Training a new puppy is essential for your pup’s proper socialization and safety, but knowing where to start can feel overwhelming. Thankfully, with a few dog training tips for beginners, you can get your dog on a training schedule and start teaching them basic commands to improve their behavior and safety.
Training your dog with food is one of the most effective methods available. Before you start, ensure you have several high-quality dog treats or dog kibble pieces ready to reward your pup.
1. Create a Training Schedule and Keep Sessions Short
Consistency is critical when it comes to training your dog. Create a schedule that works for you and your pet, aiming for five-minute training sessions. Keeping sessions short and focused prevents your dog from becoming overwhelmed or losing interest.
2. Learn the Basic Commands and Say a Cue Word Only Once
Before training your dog, familiarize yourself with the basic commands: stay, come, lie down and sit. Be consistent with your words and ensure you only say the cue word once. Repeating the command can confuse your dog and make them less likely to respond.
Train Your Dog to Sit
To teach your dog to sit, hold a treat just above its nose and slowly move it back toward its tail while saying, “sit.” As your dog follows the treat with their eyes, it should naturally sit down. Immediately reward them with the treat and praise. Repeat this exercise until your dog sits on command.
Train Your Dog to Stay
To teach your dog to stay, start by having them sit. Then, use a hand signal or say the word “stay” while taking a step back. If your dog remains in place, reward them with praise and a treat like dry food for dogs. Gradually increase the distance between you and your dog while maintaining eye contact. Repeat this exercise until your dog stays on command.
Train Your Dog to Come When Called
Training your dog to come when called is crucial for their safety. Start by putting them on a long leash and allowing them to explore. Then, call its name and say the command “come.” Praise and reward them with a healthy wet dog food treat as they come toward you. Gradually increase the distance and distractions in the environment to strengthen the behavior.
Train Your Dog to Lie Down
To train your dog to lie down, have them sit first. Then, hold a treat in your hand and slowly lower it to the ground while saying “down.” Your dog should follow the treat and lie down. When they are in the correct position, reward them with praise and a treat. Repeat the process until your dog consistently lies down on command.
3. Use Positive Reinforcement and Small Treats
Training your dog with food is an effective method to encourage good behavior. Use positive reinforcement by rewarding your dog with small, healthy treats like cooked dog food when they perform the desired action. This helps your dog associate the command with the reward, making them more likely to repeat the behavior.
4. Choose a Training Time with No Distractions
Select a quiet, familiar environment for training sessions to ensure your dog can focus on the task. This will make learning and retaining the new commands easier for your dog. For example, avoid trying to train your dog just before leaving for work or when you are trying to cook dinner. Instead, pick a time when you can devote your full attention to your pet and reduce distractions like the t.v., visitors, or food.
5. Schedule Training Before Meals
Schedule your pup’s training sessions before mealtime to encourage success. Dogs are food motivated, so if you consistently train your pup before they receive a meal, they will associate completing the task with a food reward. If you normally give your dog dinner at 5 p.m., perform a quick 5 to 10-minute training session at 4:50 p.m. If you have time in the mornings, you can also do a few training exercises before giving them their morning meal.
Master Obedience Training
Obedience training is vital to dog ownership, ensuring the safety of yourself, your dog, and other people and animals. You don’t have to be a professional trainer to start a consistent training routine and teach your dog basic behavioral commands to keep them attentive and well-behaved.
Support your training efforts with delicious, nutritious, ethically sourced dog treats and food from Open Farm. We carry dog treats containing wild-caught cod, humanely raised beef and other proteins like turkey and chicken. Our wet and dry dog food is also an excellent addition to your training routine and makes the perfect reward for your obedient pup.