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The Do's and Don'ts of Obedience Training

Updated: Jul 24, 2023

Did you know that 9 out of 10 dogs know the command "sit"?

When it comes to obedience training, this is usually the place to start. It's an easy command that your dog can get used to quickly, and it's also incredibly useful in many situations.

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But the rest of your puppy training isn't always quite as easy. In fact, there are a lot of people who use the wrong techniques to teach their four-legged friends and can end up doing more harm than good! To ensure that isn't you, we've put together our top do's and don'ts direct from our dog training experts.

Read on to find out more!

Do Be Consistent

Dogs are very detail orientated. If you've taught your pup to "sit," telling them to "sit down" or "sit still" might not have the same effect, and your dog could become extremely confused by what's going on.

So, make sure that you're consistent in your commands and training. If you've taught them to respond to "sit," then only ever use "sit." If you've taught them to pee on a puppy pee pad in the corner, don't move the pee pad to another corner.

Don't Train Them All Day, Every Day

Just like you couldn't study for hours on end work without breaks, neither can your pup! Most dogs will respond best to shorter training program lengths and will then need to move on to something else. Around 20-30 minutes is a good length.

During training, be sure to give your dog small breaks to sniff around, chill out, or get some good belly scratches! It may sound counterintuitive, but it'll actually keep them far more focused when in training mode.

Do Use Positive Reinforcement

There are many types of training you can do with your dog, but they all have one thing in common: positive reinforcement. When your pup does something good, reward them for it! This could be with treats, cuddles, praise, or their favorite toy.

Using positive reinforcement when they do well is a far better idea than being negative when they don't get it right. Punishment only creates negativity around training and can scare your dog. Stay positive when they succeed, and it'll be more than enough to teach them what you want them to do.

Don't Repeat a Cue

Your dog not listening to a command isn't rare, but how do you deal with it? For most owners, they'll simply repeat the command over and over again, but this isn't a great idea. If you know that your dog knows the command, you should always avoid repetition.

This is because it teaches your dog that they don't have to respond immediately. Your command also transforms from "sit" to "sit, sit, sit, sit," which isn't good! Instead, get their attention in another way if they're not listening to you.

Do Allow Time For Your Dog

Remember, your dog isn't going to get everything straight away. Even the brightest of pups will need a bit of patience sometimes!

Even if they've responded to the command before or you thought they'd finally understood where they need to pee, they might not do the same next time. Stay calm with your dog and know that they'll get it eventually. If they're really struggling, it's a good time to look into professional training program options.

Don't Repeat Methods That Aren't Working

If you've been trying to get your dog to lay down for weeks now, but they just aren't getting it, don't panic! Instead, change your method. It's not that your dog will never understand; they just may need a different approach.

Think about what's worked with your pets before. Evaluate what they seem to be struggling with and create a new game plan. Eventually, they'll get there!

If your dog does something incorrect or wrong, correct them with a marker and then help them do it right. Do not confuse correction with punishment, they are not the same words and they are the two most misunderstood words in the dog training community.

Do Keep Your Training Fun

Having fun whilst you train is so important for you and your pup. It'll make it a much more pleasant experience for you both, which makes you more likely to stick to it. Your dog will be more responsive too, and will look forward to their training sessions!

Training can be a wonderful bonding activity if you make it pleasant. Bring treats, toys, and plenty of happy energy to your session. Remember, it's not the end of the world if they don't make much progress in a session as long as you've both had fun.

Don't Forget to Practice Between Classes

Dog training classes are a great addition to your schedule. But, they're not the be-all and end-all of teaching your pup to behave. As any trainer will tell you, practicing between lessons is the key to getting what you and your dog have learned to stick.

You can do some of what you're learning very frequently. For example, if you've been taught to keep them away from dogs on walks by distracting them with something else, you can do this on every walk. Other lessons may only need one or two repetitions a week to keep them fresh in both of your minds.

If you're unsure of how frequently you should be practicing, ask your trainer, and they'll be more than happy to help you!

Start Your Dog's Obedience Training at K-9 Culture

Obedience training definitely isn't an easy task, but it's essential if you want a happy, stress-free life with your dog. If you're struggling, know that it's completely normal and that our team is here to help. At K-9 Culture, we have a whole team of expert dog trainers on hand, ready to make your job a whole lot easier!

Check out our training programs on our website, like our Day and Train classes which are ideal for learning more about your dogs' behavior and how to react to it. After a few sessions with us, you'll be more confident helping your dog navigate the world around them, and your dog will be calmer and happier. What could be better than that?

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