What Are the Three Golden Rules of Dog Training?

On any given day, a dog can fill your heart with love and affection and feel like the world’s greatest companion. And then the next day, they can dig through the garbage and make the house a mess even after being trained not to, and they can feel like the world’s most frustrating companion. But it’s important to remember that it’s never the dog’s fault, because the responsibility for training a dog is always on the owner, not the dog.

Because of this, it’s important for dog owners to learn some “golden rules” when getting new puppies in Georgia. There is no perfect, one-time, quick fix to train a dog, but rather a few guidelines to keep in mind throughout your time together. Here are some tips for dog training in Georgia—or anywhere else you find yourself with a canine companion.

Listen to your dog

Listening to your dog and understanding where they’re coming from is perhaps the most difficult but most important rule of dog training. (It may also be the most important rule of human communication too, but that’s a discussion for another day.)

Dogs are, at heart, wild animals. That means they have instinctual behaviors that are going to always exist in some way. The key to training is patience on the part of the dog owner—getting angry and constantly punishing a dog is not an effective training strategy in the long run.

Always remember that there are instinctual reasons for a dog’s behavior, whether it’s curling up on the new couch for a nap, digging through the garbage or any other undesirable action. Stay calm, and don’t overreact if your dog does something it shouldn’t.

Positive reinforcement

There are numerous studies that show dog training is more effective with positive reinforcement than with negative reinforcement. This means that rewarding your dog with a treat for good behavior is a better training tool than punishing your dog for bad behavior.

Dogs are often smarter than we give them credit for. A small training treat may be a good incentive for some actions, but after a while, a dog may want something a little bigger or tastier for more complex or less desirable commands. Again, patience on the part of the owner is key here. Keep up the reward system until your dog has mastered the behavior and it becomes routine for them, and eventually the treats won’t be necessary all the time.

Don’t keep repeating yourself

When your dog doesn’t respond to your command at first, repeating yourself isn’t going to make things any better. It’s best to wait for a few seconds to allow the dog to process whatever it is that is distracting them and give them time to then process and respond to your command. Otherwise, they may think that the proper response is to wait to hear repeated commands before acting upon them.

To give your dog a head start on dog training in Georgia and to learn some dog training tips yourself, contact D&G Kennels for dog training services today.