The joy that dogs bring into a person’s life is immeasurable. As a pet parent, you get to enjoy unconditional love from your canine companions. However, raising a puppy requires more effort than you think.
Issues like loud barking, sneaking food, and generally causing a ruckus can be quite stressful for a new pet owner. Add to that the situations wherein your energetic little ball of fur excitedly runs off in the park and tries to play with every little object he finds on the ground, and you’re in for a rollercoaster ride.
Fortunately, this can be easily remedied with obedience training. Not only will this teach your pup to behave better, but it can also help you ensure his safety as well.
Whether you have just brought your new puppy home for the first time or you have been living with him for a while, it’s never too late to teach your furbaby the proper way to behave. To help you out, this article covers the most important tools you need to start training your puppy along with the essential commands he must learn from the very beginning.
4 Dog Training Essentials
Having complete dog supplies to use for training can make teaching your furbaby commands a whole lot easier. Remember that proper dog training gear not only makes housetraining your pet more efficient, but it also ensures the safety of both you and your canine friend.
In order to reap the benefits that quality gear can offer, you must make sure that the items you choose match your dog’s unique behaviour and personality. To help you out, here are the four dog training essentials you’ll need to gather before you begin training your pup:
Dog leashes come in various lengths, ranging between four to six feet or about one to two metres. When picking a leash for the purpose of training your pet, choose one that you can clip onto your waist so that you are free to use your hands during the activity.
To train your dog to get used to walking on a leash with you, offer him treats whenever you clip on the leash before heading out. This will also help redirect his attention and prevent him from chewing on the leash.
Collars with ID tags serve as a way to make your dog easily identifiable. Different types of collars are available in the market, including ones made of leather or nylon. There are also those specifically made for training.
When choosing a collar for your furry pal, make sure to go with those with a wider circumference than his neck. This way, your dog won’t get choked when he pushes against the leash during training.
3. Dog Treats
Before you proceed with the training, make sure you’ve stocked up on treats. Don’t worry if you can’t go out to buy some because dog treats can be ordered online.
Arguably the most crucial item for training exercises, dog treats serve as your pet’s motivation to be good and follow your instructions during training.
4. Dog Crate
Considered as one of the most straightforward tools for teaching your canine pal how to behave, a dog crate lets you isolate your pet in a safe space during the training session.
But not all dogs love crates. To prevent your puppy from associating negative experiences with the crate, don’t use it as a form of punishment. Otherwise, you’ll risk making him want to avoid it altogether.
4 Essential Obedience Commands to Teach Your Dog
Dog training revolves around two concepts: correction and reward.
Correction entails letting your pet know the difference between good and bad behaviour. When correcting your pup, you must never employ punishments or physical violence like spanking. Instead, use a firm voice to say “no” to correct bad behaviour.
Meanwhile, rewards are prizes given for a job well done. For dogs, this usually entails treats or anything that your dog loves, like a toy he’s fond of. It also means showering him with praises, saying “good dog” whenever he does a good job.
Now that you know the key concepts of pet training, below are four commands you can start teaching him:
The “sit” command is one of the most basic – not to mention, the easiest – thing to teach a puppy. It serves as a foundation for other training techniques.
To begin, hold a treat in your hand as a reward. While kneeling in front of your canine pal, hold the treat close to his nose, then lift your hand upward.
After that, tell your dog to sit. Once he starts lifting his head to bite the food, use your free hand to guide his backside down until he goes into a sitting position. As he proceeds with this, make sure that you say “sit” once again.
When he successfully follows your command, praise him. Repeat this several times every day so that he can get used to hearing and responding to the word.
This command can help bring your dog back to you should you forget to close the door or lose grip of his leash when going on a walk.
To teach him to come to you, put his leash and collar on him. Then, go down to his level and say “come” while tugging on the leash gently.
Once he gets close to you, praise him and reward him with a treat. Repeat this several times until he masters it enough to get around without a leash. When you do decide to have him practise without his leash, it should be in a safe, enclosed area.
This command tells your dog to walk next to you rather than in front of you. It also helps keep his head level with your knee and teaches him how to walk properly with his leash on.
To start with the training, put your dog’s collar and leash on him before leading him to a sitting position. Hold his leash in one of your hands and put a squeaky toy in the other, just above your pet’s head.
After that, begin walking with the toy in front, saying “heel” as you go along and grab his attention by squeaking the toy. If he gets distracted or pushes ahead, stop walking and call to him.
Once his attention is on you, praise him and give him the toy as a reward. If you get at least 30 seconds of his attention, you can start walking again. Repeat this and as you go along, increase the amount of time spent before rewarding him.
“Stay” requires fundamental training with the first three commands, especially the “sit” command.
Start by telling your puppy to “sit.” As he does so, open the palm of your hand in front of you and say, “stay.”
Next, take a couple of steps back to see whether he understood. If he doesn’t follow you, reward him with treats and affection. Increase the steps you take as you repeat this exercise, and never forget to reward him for staying put even for just several seconds.
The Bottom Line
Dog training may seem difficult without the help of an expert, but believe it or not, you can do this as you stay home with your new dog. Start by gathering up the necessary supplies and study up on the basic commands your pet needs to learn. Only then can you fully enjoy the benefits of being a pet owner.
Farah Al-Khojai is the Managing Partner of Pet’s Delight. A passionate entrepreneur, Farah holds a Bsc in Government from the London School of Economics. She is always on the lookout for new opportunities to develop and grow the pet and equestrian retail and wholesale market in the UAE and beyond, and is proud to be at the helm of the first and the largest pet care provider in the market representing world-class brands including Orijen, Applaws, Hunter, Savic, Flamingo, Ruffwear and Rogz.