Dog Training 101: How to Make the Most out of it!
Do you feel like you don’t have enough time to train your Fluffy Friend? Or that you don’t know exactly how to start with the sessions? Don’t worry, I got you! While it’s best to start training your dog when he’s still a puppy, it’s not entirely impossible to train older dogs too, it might just cost you a bit of patience and perseverance. Dog training motivates your dog, keeps him interested and mentally stimulated. Teaching your Fluffy Friend to obey commands is a wonderful way to strengthen your relationship.
Life can be very busy for lots of us pet owners, so the trick to master your dog training sessions is to actually integrate them in your day-to-day life and to keep it simple. How do we do that? Let’s dive right in!
Keep it short and light
Training sessions should last no longer than 15 to 20 minutes each. Any longer and you run the danger of your dog getting frustrated or bored. The reason behind this is that dogs actually have a very limited attention span, so short training sessions are much more effective. Keeping the sessions short will help keep your pooch enthusiastic for future training sessions, and it also helps you out with actually finding the time for them.
It’s much simpler to fit in little exercise sessions during the day than planning a 2-hour session every day. You have the chance to train your dog every time you engage with him, even if it's just by having him practice "sit" before you let him go outside. It won't take long for a few minutes here and there to pile up!
Use food wisely, learn to reward
Although dogs value human approval and praise, receiving their favorite reward is always going to motivate them to the fullest. When your dog obeys the correct command, make sure to either offer him dog training treats and compliment him as a kind of positive reinforcement. The best treats for training are small, bite-sized ones, as you don’t want the training to result in weight gain or interfere in his diet. Wearing a treat bag can help you be ready for every situation!
Due to their social nature, both dogs and people can benefit from the social side of training rewards, which involves showing love and affection through sharing food.
The likelihood that your dog will always go potty outside will be higher, if you reinforce the behavior and reward your dog with a small treat. Food has always been the main reinforcer and what motivates dogs to work hard to get it.
Although it may seem strange, giving your pups treats when they’re being trained might actually help them gain confidence. For instance, your dog would first feel anxious if you begin agility training with him with many obstacles. However, if you go carefully, using one piece of equipment at a time, and give your dog treats when they succeed, it will serve as motivation and help them feel more confident. Over time, your dog will be able to overcome their fear and eagerly anticipate their training sessions with the confidence to successfully complete any challenges you provide to them.
One of the best times to schedule daily training sessions is during your dog’s meals. Have your dog sit or give him any desired command before letting him start with his food.
The truth is, anything that interests your dog that he is prepared to work for is a reward, whether it's a stroll, a snuggle, or a treat. Therefore, if your dog likes something, you can always use it in training. That implies that you don’t need to hold a treat at all times.
Consider spending a few seconds training whenever your dog needs something. Instead of giving away his interests for free, focus on a few actions initially. For example, making him sit and wait, or give you his paw before throwing his favorite squeaky toy or opening the back door so he can go outside, can be a wonderful method to praise good behavior.
Train their minds!
According to The Dogginton Post, 10 minutes of mental exercise is equivalent to 30 minutes of physical activity for your dog. There are actually lots of training strategies and exercises you can easily implement in your daily life to keep your pooch mentally stimulated. For example, you can try putting treats in various locations around the house or the garden, and challenge your dog to use his
powerful nose to find them. Putting a treat inside a jar or plastic container and having him play with that will also keep him motivated and occupied for a while. Many interactive toys can be loaded with tiny treats!
Use your strolls to teach your Fluffy Friend
There are lots of satisfying and stimulating things out in the world for a dog. For example, the idea of going out and being able to sniff the nearby fire hydrant is incredibly enticing. Take advantage of this opportunity while it lasts and combine some training with the exercise. For instance, practice "leave it" with leaves and acorns before letting him explore the boulevard. However, exercise caution when teaching new behaviors outside. Make sure your dog has learned the fundamentals in a calm area before introducing the element of distraction. Learning is far more challenging in an exciting situation for him, so make sure he’s learned to put the focus on you and on the reward. For this, you can practice ‘’look at me’’ during the strolls. Just have your pet focus on you for a few seconds before you reward him. This way, he will understand that even though you’re outside, he still has to focus on you.
So, how can you make the best out of your training sessions? Let’s summarize…
1. Don’t train for too long at a time.
2. Use food and also his interests as rewards.
3. Learn to keep him mentally stimulated as well.
4. Use day-to-day situations, integrate the training in your daily life.
5. Train with your dog in calm places, before training outside.
Overall, I want you to be very conscious about one thing: Don’t grow frustrated if things don’t go as planned! Normally with dogs, you will have many surprises, so keep it light and open. That’s the only way successful training can happen, not only for you, but also for your dog. Practice patience and don’t forget to train gradually, always!
How do you integrate dog training in your daily life? Tell us in the comments!
As always, stay Fluffy!
Your MrFluffyFriend Team
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Words from our author
Hey! I’m Stivi, thank you for joining our MrFluffyFriend Blog!
As a pet owner, I often found myself in a very frustrating situation: going to the internet and finding multiple unhelpful and redundant articles about the care and training of pets. My mission is to create a community blog where you can find all types of information, training tipps and tricks, focusing on natural and organic ways of pet-owning and training. Understanding your pet is like understanding a whole new world - and I want us to discover it together!
BTW, that's me and my little Lenni by the Lake!