Quiz 13. Early training.

Q. The best person to train your dog is:
A. A professional dog trainer.
B. An experienced dog trainer.
C. An expert dog trainer.
D. You.

The answer is D. You are the best person to train your dog, but you need to know how to do it. People have given their dog to experts to train, but when the dog is at home old habits prevail. It’s YOU who needs to know how to manage your dog. These quizzes can assist with that.

And, importantly, by training your dog you will build a bond with it.

There are a number of ways to train a dog and you can research them and choose the one that seems right for you. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

TIP 1. To begin with, aim to have no distractions around.
When your dog gets the message and becomes proficient in following your instructions, that’s the time to introduce distractions and keep training it.

TIP 2. Make the tasks easy so that the dog succeeds. (When it succeeds you can reward it, and that’s when it learns.)
If it’s to be a complicated task, teach the dog in easy incremental steps.

TIP 3. Dogs have short attention spans, so make the training sessions short, but frequent. Short sessions keep the dog motivated; frequent sessions help the learning ‘sink in’.

TIP 4. Each time your dog does something right that you want to encourage (even accidentally, when it’s not being trained) reward it with a tiny treat, lots of love and praise. Make your dog think it’s a hero. That will motivate your dog to replicate the behaviour.

TIP 5. When training your dog, don’t reprimand it or punish it in any way. You want training to be an enjoyable experience for your dog. That’s when it learns. An anxious dog is a dog that has trouble learning.

TIP 6. Keep in your pocket a packet of tiny dog treats in case your puppy accidentally does something right during the day and you want to reward that behaviour.

TIP 7. Train your dog in different places so that it knows the command applies everywhere.