As a Dog Peer, you have to remember that training is a lifelong process whether you just brought a puppy home or adopted a shelter dog. It is important that you personally handle the training to prepare your dog for a lifetime of good behavior. It will not be easy but it will be worth your while.
To start, here’s how to prepare your dog for training:
When hand feeding
If you just brought home a puppy, you can start training immediately through hand feeding. The most common training technique is the reward principle. This means rewarding the dog with regular dog food (usually hand fed) and praise. Note that hand feeding has negative and positive effects. It is crucial that you understand these effects before starting the training.
If you are training an older or large dog, hand feeding will be a challenge because they tend to “wolf down” on their food. This may result in biting off your hand by accident. Trainers are recommending that you feed the dog few pellets at a time by dropping it in his pan. It will take between ten to thirty minutes to feed a cup but it will be good for the dog.
Another essential component of dog training is socialisation, which involves petting and daily grooming of the dog. If you have timid dogs, petting and grooming are highly important. For most dogs, ten to thirty minutes of petting and grooming should be enough. As you go through this every day, the dog will tolerate it and will less likely to perceive it as a threat.
The next step is to get other people to pet the dog. If you are not sure of the dog’s reaction, you can use a short leash. Brief the person not to approach the dog if he is growling or barking. It is always better to let the dog approach the person first. After “inspection”, put the dog in a seated position and let the person pet him.
When exposing to new environments
It is better to expose the dogs to new environments as early as possible. These new environments should be safe. Environments include urban areas, wilderness areas, vehicles and aspects in your house.
When having problems
It is not a good idea to punish a dog. You should advocate compliance, which means you rather force the dog to conform instead of punishing. As an owner, you have to understand that a Dog Peer can be expected to do different things like dig, bark, chase, and many more.
When dealing with problems, you should first see if there is a reasonable way to get rid of the behavior without training. For example, if the dog gets into the trash, it is easier to keep it locked. If it can’t be helped, you can deal with punishment. A punishment can be administered using a standard leash and collar. It should be administered at the exact time when the problem occurs – not a second later.
Basically, one effective training method is reward through food and praise. The trick here is to get the dog to perform on his own. When the dog completes the desired action, do not forget to give a “good boy”, pat on the head and then food.