You have opened your heart and your home by adopting a canine best friend. Congratulations! We at Ohio Barker know that is one of the most mutually beneficial decisions we can make. Once you bring your new dog home, it’s wise to start training immediately. But where should you start? What’s the best way to train a puppy? And how do you train an adult dog?
A foundation of expectations, problem-solving skills and self-control will ideally first be established. Consider this like teaching a child the alphabet before teaching him or her how to read.
Understand that the first few days in your home are important for your new best friend. Your dog will likely feel confused about his location and your expectations.
All dogs need a basic set of ‘manners’, such as recall (responding to their name), sitting/staying, and dropping or leaving objects among other examples. A dog with a strong foundation of obedience will have confidence around new people or dogs and will respect and obey your training commands. That makes it easier to bring your dog out in public.
Setting a foundation requires consistency, dedication and patience, but these behaviors will establish trust between you and your dog.
Here are tips taken from from professional dog trainers to help guide a smooth transition when you adopt a dog:
Give Strong Consideration To Your Dog’s Name
Certain names are more effective for training purposes. A short name ending with a consonant the dog can clearly hear is ideal. Ginger and Jack are two examples. Older dogs are accustomed to hearing their name, but that doesn’t mean it is too late to give them a new moniker. It can even represent a fresh start, especially if they were previously in an abusive situation. Dogs are adaptable. If you choose to give your dog a new name, use it consistently and immediately so he will respond. When I adopted my dog from a rescue organization 10 years ago, his name was Tiger. I love all things Boston. The city. The history. The Red Sox and Celtics. So I changed his name from Tiger to Boston, and in no time he responded to his new name!
If your new pet is an older dog, they’re probably used to their name at this point. However, changing it isn’t out of the question. And if your new pal is coming out of an abusive situation, a new name may even represent a fresh start. Dogs are extremely adaptable. If you decide to give them a new name, use it consistently and soon enough your pup will respond to it.
Determine the House Rules
Decide what your canine friend can and can’t do. I allowed Boston to relax on the furniture and on my bed from the beginning. Understandably, some people don’t want that. Are they permitted on the bed or the furniture? Are certain parts of your house off limits? Establishing rules will eliminate confusion and help ease the transition.
Consider Creating a Private Space for Your Dog
Like humans, dogs need their own space. As early as possible, give your pup their own private sleeping place, such as a crate. Your dog will benefit from short periods left alone in the comfort and safety of their den; it can also be a valuable tool for housetraining. Be sure to reward your puppy or dog if they remain relaxed and quiet in their den.
Reward Good Behavior
Reward your dog’s good behavior with cheerful and positive reinforcement. Offer praise, love, praise and don’t forget the treats! Let them know when they do something right. Never reward bad behavior as that will confuse your dog.
Teach Your Pup to Come When Called
Teaching your dog to come when called should be the first command. Kneel down on their level and tell your dog to come using his or her name. When they oblige, offer lots of praise and positive reinforcement. Consistency creates a habit, and obviously, getting your dog to come when called is essential.
Immediately Discourage Jumping
When your jumps on you or another person, don’t reprimand him. Instead, turn your back, ignore the behavior and wait until he settles down before offering positive reinforcement. Never pet or praise your dog when he is jumping up. It only encourages the behavior.
End Training Sessions on a Positive Note
Positivity does indeed breed positivity. When you are training your dog, finish with loads of praise, a treat or two and some play time.