Dogs learn faster when they’re having fun, or playing. Puppies naturally learn from playful interaction and so will your adult dog. Here’s some ways to keep your training fun!
- Train with toys, playing tug will reduce stress for both of you.
- Relax your expectations, training is a process, and each day is just one step in the process. Don’t put pressure on your self or your dog to perform perfectly every day.
- Don’t train when you’ve had a bad day or are overly tired.
- Take a minute to sit and relax with your dog before beginning to train. If you’ve had a stressful day, take a moment to appreciate the opportunity to spend some time with your dog.
- Feel free to be silly, dogs love silliness and it relieves tension.
Play motivational games with your dog, race to beat them to an obstacle or toy. Keep things fun, don’t take any one practice too seriously and reward yourself for staying relaxed and enjoying your time with your dog.
While bathing, keep water out of your dogs ears by holding the ear closed when you rinse the top of the head and neck with water.
You can clean the ears after the bath with a cotton ball, tissue, wash cloth or Q-tip. Don’t insert the Q-tip into the dogs ear canal, it can cause damage if the dog shakes his head.
Do your best to keep water out of your dogs ears. As water collection in the ear can cause ear infections.
If your dog has droopy ears and gets water in their ears, it’s best to get a little dab of an ear drying paste or power and rub the power on the upper part of the ear to help dry them out.
Continued exposure to water can cause infections which often lead to deafness as the dog ages.
Kitchens are not safe for dogs! They shouldn’t be allowed in the kitchen when someone is cooking.
Hot liquids, heavy pans and sharp utensils can seriously injure a dog and the cook if your dog gets underfoot.
Insist that your dog remain out of the kitchen when you’re cooking. Claim that space as yours and don’t surrender it!
If you feed your dog in the kitchen, don’t do so while cooking, wait until after the meal, or cook after the dog has finished eating.
Some trainers use an interesting ‘A’ and ‘B’ treats method when training with food rewards.
The ‘B’ treats are the regular treats that are used for most of the rewards. The “A” treats are a higher value reward, like real chicken or cheese.
The “A” treats are reserved for especially good performance. This allows the trainer to reward all acceptable performance, yet still reserving some special treats for perfect execution.
Being able to reward the dog for all good performances yet keeping the dog hoping for the higher value reward is a good way to enhance performance and build drive.
Using one word commands will help your dog to understand what you want.
Dogs can understand the meaning of spoken words, but it’s hard for them to recognize one spoken word in the middle of a sentence. For instance, using the phrase “will you please sit down”, is more difficult for the dog to understand than “sit”.
A single word is clear communication, asking them to correctly interrupt a phrase is probably be more than can understand.