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Simple yet Powerful Principles for Dog Obedience Training

Dog owners should not take obedience training lightly. It not only serves as a channel for communication to allow both owner and dog to have better understanding of each other, it also helps to build bonds between them. Obedience training will also allow you to have a better and more fulfilling relationship with your dog.

Ideally, you should start to train and correct undesirable behaviors as early as possible when your dog is 8 to10 weeks old. This is the period where they learn best and is a vital time for influencing your dog's future behavior. It's always easier to train a young puppy than an older dog. Nevertheless, it's still possible to train older dogs, you just have to correct his bad habits first and then teach him the proper ones.

There are many incidents where owners abandon their dogs at shelters because they cannot understand what their dog is up to. The dogs display annoying behavior such as barking, chewing and defecating all over the place and in worse cases, show aggressive behavior towards the owners.

These incidents can be avoided if obedience training is implemented. Most obedience training is used to create a groundwork from which the dog and his master will learn how to effectively correspond to each other.

In addition, obedience training is also an alternative dog owners can turn to when their dogs are behaving badly. It is one way of incorporating discipline in the dog's behavior. Obedience training makes the dog realize that certain behaviors are not allowed and that he should not act that way. Done correctly, obedience training can regulate your dog's behavior and he will be able to respond properly with the right behavior that is expected of him.

Many dog owners wonder if it would be better to let professionals handle their dog's obedience training. In most cases, it can be much easier to have a professional trainer or an obedience school to teach both owner and his dog the proper way to follow a command. However, if the dog owner feels he can follow simple instructions and do just the same, then, there is no special need for a professional trainer. A helpful dog training guide is generally more than enough.

No matter where you choose to train your dog, at home or in a school, there are some universal dog training principles that never change and all dog owners should follow them strictly:

1. Fun and Reward - Effective obedience training is not about imposing strict rules and punishments. This is because the dog is not aware of the reasons why he should obey the commands. Therefore, for him to respond to the commands, the training must be done in such a way that the dog sees the activity as something that is fun.

The dog will be able to respond positively if he sees that whenever he follows what he is asked to do, he gets rewards or praises, and that is fun for them.

2. Consistency - It is important to have consistency in the course of training especially when correcting unwanted behaviors. Always use the same "command" for a specific task you require of your dog. Don't confuse him by using different commands for the same task.

The minute you set the house rules for your dog, like keeping the bed or bed room out of bounds, stick to them constantly. Should your dog think that he can be excused when he breaks rules occasionally, all your hard work will go to waste.

Simple routines and precedents like this should not be taken for granted. It is extremely important to teach the dog what he can and cannot do and stick to it consistently. Confusion will only make matters worse. Lastly, make sure everyone in the family accepts and enforce your rules consistently.

3. Timing - Timing is critical to successful training. Praise your dog whenever he is doing something right. Giving him a small treat he likes will work wonders for most dogs.

On the other hand, do reprimand him on the spot whenever he misbehaves or fails to respond to your command. Delayed reprimands and praises will have no effect after the teachable moment has passed.

There are 2 main approaches when it comes to correcting your dog's undesirable behaviors. The first approach is the "Direct Approach". It simply requires you to reprimand your dog on the spot whenever he misbehaves chewing, barking, digging and biting. This is a more tangible and straight forward approach to training your dog and is easy to understand for most trainers.

The second one is the "Endurance Approach" as it'll require you to ignore your dog when he misbehaves. Using the cause and effect to your advantage, this approach requires you to ignore the dog, especially when he behaves in a certain manner to seek attention.

This approach requires you to pay attention to your dog only when he's a good boy. The reason for this method is that dogs love attention and are hugely motivated by it. Unlike man, dogs do not know how to differentiate between positive and negative attention. They see things in a simple way. If a certain action gets reaction and attention, you'll bet they repeat it over and over again - cause and effect.

Sorry to say, most dog owners tend to give negative attention to our dogs. For example: Do you let him out of his crate when he groans or do you give him more attention when he jumps onto you excitedly whenever you comes home? These are considered negative attention and acts to motivate him in continuing his bad behavior.

Fortunately, the opposite is true if you pay enough attention to your dog when he behaves himself. Once the dog understands that he'll get attention only when he's behaving, he'll learn that only good behavior attracts attention and he'll repeat his good behavior always.

What you should do is to focus your attention on your dog only when he is behaving; praise him or give him a treat, let him know that he's getting the attention. If this technique is used correctly, he'll be a well-behaved dog for a long time to come.

4. Training Session - You need to be in the correct frame of mind before you train your dog. Don't train your dog when you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs or if you've had a bad day and not in the best of moods.

It's recommended to locate and train at a place where there is little distraction around him so that he can concentrate on training. You should start your training slowly especially with young puppies. Avoid training a pup for more than 5 minutes and older dogs' training should not last for more than 15 minutes. They will not have the mental stamina to concentrate on training. It's always good to take breaks in between training session.

You should learn to set up the training session to your advantage. The best time to train a dog is when he is hungry; he will be mentally more alert and response better to treat rewards.

Dog obedience training is not rocket science, once you get the basics right, it will come naturally to you. Every dog owner has the right to own, live and enjoy the company of an obedience dog - Start to train your dog today.

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About The Author: Moses Wright is a dog lover and owner of Dog Obedience Training site. He loves to help dog owners with their dog problems and do so by consolidating his years of dog ownership experience into a free book filled with simple yet powerful dog training tips: Free Dog Problems Book

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