Tip of the week:
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- Practice every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes before meal time. Making training part of your daily routine builds your bond and helps set and maintain desired behaviors.
- Always reward good behavior. If your dog is in heel position or sitting quietly, don’t just ignore it. Give him or her praise for performing a desired behavior.
- Consistency is critical. When it comes to training, everyone in the household needs to be on the same page. That goes for what verbal cues to use, how the hand signals are performed, and not rewarding unwanted behavior with attention.
- Always end on a high note. If you or your dog has become frustrated, it’s alright to take a break and come back later, but make sure you ask for an easy cue before you end the session.
- Understanding dog body language is very important. It’s a good idea to read up on the subject because some things are not common knowledge. For example, a wagging tail doesn’t mean ‘happy’. It means ‘I’m willing to engage with you’, but not always in a nice way.
- When you get a new puppy, it’s never too early to start training. The earlier you start, the easier training will be when the dog gets older. If you have adopted an older dog, it’s never too late to start. It may take more patience, but you can teach and old dog new tricks.