Basic Dog Training Ins and Outs

The quid pro quo method of dog training is one of the most effective techniques going on. By reinforcing good, or desired, behaviors and discouraging unwanted actions, this practice quickly teaches a dog that following commands results in praise and rewards.

Mastering the art of this type of training will likely take some training on the part of the people involved, too. It can take a little while to get used to and it can be a little difficult not to cave into a dog that's batting big eyes and a sad face in its owner's general direction.

The best way to handle positive reinforcement is to make sure it happens right away after the desired behavior is performed. The reward must come instantly and repeatedly, every time the dog does as it's told. Since this is the case, many trainers steer clear of food rewards and go with positive comments or pats and scratches. If food is used, be certain that the treats offered for reward are rather small and do offer verbal praise, too.

When seeking to train a dog to follow basic commands, it's important for a set vocabulary to be assigned. The words chosen should be used every time. For example, sit should mean sit, don't mix it up with down, which should mean lie down. Pick the words that will be used and make sure they are consistent among everyone who will be working with the dog.

Getting a dog to respond consistently to commands and praise will take a little bit of time. With multiple efforts and some patience, positive reinforcement can pay off very big. Still, there are times when a dog will simply not behave in a manner that is acceptable to its owner.

What then?

Every so often, actual punishment will be required. This can come in the verbal, physical or even postural form. As it is with rewards, punishment should come swiftly, when the dog is engaged in the act.

It is very important to make sure a dog associates the behavior with the punishment. Harsh language, loud noises and upset posturing are much better choices than actual physical punishment. Physical punishment can result in a dog developing a fear for and aggression toward people.

When loud noises are used, try to make sure the dog associates them with the thing making the noise rather than a person. Use an air horn, shaker can or other object rather than your own voice, if necessary. This ensures the dog will not be afraid of you and also helps make sure the behavior reinforcement stands when you are not at home.

Dog training can take a little time and patience, but it is something almost anyone can accomplish.

What to Do When Dog Barks Are Worse Than Dog Bites

Barking is one of the few verbal communication tools a dog has at its disposal. With this in mind, it is quite reasonable to expect dogs to bark once in a while. When barking become excessive, however, it can be a real problem for the owner, the neighbors and consequently the dog itself.

Tackling a barking problem will require the owner to become a bit of a sleuth. It is necessary to first figure out the cause for the excessive behavior before a solid course of action to solve it can be laid out.

The potential reasons for a dog barking excessively include such things as loneliness, boredom or a need for socialization. Other root causes can be such things as territorial or protective behavior, fears and even separation issues.

How to proceed in tackling a dog that likes to prove its bark is worse than its bite will depend on the cause. Once it's isolated or at least reasonably determined, there are options.

More Tips and Secrets

If a dog is barking because it is lonely, bored or just really wants attention, patience and schedule setting can fix the problem. Make sure your dog gets attention every day. Go for real walks rather than just letting them out, try to leave them indoors rather than out when people are not at home and spend time working on commands and tricks. The more time your dog has with you, the less likely periods apart are to create issues.

When barking issues are related to protective and territorial behavior, undoing this is a double-edge sword. Most people want their dogs to act as the line of first defense in their homes, but they might not want them to bark at every cat that wanders by. To nip this in the bud, consider teaching the dog the quiet command using positive reinforcement. Another possibility is to make sure dogs become comfortable with the people they see - and bark at - on a daily or frequent basis. Lastly, consider not over encouraging the barking habit at every creak, moan and groan in a house or neighborhood.

Separation and phobia-related barking can often be handled by ensuring the dog feels safe and comfortable inside a home and even by using some desensitization techniques.

Barking is a dog's way of talking, but when they talk too much, they can drive a house and even a neighborhood to distraction. There are things that can be done to lessen the problem.

Dog Whining - Handling the Canine Blues

As it is with barking, so goes it for whining. Dogs don't have a huge verbal capacity, and the whine just happens to be one of the ways it can speak and convey what it needs to.

Still, whining can become a problem. If it does, there are things owners can do to lessen the issue and make living with the dog easier and more enjoyable.

In general, puppies and dogs whine to get attention. As young babies, puppies learn quickly that whining gets them attention from their mother. Watch any female dog with a litter of puppies. She'll run to them right away if one starts crying. As puppies age, they learn to employ this attention getter on humans, too. If humans over-respond to whining, their puppy is likely to grow up to be a whining dog.

Still, there are other reasons for dogs to whine beyond the attention getting. Sometimes dogs that normally don't whine will do so when they are nervous, excited or even frightened.

Lessening unwanted whining can be done, but the first thing a person needs to do is to learn to walk away from a whiner that happens to have developed the habit for attention. It is okay to respond when there is concern for the animal's well being or safety, but answering every whine programs the dog to expect a response.

Beyond re-conditioning the dog to understand whining won't garner attention, there are a few others things that can be done. These include making sure a dog has the attention and love it needs. Also, be certain to properly train the animal and be certain it's well fed, watered and exercised.

It is possible to train the whine - almost - out of a dog, too. Achieving this will require rewarding the dog for ending its whining stint on command. A clicker and command sequence is often used to achieve this lesson.

Dealing with a whining dog can be a real problem for some owners. Depending on the reason for the problem, it can be remedied. If dogs only whine when they are excited or scared, no training is likely necessary. If they have been programmed to expect attention, comfort and love following a whining bout, some work will need to be done.

Handling the whining issue needs to start with figuring out the reasons for the behavior. If the person is a part of the blame, learning to recondition themselves likely will be in order, as well. It can be hard to turn away from a whining dog, but it might be a necessary step if peace is ever desired in a home.

Stopping Dog From Biting the Hand That Feeds Them

They might be man's best friends, but the reality is sometimes even the best of dogs will bite. When biting and aggressive behavior is a real concern, an owner might need to take serious action to prevent tragedy down the road.

If a biting incident has occurred and the authorities have not become involved or likely won't, there will be time to evaluate the situation. Try to figure out why the dog bit. If it was self-defense, fear or a desire to protect its home and humans, the incident might be isolated and not worth too much concern.

If biting is a repeated problem for people or other pets, then some serious steps will likely need to be taken. If the animal control authorities have become involved, they might set the terms. Otherwise, there are a few things owners can do to try and help retrain the bite out of their dogs.

The number one thing an owner can do to help lessen aggression is to get their dog fixed. This is especially so for an unneutered male, but can also apply to a female.

Beyond fixing, major training efforts will likely need to come into play. These include working to socialize the dog with other animals and people. Another option is obedience training and even personal, one-on-one training with a behaviorist. It is vital a dog be taught what is acceptable and what is not. Biting, of course, is not.

Even the best, most well-trained dogs in the world will sometimes bite. It is a very good idea for owners to exercise extreme caution when bringing their pets into situations that are unknown. The normally friendly dog, for example, might react out of fear and snap at a stranger on the dog's first trip to a park. To be certain, keep the dog restrained and gauge their reactions before allowing them to run hog wild.

Working with dogs that have biting problems can remedy the situation. It is important, however, for the owner to be responsible enough to carefully guard a dog when it is new or unfamiliar ground. It is impossible to predict how a dog will react to any degree of certainty.