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How to Train Dogs - No Hitting Allowed

Apr 10, 2008
Figuring out how to train dogs is tricky stuff. Okay so your dog just peed on the floor for the tenth time today and it's only ten in the morning! Don't throw your hands up in exasperation just yet. You need to have a plan of how to train dogs that makes the process a good one for both your dog and you.

Any behavioral specialist (and any parent!) will tell you that you get better results with rewards than you get with punishments, and with a little of thought, it's easy to see why this is the best way to train your dog. For your dog's own safety and for your own sanity, you'll find that using a rewards-based system is one of the most effective ways to train your dog and to make the training stick.

The first thing that you need to be aware of is that your dog wants your praise. You are the leader of the pack, and your dog definitely wants to please you. This is an evolutionary trait that you can use to your advantage, so make sure that you do!

Two really great features about using the positive reinforment method when training your dog are that this method is really easy to pick up and it can be used for puppies and older dogs as well. You can teach your puppy basic things like potty training as well as teaching your older dogs basic commands like "fetch," and "roll over."

The key when starting out with the positive reinforcement method is to give your dog a cue that you will use consistently throughout training. It doesn't matter whether it's word or a gesture. Your cue will signal your dog to perform the desired action so make sure it's something that's relatively easy to understand.

As an example you may choose to train your dog to sit down. Start out by telling him in a clear, moderate tone, "sit." You follow your command by assisting him in that task by pushing his back legs down. Once the task is completed be sure to lavish your dog with lots of praise. You may even want to give him a little treat. Your dog needs to know you're happy with what he's done.

Remember that should only reward your dog when he performs at your command. If, for instance, he comes up and sits or rolls over without any prompting for you, do not give him a treat. If you do, you can think of it as him training you, instead!

Also keep in mind the fact that if you are trying to train a destructive behavior out of a dog that you should not scream at him. Losing control and yelling or hitting your dog will only teach him to be afraid of you, and nervous dogs will often do a lot more damage than calm ones. Only reprimand your dog if you actually catch him in the bad behavior, so make sure that you are there to see it!

Training a dog does not have to be a chore. It can be a great way to learn more about your dog and to get to know him well and for the two of you to work together. Take advantage of this opportunity to do just that while training your dog to follow basic commands!
About the Author
Your dog just peed on your floor for the fifth time and is gearing up for number six. The reason could be different from what you think. Visit dog training tips to find out how to fix this for good.
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