Maintaining a consistent training regimen is just as important as teaching your pup his manners at the start of life! Here’s why.
Dogs amplify your own well-being tenfold, so why not continue learning lessons together? No matter his breed or age, consistent training can solidify the trust and bond between you and your dog. It’s not as much about control as it is about love – there’s no substitute for quality time! As a bonus, your ongoing training will keep his mind stimulated, and ensure he’s well-behaved and welcomed everywhere.
Young puppies are eager to understand and assimilate information. As a matter of fact, their ability to process basic training is heightened between three and six months of age. Simple directives such as sit, stay, come, heal, and lay down give them a reason to please. But as time wears on, new experiences and stubborn tendencies can make dogs “forget” their basic training. This is when consistency becomes crucial.
As dogs grow into their personalities, it’s evident which ones retain their manners. But breed aside, continuing to hone their skills needs to be a constant.
6 keys to success
Not everyone is a master dog trainer. It might be worthwhile to hire a professional, but oftentimes consistency at home is enough. Here are six essentials in achieving success with your dog:
- Prepare to be schooled as the dog guardian – it’s a lifetime learning process for you, too!
- Never scream instructions at your dog; it’ll only scare him into submission and minimize his confidence.
- Practice using consistent, positive words and phrases with your dog.
- Provide a reward (small treat or praise) every time he does what he’s asked.
- Learn how to back off when he’s stressed.
- Balance learning with playtime.
Getting everyone on board
Once you’ve established a consistent training schedule that will be maintainable throughout your dog’s lifespan, it’s time to get everyone on the same page! Encourage your dog walker, dog sitter and family members to maintain the same training tactics when interacting with your dog to prevent confusion and solidify good behavior. If one person fails to follow directions or gets lax with their training, it will only confuse your dog and give him reasons to backslide. Your pup needs to know who’s in charge, yet he also needs consistent reinforcement from everyone that communicates with him. No mixed signals! Keep it simple, cohesive, consistent, and watch him shine.
Your dog requires rest, love, healthy food, fresh water, and plenty of behavioral reinforcement. As he matures, consistent training will benefit both of you!