Do you have a best friend? Is your best friend your dog? Dogs have earned the title, Man’s Best Friend” over the years, and many have lived up to that description. However, there are some dog owners who have thrown up your hands and gave up on your best friend all because of behavioral problems. Dogs used to be kept outside, maybe in the back yard. Some of our pets were even left to roam the neighborhood. Those pets usually found their way home when hungry or they found things to eat while roaming. Nowadays, most dogs are live-in pets. Dog owners are likely to feel more humane by letting their pets live indoors with them.
Many dog owners, however, have had to deal with the occasional disobedient or “bad” dog. Now, dogs have to be taught how to become a family member. They must learn to live by the family rules. As a live-in dog, it is no longer acceptable for your pet to display bad back yard type behavior. Dogs must learn the proper way to behave indoors.
There are various avenues in which to train your best friend. You can have your dog trained professionally in your own home or at a professional site. Many vets state that training at the home is desirable because that is where the problems occur. If your dog is trained elsewhere, it may not deal with the training in the same manner. He might view this training as not appropriate for your home environment. Vets believe that a gentle and consistent type of in-home training with positive reinforcement can be more effective in training your best friend.
Experts tell us that:
• Most dogs want to please their owners but they need to be taught how!
• Most dogs can be taught better manners in two to three weeks so that your home environment can be calm for both you and your best friend.
• Professional trainers can offer dog owners on and off lead training; and novices can adapt the same style of training for hands-on tactics.
• Dog trainers can assist with problems with all breeds, all ages, all types of problems—especially dog aggression.
There are two very important reward factors which can help with dog training, and which are used by novices and professional trainers: They are 1) food; and 2) retrieves. These are rewards which can be given to your best friend each he does anything that you are happy and pleased about: When your dog comes to you; when he sits and does not jump; when he is told to do something and he does this without too much hesitation.
Many vets highly recommend the retrieves as one of the best rewards. Retrieves can be any favorite toy of your dog—which could be an old worn house slipper, a rolled pair of socks, or an old toy. When using food or dog treats, use only small pieces of food that your dog enjoys. When dog owners use retrieves, let your dogs chase the article as a reward for a good deed. The dog will usually pick up the retrieve and bring it back to you. Don’t snatch the retrieve out of your dog’s mouth. As gently as possible, take the article from his mouth and give him plenty of verbal and physical praise. If your best friend holds onto the retrieve and seems to not want to let go, offer him a tasty piece of food or treat to trade for what is in his mouth—this should work every time!
Using the food and/or retrieve methods, dog owners should be able to teach their best fiends several obedience tricks after 7 to 10 days. At this time, your dog may be able to walk on a lead, retrieve, come when called, take a toilet break, sit, down, stay, heel, etc. Dog owners can teach their best friends household manners using humane treatment, and teach with positive reinforcement. Dog owners can talk to vets for further information; vets may be able to refer dog owners to other animal behaviour experts if your dog has a problem that you have given up on trying to tame your dog.