Tips to train your dog

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The idea of training your dog may sound daunting, but it’s a necessary part of your pet’s growth and development.

Training doesn’t need to mean teaching your dog fancy tricks and stunts. Instead, it’s about making sure that they’re able to do simple tasks, like walking on a leash and going to the toilet in an appropriate area.

Depending on your dog’s temperament, training can be a tricky period in your relationship. But with the right attitude and persistence, your efforts will pay off.

Online dog training resources

If you’re not sure where to start when training your dog, there’s a variety of handy online resources at your disposal. Dogs Trust, one of the UK’s leading dog charities, has a detailed guide – including a helpful video – with do’s and don’ts of training. This information may be particularly useful if you’ve adopted a rescue dog from a Dogs Trust home and you’re trying to help it adjust to your new routine.

Battersea Dogs and Cats Home also has a number of guides that you can consult when training your dog. Their pet guides are available as PDF downloads and cover a wide range of subjects, from basic controls and house-training for a new dog to dealing with jealous pets if you add more animals to your brood.

Elsewhere, Dog Training Central has a long list of detailed resources for you to turn to. There’s a lot of information here, from puppy training and obedience commands, to clicker training, dog whispering and dealing with aggression.

And for advice from a celebrity expert, Cesar’s Way has everything you need. This site is the online home of Cesar Millan, the American dog training expert and host of hit TV series Dog Whisperer. The articles here tackle a variety of canine issues, including some that are quite rare. For instance, if you have a lazy dog that’s uninterested in taking its daily walks, Cesar has tips on how to get them interested. There’s also a series of articles here on how to nurture a loving relationship between your dog and your new baby, which could be particularly useful for dog-owning new parents.

Rules to bear in mind when dog training

When you’re in the training process, it’s important to remember that all dogs are different. Methods that work on one dog won’t necessarily work when training another. That said, there are certain general rules to bear in mind in all cases.

The first is that it’s important to train your dog yourself. It’s become popular to outsource training to professional dog trainers, but doing it yourself will help establish a solid, trusting relationship between you and your pet. What’s more, patience truly is a virtue when dog training. If you lose your temper with your dog or show impatience, your bad habits may eventually be reflected back.

Try not to bribe your dog with treats either. Instead, learn the balance between rewarding them for a good day’s work, rather than giving them what they want when they achieve small tasks. Most importantly, shower your new dog with the affection it deserves. This may be particularly important for rescue dogs, who may not know how it feels to be loved by their owners.

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