If you’ve never trained a dog in your life, it may seem like an imposing job. Truth be told, there’s a lot to learn, so we won’t tell you can learn everything there is to know in a single article. BUT… You can learn the basic guiding principles that will help you to understand the whole training process, to know why it works and how it works. Here are the three core principles of dog training…
You absolutely need to be consistent in training your dog. You can’t do one thing one day and another thing the next. If you whack your dog on the nose when they steal your food from the table, you must always whack them on the nose for stealing people food. If you pet them for catching a Frisbee, you must always pet them for catching a Frisbee. They learn to respond to certain situations this way.
Reinforcement, Positive and Negative
Training a dog should really be equal parts positive and negative reinforcement. Don’t take it easy on them or neglect to reward them. You need both punishment and reward to raise a smart, emotionally healthy, obedient animal. Inconsistency, unbalanced training, they can both lead to the sort of dog we call a “spaz”. If you want a smart, obedient, sensible dog, keep the training consistent and balanced.
Love Your Dog
Don’t just devote all your time with them to training. If you’re only a disciplinarian, they might listen, but they’ll only be listening out of fear. If you take care of your dog, if you give them good food, play with them, scratch and pet them just for fun and to show affection, they’ll obey out of love, out of a want to make you happy, not merely out of being conditioned to listen.