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Train Your Dog - Tips on How to Train Your Furry Friend Effectively

Jun 7, 2008
Dogs are sociable, lovable and excitable and it's why we love them. However, these sweet traits can also be the root of major behavioral issues like chewing furniture, biting, not coming when called, barking or running away.

So, it's important to start training your dog from a very early age. As an instinctive pack animal and follower, your dog will become subdued and more comfortable in a variety of social situations. To learn some of the best tips on how to train your dog, keep reading for suggestions from some of the top trainers in the country.

Use Positive Reinforcement

Starting a dog training program is not as simple as it sounds. You need to begin with positive reinforcement. That means instead of yelling at or scolding your dog when he does something wrong, you reward him when he does something right. It's a good idea to mix up treat awards with praise and petting, unless you want an overweight, but well-behaved pet.

The dog will learn that good behavior is rewarded. Just like humans, dogs respond best to praise and encouragement. Your dog will learn faster and equate good behavior with a tasty treat.

Stop Incessant Barking

One of the most common mistakes amongst dog owners is to yell at their pets when they're barking incessantly. Why doesn't this work, and why does it make the problem even worse? It worsens the problem because your dog's barking at something, whether it's a squirrel in the yard or a car driving past. When you start yelling at your dog, it thinks that you're "barking" too, therefore reinforcing the behavior that barking is okay.

Remember, your dog can't understand your words. He can learn a few commands and understand your tone. To solve an incessant barking problem, try using a spray bottle of water. When your dog begins barking uncontrollably, say the command "quiet" softly and give him a small spray of water. Eventually, your dog will learn that "quiet" means he should stop barking or he'll get sprayed with water.

Another method involves ignoring your dog completely when he's barking. Sometimes dogs bark because they're bored or want attention, so it's best to ignore this behavior. Once the dog stops, reward him with a treat. Because your dog may be barking out of boredom, sometimes a simple distraction, like turning on the radio or throwing a toy, will work.

Avoid Biting

Dogs bite for a few reasons - because they're excited, scared, in pain or simply protecting a loved one or favorite toy. Each of those reasons can cause your dog to bite, and sometimes in a manner that might be dangerous either to you, your child, or a stranger.

Dogs bite when they're playing because they naturally use their mouths to grasp things. Though this is completely innocent and understandable behavior, it's important to teach your dog that biting the tennis ball may be okay, but biting you is not. If your dog bites you during play, stop the play immediately and walk away. Soon, your pet will learn that playful biting is not okay.

Normally though, dog training is most effective when you use rewards and positive reinforcements, not scolding or yelling.
About the Author
For information on practical dog necessities, please visit www.dog-necessities.com, a popular site providing great insights concerning issues that help you with dog care, such as dog training products, dog medical supplies, an electronic dog fence and much more.
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