My dog training adventure began when my best friend and new puppy didn’t love each other as much as I did.
While I thought my dog’s jumping on visitors was forgivable and cute, my friend couldn’t stand it and avoided my pet. It was sad that my canine best friend and human best friend couldn’t connect because of my dog’s lack of good manners.
Soon after, we enrolled in a training program. One treat at a time, I learned how to teach my dog better manners.
Since then, we’ve trained in classes, at home and with help from knowledgeable friends. My dog is far from becoming a Lassie, but he and my friend are now buddies.
There are many resources to help dog owners begin training today.
Find a local dog training class
The American Kennel Club (AKC) started a Canine Good Citizen Program to help dogs and owners. It is a two-part program that stresses responsible pet ownership and basic good manners for dogs.
The program is offered nationwide and available to all dogs, whether they are purebred or mixed breed. Once a dog graduates, he is given a Canine Good Citizen certificate from the AKC and a chance for more positive interactions with others.
The AKC also shares their most useful training tips online. Some of the top tips include:
- Reminders that dogs aren’t native English speakers. They need help learning what simple phrases mean, like “No,” “Off,” and “Sit”.
- Puppy proofing the home will go a long way in avoiding many issues, such as chewed up shoes or missing human food.
- Learning dog body language helps overcome communication barriers.
Teach these commands first
While the world of dog training seems vast, there are five simple commands that every dog should learn, according to celebrity dog behaviorist, Cesar Millan.
He recommends teaching (and provides instructions here) the commands for sit, come, down, stay, and leave it.
With those basic commands as building blocks, owners and pets are ready to tackle behavior issues that may arise now or in the future.
Find help for behavior issues online
If your dog knows the basic commands, but is struggling with a specific behavioral issue, check out the information on the American Society for Prevention and Cruelty for Animals (ASPCA). They have a free, online resource for the most common behavior issues, such as aggression, barking, destructive chewing, food guarding, howling, whining, separation anxiety, etc… Simply click on the behavior that describes what your dog is struggling with for more information.
Be generous with affection
Training your dog may seem like a long road, but there are many resources to help support you and your pet. One of the best pieces of advice may be to listen to your dog and be generous with affection. Feel free to treat them with Healthy Partner Pet Snacks, knowing the nutritious dog snack will help them feel loved and supported.
Article written by Melissa Wheeler, a writer and pet enthusiast who has a 10-year-old Whippet, named Leo, who loves to run, sneak food and cuddle with his family.