There are many different approaches to training. The key is to do your research, use your best judgment, and most important, know your dog and remain calm and assertive.

Training is about communication; conditioning your dog to respect you as the pack leader as you set rules, boundaries, and limitations. As the human, you need to practice patience and know yourself, too. If you start to get frustrated or nervous, the dog will sense your energy and the work could be counterproductive.

Take it in small steps. Even a minute of calm, focused training can make a difference. Here are some tips to keep in mind.

  • Set aside time every day to work on training. Remember, dogs need discipline, so giving them dedicated time when they need to focus on you, the pack leader, is important to maintain good behavior on a regular basis.
  • Everything you do or say around your dog is “training” – remain consistent in your body language, signals, and commands.
  • Know what you want from your dog. Set a clear goal and stick to it.
  • Training and conditioning require consistent reinforcement to keep the dog enjoying the behavior.
  • Keep training sessions short and sweet, and pay close attention to when your dog gets tired or overtaxed. You want to keep her interested and wanting more!
  • Use training as a time to help your dog learn to problem-solve on her own. It keeps her mind busy and builds confidence.
  • Take time to find the rewards that work best. Not all dogs are food-motivated, so do your homework and try a different approach if one way isn’t giving you the results you want.
  • Always end a training session with a success.
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