Every pet parent wants an obedient dog. When dogs are obedient, they are the perfect addition to any family. Puppy training is key to having a companion who will provide years and years of love and companionship. By using positive reinforcement, and having a lot of patience, you train a puppy to grow into a well-behaved dog.
Learn To Train A Puppy To Grow Into A Good And Obedient Dog: Positive Reinforcement And Love
Just about all dog breeds respond to positive reinforcement during obedience training. It’s not only a fun way to train, but it’s also very effective. You might have heard of clicker training, positive dog training, and force-free dog training. These are all related because they all involve positive reinforcement.
In a nutshell, positive reinforcement is when you provide something to a dog immediately after they behave the way you want. It could be giving a treat, a toy, or a lot of praise and attention. The point of positive reinforcement, as the name implies, is to reinforce good behavior.1
The Power Of Reward For A Puppy: How Does Positive Reinforcement Work And Why Is It So Important?
A lot of dog obedience experts believe positive reinforcement is a much better training method than intimidation or punishment. They think it’s the best way for a dog to truly learn how to act properly. When it comes to training a puppy, rewards can be extremely powerful.
The way a dog learns is key to successful training. Ultimately, you want the dog to respond to a cue or command. When they do, you provide the reward. The reason this approach works is that dogs are able to associate behavior with consequences. They know that behavior will either result in something positive or something negative.
The more positive the consequence, the more a pet will perform a positive behavior. Timing is important. Take, for example, teaching the “sit” command. You need to provide the reward as quickly as possible. If you wait until your puppy stands back up, they might associate the reward with standing up, and not sitting.2
What Are Some Of The Common Mistakes Associated With Positive Reinforcement Training?
While positive reinforcement is an effective method of training, it can be challenging. You need plenty of love and patience for it to be effective. It’s important to try and avoid some of the more common mistakes that a lot of pet parents make when using this training method.
Timing, as you learned earlier, is everything when it comes to positive reinforcement. If as little as five seconds elapse between the behavior and the reward, that basically renders the reward useless. The reward has to occur quickly to be effective, whether it’s a toy,
play, petting, a treat, or anything else.3
Another common mistake is an over-reliance on treats. Some pet parents feel they have to provide a reward every time an obedient dog does what they’re supposed to do. If they don’t, they’re afraid that the dog will stop behaving. But that’s not necessarily the case.
A good rule of thumb is to only give treats on an intermittent basis once a dog performs a certain behavior. Give praise instead. Eventually, the dog will associate the behavior with praise instead of the treat.4
What Are Some Of The Easiest Dog Breeds To Train? What Are Some Of The Hardest To Train?
However, when it comes to training a puppy, certain dog breeds are easier than others. Let’s take a closer look.
Easiest Dog Breeds To Train
The border collie, for example, is extremely smart and learns very quickly. Border collies learn so quickly, in fact, they might challenge you to challenge them with more complex training tasks.5 If you want a beautiful, obedient, and loving dog, you can’t go wrong with the border collie.
Like the border collie, the standard poodle is another highly intelligent breed. They’re obedient dogs, and they love to exercise.6 Golden retrievers are not only great companions, but they also aim to please. They’re filled with joy, love to play, and they’re also eager to learn.7
That’s one of the reasons golden retrievers make such fantastic assistance dogs.8
Other dog breeds that are typically easier to train include:
- German shepherds
- Doberman pinschers
- Labrador retrievers
- Miniature schnauzers9
Challenging Dog Breeds To Train
Some dog breeds, however, can be difficult to train. The Afghan hound is one example. Afghans are beautiful and loving dogs. But they can pose a challenge when it comes to training. Afghans tend to be independent thinkers. They might not be willing to comply with your commands.10
The terrier is another breed that can be tough to train. Take the fox terrier, for instance. This breed basically has two speeds – very slow and very fast. Once a fox terrier is awake and energized, you might find it hard to get its attention long enough to get it to do what you want.11
Other dog breeds that might be challenging to train include:
- Basset hounds
When Training Dogs Is Too Difficult: Consider A Professional Trainer
If you find it almost impossible to train your puppy or adult dog, you’re not alone. A lot of pet parents wind up having to take their animals to a professional trainer. There’s nothing wrong with admitting you need the help of an expert. If you don’t, a seemingly minor behavioral issue could eventually turn into something serious.
These are just a few of the signs that you should consult a training pro. That will be your best chance at having an obedient canine for years to come.
- Aggressive behavior – If your puppy nips or growls, that can lead to even more aggressive biting down the road. If the animal continues to do this even if you’ve tried to teach them that it’s wrong, call a trainer.13
- Jumping on people – When a dog jumps on someone, that’s a sign of affection. But it can also be very annoying – and when a larger dog does it, that can be painful. If you can’t stop it on your own, get the help of an expert.14
- Being over-protective of toys and other items – Your dog should never bark, growl or threaten to bite if someone tries to take away a favorite toy or a bone. This is known as “resource guarding,” and it can be a serious problem. A professional trainer can help if your dog is showing this type of behavior.15
Again, there is no shame in calling in an expert. Many trainers can turn even the most troublesome pooch into a trusted service dog – imagine what they could do for yours.