Direct Blinds invited us to take part in a Naughty Pet Blogger Campaign. They are trying to find the UK’s naughtiest pet… I love the idea but I am glad my pets aren’t naughty any more.
I have no knowledge on training parrots, hamsters or rabbits but I am a pretty good authority on how to deal with dogs. I know that with a lot of work, patience and treats you can turn even the naughtiest dog into an obedient companion. You will notice that my last sentence featured treats… yeah that’s right… treats are the key to your success… but they are not everything.
Every dog owner knows that most dogs are food obsessed and they will do everything… or almost everything in order to get some… but not everyone knows how to turn this simple fact to their benefit.
It is never to soon to start training
Dog training is an art; an art that we all can master given time, willingness and opportunity. Dog training is not an option when you decided to become a dog owner; it is a necessity in order to keep your pet in check but also to give him/her a clear understanding on its role, which is needed for healthy development. Dogs are pack animal and they need to know who the Alpha dog is… without it they are just lost and confused… they need to have someone to follow in order to thrive.
A lot of dogs, especially puppies are naughty because they are bored or lonely… they do not know that shoes are not for eating or that that part of your garden where you just planted a load of lovely flowers is not for digging… this is something we, as a pet owner, have to teach them.
Every pet is different and every pet will take differently to training but there are some rules which we have to follow no matter what in order to succeed. Very often this naughty pet you see on the walk is naughty because it doesn’t know any better; it is naughty because no one taught it a different behaviour. So instead of sharing with you my naughty pet stories I would like to share with you few tips on how to successfully train your dog so it isn’t naughty any more.
Is this cookie for me Mum?
Pick clear commands and stick with them
I see this most days… owners get confused when things go wrong and they mumble something under their nose or shout. You have to pick clear commands and keep repeating them. There is no room for changing your vocabulary. If you are teaching your dog to “stay”, ask him to “stay” not to “wait” for example… it may not make a lot of difference to you but it does to your dog – he/she knows what “stay” means but may not have a clue what to do with “wait”.
Do not repeat your commands
If you want your dog to “sit” tell him once (not three, four or five times… just once). If there is no reply, wait a moment, move closer and repeat the command.
Do not get emotional, be consistent and confident
Dogs can sense our emotions. Whilst in training try to stay calm and positive. When things go wrong don’t get angry, don’t yell just stay calm and keep training 🙂 So often people give up to quickly… do not be a quitter… if you quit it will never work!
Do not stop your training sessions
When we decide that our dog knows it all most people tend to stop with training… but we shouldn’t. Training is something which has to continue for a lifetime. It is good for a dog to have some stimulation, they feel good that they did something to please you and we shouldn’t take this away from them.
Replace treats with praise
Treats are a key to success while training your dog but once the behaviour is learnt it is good to replace them with praise. When your dog does something you ask him to do reward him with praise or a play or whatever else they like (maybe a good head massage or a belly rub). This is important for building a healthy pet – owner relationship; we have to show them that treats are not the only thing they can get from us.
Reinforce positive behaviour
Treats work wonders but only if you are reinforcing a positive behaviour. If your dog doesn’t do what he is told… there is no treats, no praise… you simply can’t reward misbehaviour or an over excited dog… this will only work against you in the long run.
But to tell you the truth our pets were not always “angel like”. We experienced our fair share of household damage caused by them, eaten shoes or destroyed gardens… And to give you some idea how naughty our pets were when they were younger, just have a look at these pictures…
Case#1: Prime Suspect – Bunk
Reason: Searching for hidden sausages
Case#2: Prime Suspect – Bunk
Reason: unknown… maybe wooden tables look like sausages to him or just taste nice
Case#3: Prime Suspect – Bunk
Reason: Mum needs new walking boots (yay!)
Case#4: Prime Suspect – Barnie
Reason: hunger / boredom / dislike of our garden taste or maybe the flowers looked at him funny (?)
If you would like to take part in the #naughtypets competition please visit Direct Blinds Facebook page to submit your entry but hurry as you only have 6 days left.
*Post written in collaboration with Direct Blinds. We received a goody bag including some toys and treats to help us reinforce a positive behaviour.