Hurray! It’s September. We’ve all made it through the Summer Holidays so big well done to all those parents who are breathing a sigh of relief now that School is back in session.
It’s not just human children who are going back to school though, your number one furry companion(s) will also have to adjust to a new routine and sometimes need a little training refresher. We recommend you put aside some time to spend with your dog on remembering the basics and learning some new tricks to help curb boredom and destructive habits.
Here are some general tips for Dog Training to help make this transition easier.
Consider joining a class
Even though training your dog is a lifetime 24/7 task, a structured class with a professional can really help teach both you and your dog some basic techniques for learning new things. Classes are great for both puppies and more mature dogs.
Decide on the house rules ahead of time
Dogs could be compared to toddlers; let them get away with something once and it’s hard for them to understand why they did something wrong the next time.
If jumping on the couch or sleeping on the bed are hard-no’s for you; decide this ahead of time and stick to your guns every time.
Sometimes rules get bent over the Summer Holidays so figure out if there are any new bad habits that need to be ironed out first
Always reward good behaviour
A simple ‘Good Boy!’ could do the trick but it’s important to remember to always reward good behaviour to prevent training regression – especially in the first couple of years of a dogs life.
Grab some treats
Treats are key for learning new things, there is no faster way to a doggo’s brain than through his stomach!
If you are training a breed that can be particularly stubborn to breed, like a Husky for example – figure out what kind of treats really drive his focus. Sometimes a little steak bite or tiny cube of cheese mixed in with your other treats during a training session will keep his attention on the training task at hand.
Sometimes training can be frustrating but it’s important to keep every session positive. Your frustration will be picked up on by your dog and can turn training into a painful experience for you both.
If it’s not going well, end the session early on a positive note (even if it’s just a sit command) and come back to it later.
The key to a happy, focused dog is one who has been mentally worked out (not just physical exercise) each day. Bored dogs tend to become destructive. Plenty of play time with you and other dogs, try to mix up your walk routes and use lots of interactive toys (like a stuffed kong) when you are out to keep them entertained.