Dogs bring so much happiness and joy, but our adorable furry friends can sometimes be a handful. Here are 9 tricks and tips on how to train your dog, owned or borrowed, to solve common canine quirks.
Tip 1: Don’t encourage jumping up
Some dogs are so excited to meet you that they will jump up to say hello. When this happens, turn away and wait until they’re a bit calmer before returning their greeting. Rewarding this behaviour with an equally excited greeting can encourage it and many owners try hard to train their dogs out of this habit.
Tip 2: Let the dog make the first move
Like us, some dogs have an acute sense of ‘Stranger Danger’. Upon first meeting, let them sniff your hand or come up to you before attempting to pet them.
Tip 3: Avoid immediate eye contact
Many dogs find this confrontational or threatening, so try not to stare directly into your new friend’s eyes when first meeting.
Tip 4: Teach Your Dog to Not Pull on the Lead
Many dogs are great at walking on the lead, but for those who like to pull, a good technique is the ‘About Face’. To learn more, watch the video.
Tip 5: Learn your dog’s sweet spot
Most dogs have a ‘sweet spot’ at the base of their tail and, once they have made your acquaintance, will appreciate a good scratch here. This is a great way to become friends, fast.
Tip 6: Get to their level
Smaller dogs breeds will appreciate you sitting down and getting down to their level. Try not to hunch over them, as this can be a little intimidating for the pooch.
Tip 7: Use one command at a time
When training or giving commands, simplicity and clarity are key. Make sure to give an instruction only once. If you are continually giving a command many times in a row (‘Sit! Fido, sit! Sit! Sit!’) you can actually train the dog not to respond when they are first asked, but to wait for the repeats. If the dog doesn’t respond to the first command, show them the correct response without verbally repeating it. Use positive reinforcement if necessary, such as pulling a treat from in front of the nose to above the head and towards the tail to encourage them to lower into a ‘sit’.
Tip 8: Steer clear of the face at first
Some dogs do not appreciate being pat around the face by someone they have just met as they may have had sore ears or mouths in the past with bad memories of being touched in this area. When you are at a point where the dog is ready for you to touch their face (they will quite often indicate this with a nudge), a good technique is to pat under the jaw instead of above the head, as a hand descending suddenly from the sky can give some dogs a fright. This is a great behaviour to pass onto kids - never try to pat a strange dog’s head.
Tip 9: Make sure your dog has enough stimulation.
Some dogs just love to be busy all the time, but sometimes your schedules don’t always match up. When you don’t have time for your usual long walk or play session at the moment, give them a Kong toy filled with peanut butter or wet food. They’ll spend ages entertaining themselves and licking up every last bit. Make sure to take the Kong filling out of the dog’s daily food allowance to ensure they are not enjoying too many extra calories.
Put this tip into action and let us know if it helped your dog, owned or borrowed.
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