Few animals are so appreciated as the family dog. Whether a purebred pup or an adoption from the local animal shelter, a dog makes more than a pet, he makes a loyal friend. Of course, some dogs seem to have an affinity for following household rules. Some other pups will be hyperactive, inattentive or stubborn learners. There is no reason to become exasperated over a dog that seems reluctant to obey household rules. This simply means that the dog is strong-willed and will require extra attention.
One of the first and most important rules for training your dog is to never, ever speak out in anger or attempt physical violence while training. This will only exacerbate behavioral problems and will cause the dog to develop further problems, such as aggression and unwarranted fear.
Always use a stern, but calm voice when training your dog and only apply steady hand pressure for certain techniques, never a slap or a strike. Dogs are inherently loyal and quite protective of their human family and, if they are physically abused, they will not know who to trust and develop behavioral or emotional problems.
The second thing to keep in mind when training your dog is to have a practically endless reserve of patience. Certain breeds will learn to sit, stay and heel as quick as you please while some other breeds will chase butterflies as you try to teach them even the simplest bit of training.
Always remember, inattention on the part of your dog is not due to its dislike of you. Rather, dogs such as these are naturally hyperactive and extra playful. These are wonderful personality traits and they should be celebrated. Training of this kind should be conducted with a firm touch and a stern voice, not to establish dominance, but to make clear who is the teacher and who is the pupil.
Not only should you approach training your dog with patience and kindness, you should begin training with simple activities that are easy for the dog to naturally understand. For example, do not attempt to teach a new puppy to understand all manner of tricks and commands.
Also, do not attempt difficult training exercises right away. Rather, begin with simple commands such as “sit” and “stay” then gradually work up to more complicated techniques. This will make training more effective and enjoyable for both you and your loyal canine friend.
Finally, it is important to remember that your canine friend is not a dumb animal who is suited for silly tricks to cause laughter. Dogs are living, breathing, thinking creatures that have co-existed with the human race for thousands of years. They do not shirk the calm hand and stern voice of a kind trainer. They will not bite or bark at a diligent trainer who makes certain to reward good behavior while criticizing bad actions.
Whether a new addition to your family or one of many dogs, always treat them as you would like to be treated.
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