Dog advice

How to train your dog

As the saying goes, a dog is a man’s best friend. However, anyone who has ever owned a dog will understand just how much work goes into keeping a furry friend, and more importantly, keeping them happy. However, before they embark on this task, many people underestimate just how much training goes into ensuring a dog is happy and behaves responsibly.

The history of dog training

One of the most effective and time-tested methods of dog training is reinforcement, both positive and negative, although it was discovered by accident. In the 1890s, Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov was investigating the nature of salivation in dogs. Whilst conducting this research, he stumbled upon a rather happy accident that would pose many benefits in regards to dog training.

Two types of reinforcement

Further studies found that there were two types of reinforcement: positive and negative. Positive reinforcement rewards good behaviour whilst negative reinforcement punishes bad behaviour. For example, giving your dog a treat once it is able to sit on command is an example of positive reinforcement. Another example is taking away your dog’s toys if it begins to show signs of undesirable behaviour.

How to train your dog

Whilst these methods are effective, they can often pose a little more difficulty with more stubborn and rebellious dogs, and can take longer for the animal to associate certain behaviours with rewards and punishment. With dogs of a more adventurous nature, one of the most important things is ensuring that they are still made to feel loved, as quite often, owners can punish energetic behaviour which will cause the dog to “act out”.

Take your dog out frequently

By taking your dog out frequently, this will teach your dog that it is okay to be energetic and playful, but it will teach it that there is a time and a place to be so. Visiting a park and playing with your animal will not only strengthen the bond you have, but you may find that your dog is more relaxed when at home. If your dog is very energetic but also rather timid, find times to take your dog out which are not usually busy, and gradually increase the social interaction your dog partakes in.

No matter what kind of dog you have, the most important thing you can do is love them unconditionally. To find out more about residential dog training, contact us today.