Training Tips for a better behaved dog

1.   Walk a new route every day 

Don't do the same boring, mundane stuff every day.  Variety is the 'spice of life' so mix it up a bit. If it is boring for you it is boring for your dog.  The aim of the walk is to make it the highlight of your dogs day. Make if fun and interesting, look at the walk from your dog's point of view. 

2.  Do 5 x 1 minute Play and Training Sessions!

It's easy to set aside 5 minutes per day.  If you spread your training out over the day for a minute or 2 at a time it is going to be a lot more effective than training for 30 minutes at one time in the evening.  Your dog will really look forward to these extra short sessions and the extra attention they get from you. 

Make sure you are not tired and stressed when you train, if you are, your dog will sense this and not work as well as they could.  

3.  Focus on rewarding good behaviour rather than giving attention to the bad!
 
4.   Reward them for 'doing nothing'

It is not actually 'doing nothing', it is rewarding them for being 'relaxed and calm'.   Toss dry food onto their bed when they are relaxing (it helps them to learn that their bed is a good place to be).  It is exactly the behaviour that you actually want.   Reward them for walking quietly beside you.  Once again it is the behaviour that you want to encourage.

5.   'Train' don't complain!

Many dogs 'learn' bad behaviours because they get attention for them.  Think about your dog jumping up on you, if you push them away, you have just rewarded them with your attention.  Make sure you reward your dog for behaviours that ou like (eg sitting in front of you rather than jumping up) and try to ignore behaviours that you don't like.  It will be much more effective and will help develop a good relationship between you and your dog.

Train your dog to do other behaviours to the ones that you don't like. For example if your dog chews shoes, maybe encourage them to chew on a Kong or similar toy by putting some tasty treats in it. 

6.   Positive training builds a positive relationship with your dog

As they say,  dogs are 'Man's Best Friend'

7.  Play games with your dog

A fun leader is one that the dog will want to follow and hang around with.  Short games of fetch or tug can provide a reward for good behaviour and an outlet for energy.  Keeping it short and starting and finishing the game with calm teaches the dog to kepis excitement level in cheek. Use special treats so that your dog will give you the tug so that the game can continue.  

8. Give nothing for free

Always ask your dog to sit, look at you and wait for your ok before they are allowed a life reward. This might be politely waiting for you to put on their lead before a walk or waiting quietly to exit the house or car. Ask for a sit before inviting them on to the couch with you or before greeting another dog when out on a walk.   

9.  Throw away your dog's food bowl!

Replace with food enrichment toys or use your dog's meal as training treats.  Think of all that food that can be used to reward good behaviours!  Especially useful if your dog finishes a whole meal in seconds without even tasting it.