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These pro dog training tips were learned the hard way. After breaking my arm, Hank went to boarding ‘school’. Below you’ll find the best tips we learned.
I wrote this guide on how to survive a puppy a few months ago. I felt pretty good about myself and our life with puppy. Yeah, until the very next day, while walking the pup, Hank went bonkers and I fell over him breaking my arm and damaging my knee. It was a humble moment.
But there is a silver lining. It took me awhile to see it, but it’s there. Because of that incident, our dog got trained. Like for real training. Not “my husband is 4H certified in dog training” training, but “send him off for a few weeks with a guy that trains dogs for a living” training.
There’s a big difference.
Hank has been home for a few weeks now, and we’re all still on the learning curve. The family is learning how to train him properly, and Hank is refining his social skills.
And while I’ve learned my lesson in acting like I know something about dog training, I did want to pass on a few tips that I’ve learned (the hard way) from our dog trainer.
Pro Dog Training Tip #1: Reward Good Behavior
There’s nothing better than seeing his tail wag after Hank knows he’s done something correctly. Rewarding your pup for success is one of the best things about having a dog. Give lots of praise and plenty of treats, especially in the early stages of any training program.
Hank loves Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® treats which are made from real recipes and ingredients like real meat or fish, and no poultry by-product meal or fillers.
Pro Dog Training Tip #2: Manage the Negative Behavior
There are so many theories on how to do this. Some trainers ignore bad behavior. Some use education collars, and others recommend crating. I’m not going to get into that hornet nest of potential drama. Instead, you do you. But keep in mind what you are comfortable with and stay consistent when you need to manage scenarios like digging, chewing and pulling on the leash.
Pro Dog Training Tip #3: Use One Word Commands
Use one word commands and don’t mix them up. Through our trainer we learned that you don’t have to say “down,” if he jumps on someone when they come in the house. Instead, “place” fixes everything. It removes him from the front door and the guest, and sends him off to his bed until we release him.
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Same for “drop it!” If he’s chewing on a forbidden item, “place” or “come” takes the fun out of him playing come-and-get-me with a sock. Don’t forget to give him a treat for good behavior!
Pro Dog Training Tip #4: Set Realistic (and Reasonable Goals)
Do you need your dog to do parlor tricks? While fun, we realized we’d rather focus our energies on things we need. Like not pooping in the house or breaking your arm on a walk. If your dog is super eager to please, you may find the tricks fun to learn. But cover the basics first.
Pro Dog Training Tip #5: Get a “Place” and a Crate
A big part of our training involved teaching Hank to stay calm when mayhem surrounds him. This involved teaching (and rewarding) him to stay in a designated area where he could feel part of the crowd but yet keeps him separated from the activity. We call a dog bed in front of the fireplace his “place.”
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Pro Dog Training Tip #6: Provide Mental Stimulation
When we’re working on leash behavior, he gets tired quickly! He’s busy thinking about expectations and being a good boy. I also love giving him puzzle treat dispensers for mental stimulation with a treat reward. It’s hard to watch him play without smiling.
Fetch really wears a guy out. Both guys. 😉
About Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® products
Feel good about your Nutrish® purchase! A portion of proceeds from each sale of Nutrish is donated to The Rachael Ray Foundation™, which helps animals in need. Through December 2017, more than $23.5 million dollars have been donated to animal charities and other organizations that do good for animals.