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Training

The basics of dog training

What is important in dog training?

Every new dog owner wants a well-trained dog with whom you can have lots of fun, experience great things, and have a loyal companion by your side. For this, there is no way around good dog training. The question of how you train your dog is of particular importance. Because no matter what you would like to teach your dog, the way you do it determines how successful and sustainable your education is.

How do I train my dog?

You must start educating your dog as early as possible. In the best case scenario, your breeder or the caretakers at the shelter or foster home have already done a great job that you can build on for the next few weeks.

There are 4 things your dog should learn in the first few weeks with you:

  1. communication
  2. everyday suitability (housetraining, recall, leash walking, basket or box training, staying alone)
  3. social behavior
  4. problem solving behavior

Communication

Dogs are social animals and like to communicate. To encourage this in a controlled way, you can capture certain behaviors in your dog by rewarding them, such as eye contact. If your dog looks at you, it’s best to reward this behavior with something that motivates your dog, such as food, toys, or social interaction. When dogs learn how to communicate early, it can have a particularly positive effect on their social behavior and cognition.

Of course, as a dog owner, you must also learn how to communicate with your dog. Since dogs communicate physically to a large extent, it’s important to learn and use this type of communication when raising your dog. For example, preemptive gestures can body language your dog or lean back can invite your dog to come to you.

Everyday skills

Certain basic commands are important for your dog to be able to handle everyday life with you in a relaxed manner. The first of these is housetraining. You should immediately after your puppy has moved in, go out with him regularly, about every 1-2 hours, so you avoid mishaps and your puppy quickly learns his new place for the large and small business. If a mishap does happen, clean it up without comment and clean the area with an odor remover.

Recall and leash leadership can also be practiced playfully by practicing them again and again during play or the small walk. Likewise, you can accustom your dog to his basket or dog box with small surprises in the form of food and gradually make progress there.

However, you mustn’t overtax your puppy at any time. Integrate the things into your daily routine in such a way that you yourself do not have any stress and practice rather only 2-5 minutes and build it for it more frequently into your daily routine.

Socialization

Also, the contact with other dogs, different people, children, and inanimate things must be learned and must take place during the first 14 weeks and at best be repeated between the 4-6 months. It is not about that your dog has to play with all dogs because playing works best with people of the same age, care should be taken that your dog can collect and store many different experiences.

Examples:

  • A car while stationary and moving.
  • Construction site noise.
  • Children of different ages.
  • Umbrellas (open/closed/when it rains).
  • Things falling down in the household.
  • Streetcars, buses, train station
  • Riding in the car
  • Large and small dogs with floppy ears/short hair/long hair/without tail/with tail/flat nose/long nose etc.
  • Bridges
  • Garbage cans, garbage collection vehicles
  • etc.

Problem Solving Behavior

Dogs experience stress, anxiety, and fear all the time in their lives. For them to cope with these conditions, they must learn to recover from them quickly. This is best accomplished when your breeder has already begun to lovingly tease the little puppies with little stress ears over and over again. If your dog is already at home with you, you can, for example, set him small solvable tasks, before which he is a little scared at first, but which he overcomes with your encouragement. You can find such exercises in the different categories of our app, please have a look at the category “Puppy training”.

How long can you train your dog?

How long it takes to train a dog varies somewhat depending on the dog’s personality. What is certain, however, is that you should definitely have completed your dog’s socialization by the end of the sensitive phase (around 3-14 weeks). Repetition between 4-6 months is also important, as this is the time when various links in the brain are erased and others are further strengthened.

After puberty, your dog is still capable of learning new things and he should continue to be mentally stimulated. However, behaviors will not be as permanently stored as they are during the time your dog is being raised in the first 12-14 weeks.

Do you want to lay the foundation for your dog’s training? Then download our app now.

By Sarah Mertes

Certified dog trainer

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