Dog Training Tips
Dog owners face a series of common challenges when it comes to training a dog. Your dog may find some aspects of training particularly difficult. Everyone who owns a dog understands some of the main hurdles you have to overcome and common behavioural problems that can arise.
There are you with some of the challenges you are facing. Helpful training aids can speed up the learning process and enable you to train your dog effectively. Not all equipment works for every dog, so it’s important to keep an open mind and try new products. Here are some common dog training challenges and some equipment that could enhance your training.
Recall is a very important skill for your pup to master. Some breeds such as huskies and sighthounds are not particularly receptive to recall training, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible. If you get a rescue dog then you might have to start recall training from scratch. Be patient, the bond with your new pooch is just as important as the training.
One of the best training aids for recall is a long lead or training lead. This is simply a longer lead than standard leads, normally around 10 metres long. Training leads allow your dog to have a bit more freedom. You just need to train your dog to come back to you on the long lead using treats or toys. Once you are confident they will come back to you then you can consider letting them off in an enclosed area. If you don’t want to shout all the time then consider using a whistle as your dogs signal to return to you. Whistles are commonly used in gun dog training and they are particularly good for distance, consistency and emergency recall.
Some dog owners struggle with putting their dog to bed. This is part of puppy training and a lot of rescue dogs need to settle into a nighttime routine in their new home. Crate training can help with this challenge. Your dog can sleep wherever you want it to, but it’s good to have a defined space for them to go to and that’s where crates come in.
Crates should be a safe haven for your dog where they can rest and have their own space. Make sure you get some cosy bedding for your dog so that they are comfortable. Place the crate in an appropriate area and allow your dog to go there when they wish. This gets them used to their own company and it encourages them to keep their bedding area clean. Then you can send them into their crate or bed at nighttime and enjoy a quiet night's sleep. If you don’t want your dog to sleep in your room then don’t allow it, doing it once can undo all the good training you have done.
Pulling on the lead
This is a frustrating problem that requires a lot of practice and patience. One piece of equipment that can help with loose lead training is a head harness or head collar. These collars go around the dog's muzzle and they help you to control the movement of your dog. It restricts their strength as they are controlled by their head rather than their body. This makes it much easier to control your dog. Head harnesses should be used as a training aid rather than a long term solution. Once they are walking well on the head harness, try them on a body harness. Common training techniques that can help to reduce pulling on the lead include luring your dog close to your side with treats or simply stopping every time your dog starts to pull.
Dogs can often become destructive or distressed when left alone. They dislike being apart from their owners and develop behavioural problems such as chewing, excessive barking or whining and going to the toilet. There are some pieces of equipment that can help with separation anxiety. When you go out, leave your dog some toys to play with to keep them occupied. Kongs with treats inside them work very well as they encourage mental stimulation. Make sure you take your dog on a long walk before you leave them. It also helps to spend time each day playing mind games and interacting with your dog to give them the mental stimulation they need. Then they are more likely to be relaxed when you have to leave them alone.