Choose The Right Training Method

When it comes to training your dog, there is no right or wrong way to do it. It's best to choose a method that suits you and one that you know you can stick to. Experience dog owners may feel confident that they can complete all training on their own, while new owners are likely to want a bit more help.

Which method is best for you?

Self training

Self training works very well, as long as you are consistent in your methods. If you choose to use commands, don't change them and always give treats at the same time if your dog does something right. Most pet owners will find their methods slip when their dog gives them that cute little look they're all capable of, so it takes a strong owner to tackle all training single handedly.

Training classes

Training classes are always available no matter where you live. Don't just opt for the first one you find. Look for one with an accredited instructor, that way you know that they are using the best methods. You and your dog should also feel comfortable. If you go to dog training classes it's also a great way for your dog to socialize with other dogs and you get to meet other dog owners too. You can also be assured that the class will cover everything you need to know.

Clicker training

Clicker training is a method of training your dog yourself, but help is also available if you need it. This method utilises a clicker to mark when a dog has behaved well. The moment they do what they're supposed to, the trainer will click, and reward with a treat. This method relies on you clicking at exactly the right moment, so the dog knows exactly what it's being rewarded for.  There will be local clicker trainers who will be more than happy to discuss how this works and give you the training you need to be able to implement this.

Other help available

If your dog has a particular problem, such as anxiety separation, or aggressive behaviour, you may need to get one to one help. The first step would be to ask at your vet as they obviously see animals with a variety of problems and they may well know someone who can help you.

Books are another way to improve your training skills. Again, don't just pick the first one you find. Read a little about the author to make sure that they know what they are talking about. Reading the 'About the author' information in the book will usually give you a good idea whether you can trust their advice or not.

Be consistent

However you choose to train your dog, you must remember one thing: be consistent. it's no use learning techniques at a training class, if you don't carry on with them when you are home. This can confuse your dog and lead to bad behaviour.  Dogs are very quick learners, so it won't usually take them long to pick up what you expect them to do, as long as you don't keep changing the rules.

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