INTRODUCTION CONT…Life with a dog in your home has the potential to beone of the greatest joys in life, or one of thegreatest sources of anxiety, depending on how wellit is trained. Poorly trained dogs can be aggressive,destructive and very insecure, while well-traineddogs are calm and loving and secure.
INTRODUCTION CONT…It really doesn’t take an expensive, complex trainingregimen to get your dog to behave the way youwant. Just be sure to start with some basic dogtraining tips the minute you first bring the dog intoyour house, and you should be fine.
BE A LEADERThe only way that any dog can find a permanentplace in your home is if you assume the role ofleader. Dogs are pack animals and they musthave a leader in order to function.If you don’t provide that leadership, the dog willnaturally assume the role, even though he isn’tequipped to do so. Being a leader includes settingground rules, not catering to his every whim andgetting him to focus on what you want him to do.If he feels taken care of, he will be far less anxiousand will feel less vulnerable.
DON’T ALWAYS REACTSometimes, when you react to barking and similarunwanted behavior at the moment it happens,you are actually reinforcing it and encouraginghim to continue. If you do anything, move to himphysically and claim the space that he is barkingin, as a real pack leader would do.Experiment with different reactions toward barking,especially if you find that your verbal responses areonly making it worse.
PROVIDE A SAFE PLACE FOR SLEEPYour dog wants and safe and comfortable placeto relax and sleep, and it’s up to you to provide itfor him. Giving him that little sanctuary will help to:• Keep him off furniture• Calm him down when he is agitated• Reduce barking when you aren’t home• Reduce anxiety because he knows that spacebelongs to him
PROVIDE THE OPPORTUNITY FOR POTTY TRAININGPotty training is a huge issue for many dog owners,and it can be more than a little maddening gettingyour dog to realize where he’s supposed to go.With a new dog, you should leave him outside sixtimes a day for roughly 30 minutes each time. Takehim out:• Before going to bed• Upon waking in the morning• After eating his meal• After energetic play time• When you return home from being out• After he has a nap during the day
DON’T DISCIPLINE FOR ACCIDENTSIt’s important to praise your dog when he goesoutside, and just as important not to discipline himif he has an accident.If he does have an accident, remain calm andwalk him to the area where you do want him to go. Also, make sure you clean the urine from the areahe did go with an enzyme cleaner that willcompletely remove the smell.
IGNORE WHEN NECESSARYThere are times when it is important to ignore thedog altogether. The main one is when you arrivehome and the dog is in an excited state,demanding a greeting from you. When you reactlike most dog owners do, you’re only reinforcingthat behavior.Ignore the dog until he has calmed down andstopped demanding your attention. Once he isrelaxed, then you can call him over and say hello.
WALK YOUR DOG DAILYAs a pack animal, a dog requiresexercise on a daily basis in theform of walks. Walking your dogregularly will help:• Create a bond between the two of you• Reduce anxiety and nervous energy• Keep both you and the dog healthy• Reduce aggression and tension
MASTER THE LEASHOf course, if you’re going to walk the dog regularlyyou must learn how to master the leash. It won’t doyou or the dog any good if he ends up walking you orif the leash is a tangled mess.It’s important that the dog’s collar fit so that just fit twofingers between the collar and back of his neck. Yourleash should be made of cotton and be around sixfeet long.
THE LEASH CONT…Give the dog the freedom to move and try not topull him back at all. He will pick up on any tensionin the leash and that tension will transfer into him.The goal is to get the dog to willingly follow you,without using the leash as a physical force tocontrol him. If your dog continues to pull youaround despite your efforts, contact a reputabledog trainer to give you a hand and sort it out.
DON’T STOP TRAININGEven once your dog knows the basics, you shouldalways continue with the dog training for theentirety of the dog’s life. Your dog has a greatcapacity for learning, and it’s important toreinforce the things you’ve taught and continue toteach new things to keep him happy andstimulated throughout his life.