Training and Behaviour

Training your Dog
Acting like the alpha or the leader of the pack or showing dominance over your dog doesn’t involve force or intimidation. You just need to learn to control the activities that are important to your dog.

  1. Start by laying out discipline rules: Everyone at home needs to be aware of the rules you set for your dog. They need to be in-sync with the rules, terms and commands you enforce on your dog to gain his respect.

  2. Maintain a strict feeding schedule: Always feed your dog after you have eaten. Feed him two to three times a day. Before you put his food bowl down for him to eat make him sit and stay. This makes him know that you are in charge of his food.

  3. Always walk ahead of him: While going for walks always walk ahead of him. Before opening the door for a walk always put him on a leash. If he walks ahead pull him back.

  4. Control his sleeping areas: Control your dog’s sleeping areas. Do not allow him on the bed and couch if you don’t want him there.

  5. Control his games: Always see that you control the games you play with your dog. You should be the one initiating a game and stopping it when you feel like. If he barks at you trying to tell you that he wants to play, simply ignore him.

Above all, be calm, assertive, and consistent with the boundaries you set for your dog. Just as a child looks to his parents for guidance and limits, your dog looks to you. So don’t feel like a meanie for enforcing strict rules—do so knowing that it instinctively makes your dog feel more comfortable.

What makes the dog such a favoured companion for man is that dogs, like man, are social animals. It is natural for a dog to live and interact within a group. Problems can, however, arise when we place human values upon dogs, and we should remember that dogs are dogs and not people.

The most important thing in dog training is to reward good behaviour and ignore unwanted behaviour.

What we often consider to be a 'bad dog' is, in fact, a normal dog behaviour that is being carried out at the wrong place, at the wrong time. Take, for example, digging. You would have no problem with a dog digging on the beach or in a field, but it would be a different story if he dug up a favourite flowerbed or the lawn. All of this must be taken into consideration before blaming the dog for what he understands as normal behaviour.

Dogs do not communicate like people. The dog to dog language is very different from the person to person language, and it is up to us human beings to try and learn how dogs communicate. Whilst people communicate mostly verbally, dogs communicate by way of signs and signal, by body language. To be effective trainers we need to read and understand our dogs’ body language.
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