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All The Help You Can Get To Train Your Dog

No-one is about to claim that training a dog is an easy thing to do. Dogs are animals with personalities, and whether or not those personalities are amenable to training, they will present different challenges with each different dog. It cannot be denied that some are easier to train than others, but no dog is untrainable. It is simply the case that some dogs need to be given more of a chance than others to pick up what their master wants them to learn. After all, humans are the same – if you got straight As in your freshman year of high school, congratulations, but you are in a minority.

So it makes sense that there is help that can be found to improve the behavior of a dog you are finding hard to train. As ordinary “civilians” when it comes to the overall behavioral patterns of a pet dog, it goes without saying that we will not magically have access to the “button” inside a dog’s mind that makes it behave well, perform tricks or anything else you want it to do. There are professionals who have written books and made DVDs showing helpful tips and hints, and a wealth of websites which do the same.

You may even take your dog to a trainer who will be able to identify ways to get it behaving the way you would like. The expense of doing this makes it something that you may not want to do too regularly, but if all else fails it can be beneficial to you and to your dog.


You Reap What You Sow

Dogs in general have a tendency to follow their instincts and their influences. Canine behavior is something that has given countless experts reason to write countless books, and as far and wide as you go you are unlikely to find an expert who advocates an aggressive manner of dog training.

The reason for this is that dogs absorb what they are taught very quickly, and behaving aggressively towards a dog will influence it to behave in an equally aggressive manner. Deep down in every dog, there is the instinct of a wolf – because that is what they have descended from.

Now, if you find a wolf in the wild and take an aggressive posture towards it, the wolf will not back down. It is likely to go for your throat and not stop until either you or it are incapacitated. Although domestic dogs have lost something of that instinct and ferocity, there is buried deep down a tendency to react with aggression when it is backed into a corner by an owner – if you strike a dog, it may back down. If you repeatedly strike it, it will react as any animal under threat – and it will hurt you.

Give a dog fun, exercise and affection and it will reciprocate in the most wonderful way. Its instinct is to form a bond with its owner and do anything it can to please them. Use this instinct to your advantage, and watch your dog blossom into someone you can be proud of, rather than a wolf with slightly blunted teeth and instincts.


A Happy Dog Is A Well-Behaved Dog

In our society, there is a tendency to have a political response to most things. Many people are of the opinion that criminals transgress due to an unhappy home life or a poor upbringing. Comfort and discomfort are a major part of the influence that affects a person’s life, whether you are of the opinion that some people are “just bad” or otherwise. By the same token, dogs are liable to react to their circumstances, and it is well-known that a more content dog will behave in a more respectful manner.

When it comes to training a dog, you will get results if you motivate by fear. However, these results may not be satisfactory to you because although the dog will respond to commands, it will do so tentatively, conscious as it is of the fact that getting it wrong will lead to punishment. If a dog is trained in a happy atmosphere with an owner who is prone to reward good behavior, then it will react to the correct stimuli in the correct way. It will behave in a way which makes you feel proud, rather than simply satisfied.

If you have concerns about being too “soft” with your dog, simply remember that a dog will react in kind to the way it is treated. If you let it be lazy, then it will take the opportunity – simply because that is what it knows. If you encourage activity, however, it will reward you with the behavior that you want from it.


Tools Of The Trade

A dog will respond to training, if the person training it has the knowledge and perseverance to make it happen. This kind of perseverance can be hard to come by, and it can be difficult to be patient. There is a lot of training that can be done simply by what nature has furnished us with, such as our voice and our hands. However, to make the job easier there are numerous tools that we can buy. Dogs are, deep down, obedient animals by nature – but it is a matter of what they obey, and finding this can be a process of trial and error.

Dogs are known to respond to what their ears tell them. They are well known for having an excellent sense of hearing in combination with their excellent sense of smell. This means that certain noises which are insignificant to humans will draw a reaction from a dog.

Many trainers find that, where all else fails, it can be beneficial to use a whistle or a clicker. If a dog is misbehaving, making a short, sharp noise will get its attention like nothing else. Sometimes the wrong noise can hurt a dog’s ears – so you should research the product that you are buying to ensure that it is humane.

Other tools can play on the other senses that a dog has. Although dogs cannot see as clearly as humans, they are responsive to motion. Holding one of the dog’s toys to teach it to show restraint can be very beneficial in this respect.


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“I’m Not Sure I Like Your Tone”

Training a dog is a practice which makes big demands on an owner. There is a lot of effort involved in ensuring that a dog behaves well, and each person will have their own views on which methods are the most effective and efficient. What is certain is that each dog will react in its own way to different stimuli. One of the most effective tools in keeping a dog on its best behavior is the human voice – make sure your dog gets used to the sound of yours, because this is how you will get the best out of it.

As humans, we are used to recognizing the tone of each others voices. We have become so good at this that we almost don’t need to hear a person’s words in order to know what they are saying. A warning tone, a praising tone, a cheerful tone” each is recognizably different to us, and it will be recognizable to your dog too. In this respect, you can teach your dog well by allowing it to recognize what you are saying, without having to teach it a command.

Speaking in the correct tone need not even take practice. Usually, your emotions take control of your tone of voice, and skilled liars have to work to keep their tone even – so allowing your genuine tone to come through should be simple. The dog will come to recognize the cadence of what you say as much as the actual command – and it will be this that they come to associate with good and bad behaviors and their consequences.


What Is Problem Behavior?

Many dog owners at one time or another become frustrated with their dog due to its behavior. There may be many reasons for this. It could be that the dog is destroying things through constant scratching and gnawing, or that it is going to the toilet in the house. It may be that it is violent, or threatening, to other dogs and pets or to humans. In any case where a dog’s behavior is giving you reason for concern, you should always be ready to intercede and find a way to stop the behavior becoming a long-term problem.

Problem behavior in dogs is something that can make an owner feel very pressured. We all love our pets, and when they misbehave all that we want is for them to understand that it upsets us. We really would prefer that they would behave themselves all the time, but if they are going to step over the line occasionally we would at least hope that they desist the first time we request it. If they continue it, this is when it becomes “problem behavior“. This is something that we all want to avoid.

If problem behavior becomes a major issue for you with your pet, you should sit down and consider why it is happening. Is your dog getting the right amount and kind of exercise? Does it get enough human interaction? Is there something in its diet which might be causing it to behave in a strange way? All of these issues need to be considered, as that allows us to address problem behavior.


Spoiling Your Dog – How Far Is Too Far?

Most pet owners will confess, if asked, to the fact that they do spoil their pet in terms of treats, feeding and cuddles. There is certainly no shame in this admission, in fact most of us would agree that it gets right to the heart of the matter – spoiling pets is half the reason for having them in the first place. Of course, this refers to “spoiling” in the sense that your pet is given treats regularly and made a fuss of. Sometimes spoiling can go too far, and lead to another kind of spoiling altogether.

A dog will respond to treats in exactly the way you wish it to, as long as you stick to the straight and narrow with how you distribute treats. If you hand it a treat every hour or more, it will simply see this as standard behavior. Its own behavior will become fairly lazy and it will have little incentive to display the behavior you had come to hope for. Treats can be given just for the sake of it, but they cease to be “treats” in any real sense once they become the norm.

You should keep a keen eye on how frequently you give your dog a doggy-chew or a bit of food unbidden. These treats can play a major part in how you train your dog, and if a morsel of food is just another bite to eat in a long day of eating and relaxing, it will grow lazy and not bother much with tricks and behavior, which is a shame for all concerned.


It’s A Dog’s Life

There is a phrase used by people who have little in their lives but their work and commitments at home, with little scope for fun. “It’s a dog’s life“, people will sometimes mutter when the stream of demands on their time simply will not stop. They mean that it is tiring, unrewarding and punishing. And yet, if you look at the average dog, their life seems pretty sweet in comparison. Think about this; would you swap places with your dog? Most of us would probably say “yes”.

However there is, it must be said, something in that well-worn phrase which chimes with the dog-owners among us. A dog, after all, is rarely given the freedom to do absolutely what it wants. If a human being had to lead a dog’s life, the chances are that we wouldn’t do all that well at it. As humans, we can go and get a snack when we feel like it, our toilet is convenient and hygienic, and we can ask for things and be instantly understood. For a dog, things are generally at the mercy of their owners.

When you are training your dog, then, it is wise to cut it some slack. As far as it is concerned, you are exhibiting some very strange behavior that it will not understand initially, and if it is slow to respond then this can be understood. It is not a stupid dog for getting things wrong. In fact, by paying attention to you it is being very obedient.


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You Don’t Have To Be Cruel To Be Kind

There is a very commonly used phrase that most of us have heard and many have used, which goes as follows: “You have to be cruel to be kind“. Others among us will look at that phrase, or hear it said, and point out the inherent flaw in it. You do not have to be cruel to be kind. You have to be cruel to be cruel, and kind to be kind. In actual fact, cruelty and kindness are very rarely mutually applicable. Getting that straight will sort out a lot of problems, in life and in dog training.

Now, certainly, there are times when you will need to be stern with your dog. Sometimes it will exhibit behaviors that you would really rather it did not. Some owners will tend towards the cruel side of things when punishing these behaviors, often punishing their dog with a physical blow. It should be recognized that punishing a dog consistently with physical reprimands will lead simply to either a hostile dog who will lash out without warning, or a lifeless dog which is scared to do anything for fear of reprisal.

There will be times when you need to reprimand your dog physically. A quick tap can often suffice when it is behaving in a threatening manner without good reason. Restraining it by the collar when it goes to attack a person or another animal is fine. But by beating your dog, all you are doing is removing the essential element of all pet-owner relationships – friendship.


The Benefits Of Doing It Yourself

There are people, many of them, who make a living from training dogs. They will take your dog for a period of time each week and teach it commands, behaviors and tricks that will make you clasp your hands in joy, and yet the thing about this is that most people don’t want to do things that way. As much fun as it may be to inherit a dog who will behave like you”â„¢d always dreamed a dog could behave, it takes away something that should be there between humans and dogs – the connection that makes humans and dogs such great partners in crime (metaphorically).

It takes longer to train a dog if you have no experience of doing it, and this is why many people are prepared to part with hard-earned cash to allow a professional to train their pet. For some of us, this kind of expense is prohibitive, and for others it may be more than affordable but a needless waste. We want to train our dogs, ourselves, because they are ours. Where is the fun in leaving it to someone else?

There is also the fact that in training your dog, you build a bond with it. many dogs will react strongly to their mastersӉ㢠voice, while not paying heed to the same commands from others. Although a professional dog trainer will take every care to ensure that your dog learns the command and not the voice, there is undeniably something important about being the one from whom your dog learns to sit, stay and roll over. It is the all-important connection.