January is National Train Your Dog Month!

Have you ever seen a dog so excited to be at the dog park they pull their leash so hard that they end up walking their owner, instead of their owner walking them? Or, once off the leash, they take off running and go right up to other dogs and people with complete disregard for their owner’s commands? Well, you’ve most likely witnessed the behavior of a dog that has not been properly trained.

Dog training is important for discipline and obedience at home and in public, but also for safety reasons. With training, it is important to be consistent so your dog can quickly learn what is, or is not acceptable behavior. Check out the below training tips that you can use to avoid being that person at the park with the misbehaving dog.

Setting House Rules: Whether you’re bringing a new puppy or an older dog into the home it’s important to set rules from the get-go. Are they allowed on the furniture? Are they allowed in all parts of the house? Setting these rules in the beginning will avoid future confusion.
Be Concise: Give your command once. Repetition of commands teaches your dog to ignore them because it sounds like you don’t care if they obey or not.

Discourage them from biting or nipping: Puppies especially consider nipping to be a form of play. Before disciplining them, try pretending that you’re in pain when they are biting or nipping you. Because of their naturally caring nature, most of the time they will be surprised and stop. If this doesn’t work then it is important to make them understand that this is not acceptable and will result in a disciplinary action.

Keep them from jumping: Although puppies love to jump, refrain from rewarding this behavior. It’s cute when they are little but allowing it at a young age can quickly turn into a bad habit. Simply ignore the jump and turn your back so they realize the behavior is not rewarded or acknowledged.

Be Generous: Reward your dog for good behavior and completing a trick. Give them a treat, verbal praise, or an ear massage.

End training sessions on a positive note: They may not have done everything right during the training session but ending things on a positive note helps get them excited for the next session. Getting a treat at the end will be something they remember and look forward to the next time.

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