Around the globe, every year, there are plenty of examples of dog shows. People bring their dogs to participate in dog competitions.
Dogs perform different kinds of activities in these events that are fun to watch and marvelous.
Of course, not each one of us wants our dogs in these competitions. Does that mean we neglect to teach them basic life skills? Dogs who are well-trained are good for society at large.
It is easy to co-exist with trained dogs, who know a few skills, and who are instead an asset to be around. A well-trained dog helps in deepening the bond between humans and dogs.
Humans play a large role in training dogs. We can teach our dogs some basic skills as a part of their training but it can be a little overwhelming to train your dog.
We don’t speak the same language on any front and many times, communication can be a little difficult. The whole training program feels like too much.
If you are planning to train your dog or are facing trouble in doing the same, worry not.
We’re here to help you.
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How to teach basic life skills to your dog?
How to Do It?
The basic way to teach dogs is by making the training fun and offering them rewards for every little thing they learn.
Making them practice regularly and behaving politely and respectfully with them is the way.
The most basic and crucial skill is for your dog to understand your commands. This won’t happen in a day but over some time. You need to be consistent with your dog.
They don’t understand the words we speak, but when we talk to them repeatedly using the same words, they connect with them and understand them eventually. Just don’t worry. You need to know that dogs are fast learners.
- While starting the training, start with calling your dog by its name when it is a little far away from you. Your dog will eventually learn by the gestures that you are calling it. The moment your dog comes back to you, reward right at the moment. This will tell you that this is a good thing to do. They will always come back to you if they know that this is the thing they are supposed to do.
- Initially, they will come back to you only because they know that they will get a reward, so make sure to pay them well. Over a period of time when you realize that this has become a habit, you can stop giving the rewards but give them the reward occasionally so that they keep sticking to their behavior.
- Apart from it, you can also make the game fun. Including a fun element always helps. Our dogs love to play. They are full of energy and playing is also very healthy for them. Running around keeps them healthy and free of diseases. You can throw away something and then ask your dog to bring it back to you.
- These two ways work for almost all the basic life skills that a dog needs to learn. Reward and fun. In human beings too, these two things make everything interesting.
- Not many dog parents know this, but you need to teach your dog to live alone for some time. Though dogs are not too comfortable living alone as they are dependent upon their human counterparts, the reality is that having company is not always possible.
- There will be times when you won’t be able to be with them for a few hours. If they do not learn to be comfortable alone for a few hours, they will show weird separation behavior which will be hard to handle once they become all grown up.
- You can start with a few minutes. Leave them alone for a few minutes and give them rewards when you see them. Leave them with a few of their favorite toys to make it fun.
- You need to teach them not to disturb you while you are having a coffee or reading or busy doing some work and things. Sometimes, when you have friends over, dogs can not digest the fact that attention is being diverted from them. So while they are young, make it a habit to have people over. Invite your friends, family, and children to your house.
- This will help as your dog will now know that he/she is not supposed to be hostile towards the people he/she doesn’t know. This trains them toward social life. This way they will learn how they are supposed to be calm and what behavior is expected from them towards people they don’t know.
- Try to invite people who have pets to your home along with their pets. This will teach your dog to be accommodative towards other pets.
- There are plenty of other skills that dogs need to learn. For eg- Urinating at a particular place, defecating in the open, not chewing clothes and shoes, not scratching walls and furniture, etc.
- These all can be taught to your little pup but there is only one single approach. Make it fun and reward them. With dogs, there is no other way as we don’t share a language. However, what we do share is love for each other. Use that love and affection in their holistic growth.
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One Approach Doesn’t Fit All
Just like humans, one approach doesn’t fit all in the case of dogs too. Different breeds have different responses to various problems. Dogs inherit their skill sets from their ancestors. They have a few inbuilt characteristics too. The selective breeding of dogs has been going on for thousands of years.
This has resulted in dogs becoming one of the most diverse species on the planet. Nothing can be predicted when it comes to a particular breed. They differ in shape, size, appearance, behavior, etc. Even two dogs of the same breed are not the same. We can not predict what parental feature dominates in the offspring.
What Works for Your Dog?
Dogs who are mixed show mixed features. You never know which of the parent breed will dominate in the offspring. To know what works better for your dog, you need to give some time to your dog and yourself.
- See what makes them happy and what they agree to do instantly. These observations are going to help you in making a customized strategy for your dog.
- Spend more and more time with your little pup, you will know each other better and understand each other’s needs. This in itself is training as you won’t do anything that would hurt either of you.
Employing Their Natural Instincts
Dogs are made in a way that they like to chase other animals, like cats, rats, etc. Their instinct is to hunt. But, this can be a problem for a pet as they might have frequent encounters with cats and other animals. For this, you can use their chasing habit to train them.
Make them chase toys or make them chase you. Play with them, and reward them when they perform well to encourage them.
It is a well-known fact that dogs’ sensing capabilities are much more than humans. They can smell things far better than we do.
You can train them to put good use to their smell trait. Make them smell different scents, hide them later and give them a task to find the scent. If they find it successfully, pamper them and give them rewards.
Help from Professionals
If the training and teaching look overwhelming to you, we suggest taking some professional help initially.
There are dog training schools everywhere, however, they can be a little costly. You can always go for freelancers though.
There are people who do dog training and things on their own rather than associating with a professional school. They do not charge much.
The best part is they make training fun and enjoyable. This way your dog would learn faster and would not resist the training.
If you are going this professional way, go for a trainer who is knowledgeable, has good expertise, and has proper qualifications and certifications for the same.
When it comes to dog training, the often overlooked concept is the training of the human counterparts. Know this thing that humans need training too regarding how they need to behave and treat their dogs.
Join a training program yourself. Human training is easier and doesn’t take much time but is essential.
It is the responsibility of a dog parent to ensure that their dog undergoes proper training and learns essential skills to live a healthy and fulfilled life.
If we can’t do it ourselves, we must take external help. But before deciding upon becoming a dog parent, know all about what it takes to be a dog parent.
Training is essential as an untrained dog can be a problem for society and it won’t be their mistake, but of the dog’s parents.
They are unaware of how this world works. It is our responsibility to make them a little trained so they live a happy life along with the people who live close to them.
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