Wildebeest's Guide To Successful Dog TrainingFeb | 01 | 2019
Whether you’re bringing a new puppy home soon or are ready to brush up on your older dog’s skills, training can feel like a big undertaking. Implementing a training regimen is a great way to bond with your beest and promote good behaviors for the rest of their lives, but it’s hard to get going if you don’t know where to start! With a little bit of patience, some quick tips, and a lot of treats, you’ll have beest behaving in no time.
Start with small steps
You can’t run before you can walk, and you definitely can’t teach roll over before you teach down! Instead of jumping into a new trick all at once, break it up into increments to guide your pup to the behavior you’re looking for. By doing this, you’re breaking complex tricks into bite-sized pieces that pup can more easily understand — and you’ll be able to hone in on the behavior you’re looking for without accidentally reinforcing something you’re not!
Work at your dog’s pace
Every doggo is different — some prefer doing longer training sessions while others will work better with frequent, quick bursts. Do a few sessions of varying length and frequency to determine what works best for your unique beest, so you can get in a routine that works for you both.
Try a variety of treats
While most pups are grateful for anything that they can get their noses on, treats that they consider more enticing can help motivate them in the right direction. Mixing it up with a variety of treats from the pet store, dog-safe human food, and their regular kibble will keep them extra excited for what they’ll get to snack on next.
Consider a clicker
While your pup will be over-the-moon to get a “good dog” out of you, clicker training provides an even more targeted approach. When you first start out, your dog learns to associate the clicker with a reward — eventually making the clicker a reward on its own! This provides a sound that’s distinct to doing the right thing, allowing them to know exactly why they’re receiving reinforcement.
Begin with a lure
When trying to communicate what you want from beest, starting with a lure is a great way to point them in the right direction — especially for tricks that require a lot of movement! This is how the pawrents behind the IG-famous @kiba.aussie taught Kiba to weave through their legs:
“First, start with a lure and use your clicker every time they do what you ask (in the case of ‘weave’, moving through the legs). Then, we move to using our fingers as the lure so Kiba will touch our hand. From there we get in position and maybe start with one finger lure so he can put it all together! Over time and with lots of practice, it will click.”
When it comes to helping your pup learn, consistency and repetition will strengthen the behaviors you’re asking for. Whether you make it a routine to have a quick training session first thing in the morning, before meals, or both, keeping a consistent schedule will get pup in the working mindset and help reinforce their fun new tricks!
Reward often and quickly
When it comes to training, positive reinforcement keeps your pup motivated and excited to learn, but it’s important to reward them for the right actions at the right times. Using a clicker or verbal reward paired with keeping treats close by will help you catch and reward those perfect moments right when they happen (our Alamo Treat Pouch is perfect for this!).
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