During our dog training classes we get asked a lot on how clients should be training their dogs at home, so we have come up with some top tips to help you keep your dogs happy and training sessions fun.
Keep Training Sessions Short
Even though we normally have lot of things we want our dog to learn we need to keep session short and sweet. Don’t overload your dog with a huge hour long sessions at home, just do five minutes here and there throughout the day. Keep some treats near the kettle or by the sofa and do a couple of short sessions whilst the kettle is boiling or the ads are on during your favourite TV shows. These short sessions help your dog to remember what they are learning and leaves them wanting to do more.
Make Training Fun
As well as training your basic commands that we want the dogs to learn, why not mix things up and try teaching them some tricks.
Get Everyone Involved
Make sure everyone in the family is doing the same training, if the dog has one set of rules with mum and a different set with dad or the kids then it’s going to get confused. Let the kids get involved with the training sessions and play training games around the house.
Use Good Rewards
Even at home your dog should want to be training, if you are offering rewards they don’t want then they aren’t going to want to work for them. Treats such as chicken, cheese, or sausages are great and dogs love them.
Reward Good Behaviours
Don’t keep your training sessions to specific times, if your dog is doing something that you like then give them a reward. There are always a couple of treats in my pocket just in case, maybe if your popping outside and leave your dog in a stay then reward them when you get back, or recalls over the park if they are have seen a squirrel and are charging off and you call them and they come back then give them a treat. Training our dogs is a continuous job and there are always opportunities for them to get some extra rewards.
Set Up For Success
Always set your dog up for success, don’t move your training on too fast, make sure your dog is understanding the level you are working at and then gradually build things up. Don’t expect them to go from being lured into a down to being able to do an instant down with no help, work on gradually taking the lure and hand signals away instead. If your dog is struggling with something then don’t worry about going back a step and helping them out again.
Keep Teaching New Things
Dogs love learning so even once they’ve learnt the basics find them something new to teach them. Try new classes, or different sports to have a go at, or even just learning some tricks at home, keeping your dogs mind active keeps them happy.