6 Dog Training Tips for a Perfectly Behaved Pet
“A dog is the only thing on Earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”
Since I am so passionate about animals, people often ask me for advice about their pets. My three dogs are extremely well-behaved animals, but that didn’t happen by accident. Like anything else in life, training a dog properly requires work and dedication. If you’re a busy professional and you want to own an animal, investing in your pet’s training is an absolute must. When I adopted my first dog, I knew I needed to find a balance between my school obligations and my fur baby’s needs. This required establishing new routines and teaching Cody to follow them. Pets can add tremendous value to your life, but you first need to train them how to fit into it. In this post, I’d like to share some tried and true tips I learned from a top-notch trainer who assisted me when I rescued Cody.
- Schedule feedings. If you’ve recently adopted a dog, you need to establish a feeding schedule that you can consistently maintain. A regular feeding schedule will help them develop an accurate potty schedule. For example, I purposefully designed my dogs’ daily feeding schedule (7am and 5:30pm) to coincide with the window of time between returning home from work and attending networking functions later in the evening.
- Give your pet 30 minutes to eat. If you drop the food bowl at 7am and your pet does not eat the food within 30 minutes, take it away until dinner time. This will teach them to eat their food immediately. This will allow you to curb accidents and better control their potty times and allow you to get to work on time without worrying about them having accidents while you are at work.
- Make their crate a safe haven. It was so hard for me to put my little puppy lab in the crate when I left for class, but I knew it would keep him out of harm’s way. Make sure you are only creating a positive environment inside your pet’s crate, so it becomes a secure place for them. I suggest feeding your dog in the crate, putting a toy in the crate, and giving them treats in the crate. This should be a place they go to relax and you want them to associate it with enjoyment. They should be able to complete a full 360 in the crate and be able to stand up without hitting their head. Do not ever punish your dog by putting them in the crate. Avoid squeaky toys, as they are a choking hazard.
- Attach a bird bell to the front door knob. Eventually, your pet will start to see the correlation between the ringing of the bell and the door opening. Within six weeks, Cody started to use the bell to let me know when he had to go out.
- Keep your dog active. Dogs like humans need to stay busy and have brain stimulation. I highly recommend that they get the exercise that they need in order to prevent them getting into trouble. If I am going to be gone longer than usual I like to keep a kong on hand. Put frozen yogurt into the kong and allow it to freeze overnight. You dog will stay occupied with his kong for a while and keep him focused.Always remember that a tired dog is a happy dog (and well behaved one too!)
- Use positive reinforcement. I spent a lot of time teaching all of my pups commands like sit, down, roll over, paw, etc. Dogs love to perform brain-stimulating exercises, especially if it elicits a positive reaction from their owners. Have patience and use only positive reinforcement when training your animals. Praising, petting, and occasional treats will encourage positive behavior. Remember to always have patience and lead with love. Your animals live to make you happy.
Pets are a great way to enrich your life; my dogs are my entire world. After long hours at the office, there is nothing that I love more than to come home and go long walks or toss the tennis ball around with my dogs. They add the perfect balance of work and play to my life. However, please do your research before adopting an animal and make sure you are willing to give it a loving, forever home. They deserve nothing less.