The most important thing is to be patient, is a physical skill that takes many years of practice and repetition. The fist basic thing you need to know is that breaking things down into component steps within a training session is very beneficial. If you can break training down into aspects that can be easily achieved you and your dog will have a much greater sense of achievement and will leave you both excited for the next session. In this article I will go over a few things that have worked well for me and have also been noted by many dog trainers across the country.
The first one is to keep a notebook to record the training sessions and the results. This will keep you on track and also let you go back and look over what you might have to work on some more. Trust me, this is a real life saver, because trying to remember what you have done and the progress you have made is nearly impossible without this tool.
The next trick is very important and I can speak from experience because I have trained a pet with this tool and without this tool. Map out your plan for each training session, by doing this you can maintain the instead of stopping and in the middle and trying to figure out your next move. If you continue to start and stop your dog will lose focus and you will probably need to start over from the beginning of the session.
I always liked to time my sessions to stay consistent, I once read that dog training is all about consistency so this was one of the things I tried. I always read that five minutes was a good training session time but I never felt that I got much good out of just five minutes. I would set my timer for fifteen minutes and start the session, if I got done with what needed to be done we would work on past sessions for the remainder of the time. This worked out well for me because I felt that we could get some good new work in but also review the past sessions.
The last step I really tried to stick with was to add distractions once my dog was getting the hang of a certain command or trick. If I felt the dog was getting board I would have someone ring the doorbell or have someone walk through the area we were training in. Keeping focused when it’s just the two of you but when your dog is all attention with a distraction, you know they are ready for the real world. The main thing is to keep your dog excited and focused on the session itself, if you get distracted your dog will get distracted as well.
These are obviously just a few tricks I learned when I was first training my dog. By no means am I a or even a good dog trainer but these steps helped me get through it and helped my dog and I enjoy the process. My biggest hurdle in training my dog was to get the old myths of dog training out of my head and really open my mind what the experts told me. Don’t be foolish and think you can do this successfully without a little help, ask questions, it will help. For all you beginner dog trainers out there, good luck.