9 tips for easier pet teaching

Teaching our dogs to do something on cue is so rewarding, especially when they get it right. But, before you start, there are a few things that you, as the owner, should know and understand. Don’t expect your dog to immediately understand what you want from him. You need to stay patient and first teach him step-by-step what the cue means. Once you get it right, it will be rewarding for both of you.

1. No scolding, please

Your dog might react to something you say, but he still doesn’t understand human language. Keep in mind that dogs read a human’s body language. A string of words has no meaning to him. Therefore, if you scold him, he doesn’t know what you’re saying. He knows that you are angry by looking at your body language, but he doesn’t know why.

2. Patience is key

Before you even get a dog, understand that you will need patience to teach him everything he needs to know. If your dog is tired, hungry or not feeling well, he will most probably not be at his best, and you will have to end your training session. Tomorrow is another day, after all. You might cause more damage by expecting him to perform when he isn’t in the mood. The same is true for you – rather wait and train your dog another time if you are having a bad day.

3. Positive reinforcement

You will achieve more with your dog by using reward-based methods. Every time your dog does something that you want him to do, give him a treat immediately. Be ready with the treats, as you have to be quick and feed him the treat the moment he does something well. This way, he will create an association between the action and the reward.

4. Treat size

The treat can be anything healthy that your dog loves. You can use shop-bought treats, small pieces of cooked chicken or very small pieces of cheese. The treat should ideally be soft (especially when he is still a puppy) and not bigger than a pinkie nail. Ideally, your dog should be able to chew it once, twice at most, and then swallow. Remember to add the calorie value of the treats to your dog’s total nutritional allowance for the day.

 

Would you like to read the rest of this interesting article? Get the September/October 2023 edition of Animaltalk magazine now from retailers or order a digital or printed copy from www.coolmags.co.za.

 

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