Things your dog “should” be able to do

Things your dog “should” be able to do
    Things your dog “should” be able to do

    Things your dog “should” be able to do

    While there are dogs that can master the intricacies of expert-level agility skills, there are others that will be happy settling for the bare basics. These skills are not just for puppies either; they are the behaviors dogs need to be able to call upon throughout their lives to stay safe and happy, and as an owner, you’ll be a big part of reinforcing them each day.
    So which skills should dogs learn and why are these important?

    START WITH BASIC COMMANDS AND DEVELOPING A RELATIONSHIP
    Before you get stuck into the basic commands, it’s important to lay the foundations that help your dog trust and respect you, Sarah says. “It’s important to teach a new dog to be calm,
    attentive, and to want to be around you,” she emphasizes.
    At this stage, there are some basic words your pooch needs to learn how to respond to, which will also assist with training later down the track. You’ll need to teach your dog to understand and respond to her name, that “come” and “here” mean she needs to come to you,
    and she should also understand the words “no” and “yes” and respond appropriately and promptly.
    Why does it matter? Understanding commands — and more importantly,
    responding to them quickly — is a big part of being able to keep your dog safe. For example, if he bolts out the door and won’t return, he could be hit by a car, get lost or get involved in a dogfight. It’s also a big contributor to your pooch’s happiness; poor behavior is a common reason dog are abandoned or surrendered, so teaching him how to behave appropriately and avoid destructive or displeasing habits will help him develop a positive relationship with the family.
    STEP TWO: TEACH BASIC SKILLS
    Once you’ve mastered the right attitude and some basic language, it’s time to build up your dog’s “beginner” skills.
    Sarah says sit and drop are first on the list. “Many folks think ‘stay’ is a basic, but it actually takes a lot of training and should not be the first thing you attempt,” Sarah says.
    By one year of age, a well-trained dog should have added “stay” to his repertoire and be able to toilet in the right place (this includes letting you know if he needs to be let outside). Sarah says your pooch should also be able to walk on a lead without pulling and come back promptly when called if running off the leash. “All of these skills are achievable with just 15 minutes training a day,” she adds.
    Wondering what’s possible with consistent daily training and an enthusiastic learner? Sarah says she ’s trained assistance pups that have achieved all of the above by only six months of age, and added fetching for their owner, registering distress, using doorbells, walking between their trainer’s legs, walking at the heel, extended stays and more. She says, unlike basic behaviors that relate to safety and happiness, more advanced skills depending on what you want the dog to learn, how your dog is going to be living, and how much time you’re able to put into training. “Personally, I like teaching the toilet on command. It never fails to impress people and ensures your dog will always be welcome at friends’ places,” Sarah says.

    CLASSES OR DIY?
    The sort of training that is right for you and your dog will depend on three main things: time, money and skills. If you have a lot of time, Sarah suggests YouTube can be a fantastic resource with plenty of starting tips from great channels
    and trainers — just be sure to carefully vet their skills and experience before following their advice.
    If you’ve got the budget and are having some difficulties when training Fido, one-on-one personal training will give you great results as the training program can be tailored to your dog’s temperament.
    You can even find a trainer who trains and exercises the dog while you’re at work, says Sarah.
    If, on the other hand, you already have the skills — for example, you’ve owned and trained a few dogs over the years — then it won’t take you long to train second time around and you’ll only really need expert advice if you’re not having success. As we know, all dogs differ, so what worked for your last fur baby may not necessarily work with a different pooch.

    PUPPY CLASSES
    Given the importance of teaching your puppy how to behave and socialize, combining the two is a popular choice for many. This can be done by signing up for puppy classes, which are run through most vet centers. “For all newcomers to dog training, I do recommend joining at least one group in the early days. It’s important for your puppy’s socialization.
    You can also learn from other owners and the troubles they face and your pup will learn to pay attention in a busy and distracting place,” advises Sarah.
    It also has benefits for those who are time-poor or lack motivation. “I’ve seen many an owner start out with great intentions for DIY training, only to discover they never find the time,” she says.

    ENCOURAGING SUCCESS
    Animals learn through consequences, and the RSPCA recommends the use of rewarding good behavior and ignoring, rather than punishing, unwanted habits.
    Before you get started, it’s suggested that you formulate a plan, including what rewards your pet enjoys, what tricks you’d like her to learn, and how you plan to teach them.
    For example, how are you going to let your dog know what you want her to do?
    Will you use words, gestures or both? The RSPCA recommends oodles of patience (and realistic expectations) and ensuring you have all the tools you need ahead of time. Pets learn at the moment, so if you plan to offer a favorite treat when your pooch does as you ask, ensure you have some with you during training.
    Regarding training sessions, making set times for training is recommended to ensure it happens, while choosing a quiet spot, free from distractions, is also a good idea. As you get started, physically show the dog what you would like him to do and use a combination of treats and praise as he displays the behavior, ignoring him when he doesn’t. Repetition is also important; in the early days of training, what a dog can do one day will be forgotten by the next, so keep it up.
    dogslife
    Hassan Anzit
    @Posted by
    writer and blogger, founder of Our Dogs Are Loved .

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