I challenge all dog owners that read my blog or follow our Facebook to take the time to train and socialize your dogs, in a positive way!
Dog training is critical to good dog ownership, and we all know good dogs start with good owners. Training, especially positive training can become frustrating. It is key to choose a time when both you and are your dog are most relaxed and you have time available. It is also your job as a dog owner to make the time for your dog, why else do you own a dog if you won't spend time with them?
Positive training works by showing your dog positive reinforcement, you can use dog treats, toys, verbal praise, or positive affection. Positive training does not make use of punishment or dominance.The first thing you will want to do to train your dog using positive training is to determine what motivates them, ie. our pit bull Alex craves attention and I quickly learned that I did not need to set us up with treats that just with a pat on the head I could get him to do just about anything. Any type of training will require you to work slow and steady with your dog. You should choose 1 or 2 word commands to train your dog with. Good examples to start with are: sit, stay, lay, drop it, down, come, stand. Your next step will be to combine the reward with the command, timing is very important. If you tell your dog to sit you must tell them yes, good job and give them their reward immediately to reinforce the behavior. It is important to stay consistent with your commands and rewards, once the dog has mastered the command you can move away from the rewards;however, you should continue to tell them they have done right by saying yes or good job. The keys to training your dog using positive techniques is patience, timing, and consistency.
If you are unsure of yourself, your dog, or feel as though you are not seeing the progress you should seek out professional help. You should keep in mind that you are legally accountable in most locations for your dog's behavior and it is imperative to have a well trained dog. Help your dog become an ambassador for their breed!