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Helpful Tips for Training Your Dog

Can you believe that summer is already winding down? The kids are going back to school, and soon the weather will start to cool. Your dog may also benefit from going back to class. Read on as a local London, ON vet offers some advice on training Fido.

Why Training Matters

Proper training is very important, and isn’t just about having a well-behaved pet. Teaching Fido basic doggy obedience commands can help you stop him from running off, dragging you behind him on walks, or approaching unsafe areas or strange animals.

Basics

Start with the five most important commands, which are Sit, Stay, Come, Heel, and Lay Down. Fido should have these basics down pat before moving on to cute tricks or advanced training. Teach your adorable student one command at a time, and make sure he has mastered each one before moving on to the next.

Class Schedule

Fido doesn’t have a very long attention span, so don’t bore him with extended classes. About 15-20 minutes at a time is plenty. Down the road, you can work with your pup around distractions, but at first, teach him in a quiet area. Your four-legged buddy will be much more interested in his schoolwork if there isn’t a squirrel in his classroom!

Rewards

We probably don’t have to tell you that food is a great motivator for dogs. Choose small treats, like bits of kibble, cut-up hot dogs, or small pieces of deli meat, so you don’t overfeed your furry student.

Choosing A Method

There are many different methods for training dogs. Clicker training, for instance, can work very well, but you can also teach Fido without using a clicker. We do strongly urge that you avoid methods that focus on negative reinforcement. Punishing your four-legged pal for not picking something up could backfire, and make him feel anxious, angry, or frightened. Instead, focus on the positive, and reward Fido with praise and treats for doing something right.

Consistency

When teaching your furry buddy to respond to spoken commands, always use the same phrasing. Otherwise, you may inadvertently confuse your pup!

Patience

Don’t give up if your canine friend doesn’t get something right away: training Fido takes time, patience, and repetition.

Do you have any questions about your dog’s health or care? Call us! As your London, ON animal clinic, we are here to help!

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