Dog Training You Can Do At Your Home
In the midst of a global pandemic, we are spending more time with our furry friends than ever. For new puppy parents and seasoned dog owners alike, attending an in-person training course may not be preferable. So, then how do we go about training our loved doggos?
We all know how crucial it is for the safety of your doggo and those around you for them to be well trained. Making sure your dog is well trained is also part of being a responsible dog-owner.
If you're looking for a budget-friendly in-home training guide, here are some tips and tricks for dog training at your home to get you started.
Consistency is key
When considering puppy training from home, the most important thing to understand is that consistency is key. Repetitive actions and reaffirming treats will make your pup’s training journey so much easier. So make sure you have a set time put aside every day to spend training your doggo.
If the doggo you are training is an adult, keep in mind it will take longer to change your dog's behaviour. They might be set in their previous ways, they might have some trauma or past sensory issues. Be patient with your doggo, they need some love in that situation.
Puppy toilet training
As soon as your new puppy comes home, the first issue you will want to address is toilet training (trust us, especially if you have carpets).
Start with a temporary solution such as puppy training pads. These can be placed in areas your doggo favours as their toilet. These will make clean up time so much easier.
In the morning
Now the real work begins. First thing in the morning, take your doggo outside. You will want to make sure your doggo gets the time to sniff around and explore the area. Stay with them until they go to the toilet somewhere outside. They will usually need to go first thing in the morning after a night’s sleep. Use yummy WAG natural dog treats and reward your doggo as soon as they finish doing their business.
Repeat this process just before bedtime and use a command such as ‘toilet time!’ to associate this routine with them going to the toilet. Make sure you make a big show of how good your furry friend is doing as soon as they do their business outdoors. Positive reinforcement will help your doggo understand that they are doing the right thing.
All the time
After a while, start taking your doggo outside more regularly. After each nap, after food or water, and after a big play session. Carry treats with you each time and give your doggo lots of praise after each successful toilet trip.
Banish those bitey habits
After bringing your new pup home, you might find that their playing includes having a nibble on both your fingers and precious furniture. Puppies have sharp little teeth that might just surprise you when you're trying to play fetch. Don't worry, this is completely normal for puppies, especially when they are still teething.
The habit tends to go away with age, but follow these tips to discourage your pup from biting;
Bring your your acting skills
As soon as you notice your doggo's teeth coming out during playtime, hone your inner actor. Start by yelping in pain as soon as you feel even the slightest bit of pain from their teeth. Your doggo was probably taught how to play in their puppy pack, which means they will readily listen to cues of their teeth being too much.
No means no
If your doggo gets into a bad habit of making playtime more aggressive than usual, end it right there and then. Say 'NO' in a loud and low voice and walk away. Stay firm and turn away from your dog, putting distance between you. Wait until your dog walks away and gets disinterested in playing before trying again.
Swap you for a treat?
When your dog's behaviour starts to turn aggressive, it is probably a sign of pent up tension. Try moving that tension elsewhere. Give them a bully stick, it is tougher to chew through and will allow your dog to take out that pent up aggression.
Tricks with lots of treats - for doggo’s of all ages
Once you have started your doggo's journey to toilet and bite training, you can start introducing commands and tricks. This is also a great way to learn how to use treats when training your dog. Here is a list of commands and tricks to consider teaching your canine companion:
Always start with ‘sit’. ‘Sit’ is the most basic and simple command to teach your doggo and should be one of the first ones you tackle.
Use hand gestures to help. Say 'Sit' loudly whilst pointing downwards. You can try applying gentle pressure on your dog's lower back with your hand to indicate you are wanting them to move to a seated position. As soon as they have done it, make sure to reward them. Use yoghurt drops and lots of praise to make sure your doggo knows exactly what you want from them.
Is your doggo a jumper? Do they have too much spring in their step? Try training the command 'down'. Say this command firmly when your dog is jumping up towards you and put your hand in front of your pet to create a barrier between you and them. Once they have settled, reward them with a healthy WAG dog treat.
Once they have a great grasp on ‘sit’ and ‘down’, try 'lay down'. This command can help you settle your dog in any situation where they might be overwhelmed. Or signal to your dog that they need to stay put for a while.
Once your dog lays down (you might need to show them how at first) reward them with a pat and some beef jerky treats for all their hard work.
‘Stay’ is an incredibly important command if you are ever planning to let your doggo off the leash. If your doggo is ever in a situation where their safety comes to question, the ‘stay’ command might just save their life.
Start this training at home in a safe space. Start with short distances and then slowly lengthen your distance from your doggo as you firmly tell them to ‘stay’. Back away slowly, holding your hand out towards your dog. This will allow your pup to associate this gesture with the ‘down’ or ‘lay down’ commands they have learned earlier - which will hopefully make them realise you want them to stay put. Don't forget to treat your doggo every time they do the right thing!
This is just as important as staying. ‘Come’ as a command allows you as a dog owner to establish authority with your doggo, and helps them recognise you as the 'head of the pack’. If they are ever in a situation where you don't have a grasp on their leash or collar, they need to come to you as soon as you call them. And when they do, give them a treat. You can use the command ‘come’, or just use their name.
The beauty of training
As dog owners one of the most rewarding things is to share a mutual respect with your doggo. When they start to see you as their pack leader and protector, life becomes a breeze. Training your doggo on a regular basis is a wonderful way to get in plenty of quality time and really bond with them on a new level. Make sure you are really taking the time to make the experience as positive for you both as you can.
We all know that our canine companions are usually food driven. So use this to your advantage. By using training treats, your dog will learn commands not only more quickly, but willingly. Browse our range of training treats here.