, use the clicker. As soon as the dog does what you want them to do, release the clicker. You should then praise and treat the dog. The clicker method means that the dog learns to associate the noise with praise and rewards. That helps the dog towards the correct choices in the future. Clicker training is often effective for a wide range of dogs. It does depend on positive reinforcement. Owners may need to find a different way to discourage negative behaviour.
Some dog experts suggest that it’s key for the owner to dominate their dog. This theory suggests that dogs, as pack animals, need a leader to follow. This method gives the owner control and means that the owner can change the dog’s behaviour. This method is not without its flaws. Some say that it is ill-suited to pets. It can encourage behaviour that would fit for a dog in the wild, but not in the home.
Methods to avoid
It’s vital that you avoid certain, crueller methods of training a dog. Some people suggest violence against an animal is the only way to ensure it behaves in the correct manner. These people even use electric shocks as a way of taming a dog. That is unnecessary and barbaric, and many owners want these electric collars banned. There is no need whatsoever to hurt a dog to train it.
Dog training doesn’t have to be a minefield. There are lots of easy ways to get your dog to behave in a proper manner. The Internet is full of helpful guides in this respect. What you’ve read here is only the start. We’d suggest that you get as much information as possible before you begin to train your dog. That way, you’ll be sure that your training method is the right one, for you and your dog. Have fun – both of you!