Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, getting our dog to listen to us is a little frustrating. You know what we’re talking about - when they constantly pull on the lead or bark uncontrollably at the postman no matter how many times you tell them to sit and be a good boy.
The best way to train your dog is through positive reinforcement. This training technique addresses unwanted behaviours through the use of reward based training.
Here are our top 10 tips for training your dog via positive reinforcement:
- Keep it short and sweet –Break up training into short and regular sessions, to help keep your dog engaged.
- Start off training in a quiet environment –Once they get the hang of behaviour without distraction, you can teach them in other environments
- Focus on one behaviour each session – This will not only save confusion, but will also make the training session more effective. Quality over quantity!
- Food treats should be small – When giving dogs food as a reward, make sure treats are smaller than usual. Splitting their usual portion up in multiple pieces will ensure that training sessions don’t interrupt their feeding routine.
- Use a clicker or verbally praise your dog when they’ve done what you’ve asked – Verbally praising as well as giving our four-legged friends a food related treat is a must, as they will subconsciously link this word to good behaviour.
- Have a variety of treats with you – Having different value treats will help you reward the right type of behaviour. For example, if they do as they’re told, the first time they’re told, give them a higher value treat. Have a look at our treats range here, for some reward inspiration.
- After multiple training sessions cut back on food treats – After several wins, try to move away from food treats, favouring other rewards such as petting instead.
- Patience is a virtue – Don’t expect too much too soon. Your dog may not pick things up as quickly as you would like, or get results straight away. Be patient, all dogs learn at different paces.
- End the session with a behaviour that your dog knows – Even if this is as simple as ‘sit’, doing this ends the session positively.
- Have fun! – Training doesn’t have to be boring – when your dog realises that certain behaviours lead to rewards, they’ll associate this with playtime and be eager to join in.
Do you have any other training tips? Share these over on our Facebook page.