How do I make my dog obedient?

How to train and certify a dog

Pets, especially dogs, become members of our families, hence why the terms “dog mom” or “dog dad” have become socially acceptable.  There is no doubt that the paws of our furry companions leave their lasting marks on our hearts. Nevertheless, they still need to gain an understanding of how to act as members of the family. Specialized K9 Services is often asked, “How do I make my dog obedient?” So, today we want to share some tips with you and your four-legged friend!

Reasons Your Dog May Need Obedience Training

Here are some examples of when your dog may need obedience training:

  • If your dog is reactive to other dogs and people.
  • If your dog jumps up and terrorizes the neighbors.
  • They pull on their leash while walking.
  • Destructive behaviors, such as chewing or destroying things.
  • Show aggression and defense behaviors around their food.
  • Your pet has not yet learned to go potty outside.

Or any other behaviors that you feel need to be addressed with your pet.

Best Practices for Making Your Dog Obedient

When it comes to training your four-legged friends, understand that they learn best through the consequences of their behavior. We know and embrace that there are varying opinions on how best to teach your dog, but we feel the best way to gain results is primarily through positive reinforcement.

In other words, reward good behavior! If you focus on rewarding good behavior, your pet will be less likely to fear others but still, learn how to obey the rules.

If you have fun together, and appropriately reward your dog for the good stuff they do, with what THEY find to be of high value (treats, verbal praises, petting, toys, walks, etc.), you build a stronger bond with your dog.  When you build a powerful relationship with your dog and let them know they are doing the right things, they will repeat the appropriate behaviors to keep working for you.

Furthermore, realize that what you deem as negative actions are your dog’s way of trying to communicate with you. For example, when you get home if your dog jumps on you, he/she is excited and wants your attention. If you reinforce this behavior by petting them and loving on them at that time, they will continue with what they are doing because it works, they got your attention and focus, even by doing something you don’t like or don’t want them to do to other people. Instead, tell them no, make them keep all 4 feet on the floor and calm down, then once calm, give them attention and praise the calmer state of mind.

Specialized K9 Services does not condone using violence to train your pet. We believe that overall, the best practice is to use positive reinforcement to show them the right way to behave, but sometimes we do need to provide guidance and tell our dogs NO but teach them what to do instead of the unacceptable behavior.  Yes, life is full of consequences, but let’s guide our dogs down the path of good, acceptable behaviors so they can be included in our lives.

Tips on Making Your Dog Obedient at Home

If you choose to work with your pet at home, you have the benefit of their natural environment. Even when you take your dog to a professional trainer, such as us, it is essential to continue training at home. That is why we require owners to participate in training, so they also learn what their dogs are learning and can implement the work at home as well.

Here are some tips we suggest being successful in training your dog to be a good member of the household.

Be Consistent, your pet needs you to be consistent in what you are teaching them and how. If you attempt to teach them a skill and use different techniques, they will just become confused. Train them the same way every time to ensure good results.  Repetition with consistency is the key to making changes that stick with your dog.

Be Immediate, dogs are not like humans and cannot contemplate bad behaviors hours or even moments later. Therefore, if they do something wrong, you will need to correct them immediately for them to understand. That is why punishing your dog if they potty in the house before you get home does not work. They simply cannot comprehend what you are trying to correct in them.  Dogs live in the moment and your timing is critical, for both praise and corrections.

Be Clear, when training your dog use simple commands. Our language is foreign to them, so simple commands such as sit, heel, etc. are best. If you use a lot of words, you confuse your dog.

Be Patient, like humans, dogs learn at different speeds, so be patient with them. Obedience training is not an overnight solution, it’s often a lifestyle change. Also, focus on teaching one skill at a time and make sure your pup masters that skill before moving on to the next. If they are struggling, you may have progressed too quickly.  Take the time to go back to a previous skill they know, give them the positive reinforcement they need to master that skill before advancing.

Seek Help

Our dogs should not add to the stress and chaos in our lives.  If all else fails or if you do not have the time and patience needed, seek professional help. Specialized K9 Services at Woof in the Woods has been working with owners and their pets for many years. We are certified professionals and can address any behavior in your four-legged pal to make them a valuable, well-behaved member of the family that we are proud of. To learn more about our services and mission, contact us today!

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