Top Frequently asked Dog Training Questions
Question: What is the best way to train a dog?
Answer: The most effective way to train a dog is to ensure you utilize positive reinforcement dog training techniques. Positive reinforcement training is where we provide the dog with a reward every time he or she performs the behavior we desire. The Use of positive reinforcement ensures your dog will reliably repeat the behavior he or she is being rewarded for.
Question: How long does it take to train a dog?
Answer: There is no one time frame that fits all when you are training your dog. There are so many factors to consider when training. i.e. the age of the dog, how much training the dog has previously had (if any), the stress level of the dog! Stressed dogs take longer to learn. If you remain patient and consistent, your dog will achieve the desired goal.
Question: Is it possible to train an older dog?
Answer: YES! It certainly is. There are however factors to consider. If your dog is older its likely he or she has had a significant amount of time to practice and exhibit undesirable behavior or bad habits.
As with any training as long as you maintain a high level of repetition and patience there is no reason why your older dog cannot achieve the same goals as a dog who is much younger.
Question: How do I deal with a dog that has aggression?
Answer: it’s a must for any dog owner with who has a dog or puppy that is exhibiting aggressive behavior to seek out a certified professional dog trainer or a certified dog behaviorist. Aggression can be the result of many emotional issues and it’s important that you are able to identify the underlying cause of this behavior. Once the underlying cause has been established working with a certified professional who utilizes positive reinforcement dog training techniques is key.
Question: How do I deal with a dog with anxiety issues?
Answer: This is a specialist area! Dogs that exhibit anxiety usually require more in-depth assessment history in odder to identify the underlying issues.
Some dogs are born anxious, and some dogs may have developed the anxiety due to a specific trigger. What ever the reason contacting a certified professional or a veterinary behaviorist is likely the best option as they will be able to identify the triggers and the best solution to address the anxiety. Anxiety can be a medical condition which can often require the intervention of a veterinary behaviorist.
Question: What is positive reinforcement training?
Answer: Positive reinforcement training is scientifically proved to be the most effective method of training, using rewards! Rewards can consist of high value food, praise, toys, attention..i.e. anything the dogs wants and views as a reward. Positive reinforcement ensures your dog is more likely to repeat the behavior consistently and is the most highly used method in this modern day to change your dogs behavior.
Question: How do I choose a good dog trainer?
Answer: Always check the credentials of a dog trainer. There are many professional organizations which certified dog trainers in specific skill areas. The majority of positive reinforcement dog trainers often belong to professional certification organizations. Find the organization and check the trainer you are considering using is certified. Always research dog trainers and get references. You should always use a trainer who is positively motivating your dog and not using aversive training methods which results in fear and intimidation.
Question: Can I train my dog myself, or do I need a professional trainer?
Answer: There are many “do it your self ” training books on the market as well as a variety of dog training resources. Often times the resources available are great references and many dog owners have been able to follow them with some success. Seeking out the help of a certified professional dog trainer or behaviorist allows the professional to identify exactly what your dog needs and modify training to accommodate your dogs behavior to meet your training goals.
Question: How much does dog training usually cost?
Answer: It all depends on what dog training service you are looking for. The cost for group classes is significantly less than private in home training. If you use a certified professional through an accredited association the cost is likely to be more expensive as you are utilizing the services of a trained, qualified expert with qualifications to back up their knowledge.
Question: How often should I train my dog?
Answer: Every dog is different, as all dogs learn at different levels, and some have a different capacity to retain the information than others. Dogs learn quicker and more consistently if you train in shorter durations. It doesn’t have to be every day it could be 2-3 times a week but whatever the training schedule you afford your dog, be sure to provide it consistency.
Question: How can I tell if my dog is enjoying training or not?
Answer: This is all about body language! Reading your dog’s body language is an important factor when you are trying to gauge how your dog is feeling about training. Signs to look for to determine if your dog is having fun are not limited to but do include: a soft wriggly body, mouth open (looks like he or she is smiling), tail soft and wagging, eyes are soft and focused on you during training, they are playful and enthusiastic any of these can indicate that its highly likely your dog is enjoying training.
Question: Can I train my dog to do tricks at home?
Answer: YES, you can! Usually training at home is easier and more relaxed for dogs to learn. Training your dog at home provides the dog with a familiar environment which is familiar and relaxing as a result training tricks at home becomes fun and rewarding.
Question: How can I train my dog to stop barking excessively?
Answer: There are several reasons why dogs bark i.e., territorial / protective barking, fear and anxiety, or boredom. If possible, provide your dog with safe doggie activities to do throughout the day to alleviate boredom, i.e., the use of Kong’s, or stuffed marrow bones, give your dog plenty of exercise to burn of excess energy helping them to relax and sleep as opposed to barking, as tired dog does less barking!
Whatever the reason is for your dogs barking ensure its not allowed to continue as it becomes habit and is difficult to stop.
Question: How do I teach my dog to come when called?
Answer: This is a “simple” you should always rewards your dog for coming to you. At first you can use a piece of high value food – you call your dog’s name and reward with a treat. Once your dog is responding well and coming consistently using a high value treat you can then call your dog and provide them with 5-10 second of physical praise i.e., rubbing them playfully. Repeating this exercise will teach your dog every time you call them “something good happens”.
Question: What should I do if my dog is not responding to training?
Answer: Are you communicating clearly to your dog what behavior you are looking for? Dogs often get mixed messages from their owners as a result the dog becomes confused and is unable to respond to your training requests. Try using high value food to increase the motivation level of your dog? When training be sure to give your dog enough time to process the training requests allowing him time to process and comprehend your request. Once all the factors have been resolved there is no reason why your dog should not respond to training.