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Dog Training Advice

Almost nothing is more exciting than bringing a new dog home to the family--or home to yourself if you live alone. Whether you get months-old puppy or you rescue an older dog from the pound or the racetrack, adding this new canine member of the family is just plain fun and exciting.

But here's some dog training advice: you should keep in mind that you also have a responsibility to your family, your neighbors, even strangers in the community to train your dog to behave in public. A dog that bites, misbehaves, barks endlessly, chews up your furniture, and ruins your carpet will quickly become less of a joy and more of a burden. You can keep this from happening in your home if you'll keep in mind the following bits of dog training advice.

Dog Training Advice: Be Positive

Positive dog training methods work better than negative methods. There's no debate on the subject, it's been proven. So take this piece of dog training advice and make it part of your personality. We're not saying to eliminate the word "no" from your vocabulary. Just make sure there are lots of "yes-ses" to go with it. Physical cruelty and emotional violence do nothing for your dog (or for your reputation in the neighborhood). There are lots of dog training resources available that promote positive dog training methods. Take advantage of them.

Dog Training Advice: Be Fair

When you need to correct your dog, first of all make sure he understands what you wanted him to do in the first place. Most trainers agree that many dog mistakes are a result of human error. If you do need to correct your dog, then it doesn't give you license to release all the anger and frustration of the week. Think "communication." How can you get your dog to understand what he did wrong and how to make it right? Sometimes, a correction may just be absence of praise.

Dog Training Advice: Be Consistent

When teaching commands and then using them later, always give the same command for the same desired action. Preferably, you should give the command in the same way. Being inconsistent with a dog isn't challenging, it's just confusing.

Dog Training Advice: Be a Team Player

Dog training is not you versus your dog. It's not battle of the wills or quest for domination. Think of dog training as a team sport. You teach the dog what you want him to do. Then you give him the commands to do it. The more time you spend together, the more teachable your dog will become. The more love and respect you show to your dog, the more he will return.

Dog Training Advice: Build Up Over Time

This bit of dog training advice has to do with persistence. You can't teach the most complicated command in the book when you first start out. And you can't teach a complex command all at once. You have to start with basics, then add to the basics, combine the basics, etc. Each time your dog gets a piece of it right, then you can add the next piece, and then the next. Soon your dog will be performing complicated actions on your command that neither one of you would have dreamed possible at the beginning.

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