Now, that you have got yourself a new family member – Beagle, what’s next? Commit yourself to have her house trained? So where do you begin? That is really easy – you just start small! In fact, obedience training for small dogs shouldn’t be too hard, just follow on the following tips to get you moving!
Before you get started, you need to be mentally prepared and allocate sufficient time for the training. Patience will be the key to success. This is especially so when you are training a dog that is rather intelligent and, at the same time, impulsive. These are two factors that can be difficult to deal with, but once you overcome them, the training process will be so much fun and worth it.
So, the very first place to start is to learn more about your dog. The more you know and understand your dog, the better equipped you will be to train him and make the whole obedience training process a much easier and more enjoyable one. Do you know that your dog is as eager as you are to get trained?
For a start, set aside thirty or forty minutes each day, depending on how old your pet is and start with some simple obedience exercises. Teaching her the “sit” and “down” commands are the essential for any obedience training.
These commands could be a breeze for older dogs but for young puppies, the exercises should be carried out with distractions like a treat or a toy. This way, you ensure that your dog does not get a reward for simply responding to a command, but instead looks forward to future challenges!
You would also need to spend some time working with your dog to build her trust. Playing with her is one of the approach. Games such as “Tug of War” and “Frisbee” work pretty well to create bond with your pet.
As for the training on basic commands, I would suggest you to begin with asking your dog to “come” followed by a reward and keep repeating this. She will gradually begin to associate “come” with a reward and will soon get the idea that “come” is a good thing!
If your dog responds fearfully to “come”, change the words that you use to get the response you want. Try saying “here” or “close” when your dog gets up on her hind legs and reward her for her response.
When you starts training her on some basic commands, remember to keep a look out on her “reaction” and adjust your training program accordingly. This will help your dog to develop a rewarding interest in her learning (positive reinforcement) and will also help to develop a stronger co-operation.
Positive reinforcement is by far the best motivator to motivate your dog to do anything. She will work harder simply because she knows that she will receive a reward for her efforts. What you are trying to achieve is a point where she will do the right thing no matter in what the circumstances after the training.
There are a variety of ways that you can teach your dog for obedience. You can use voice commands, of course, but hand signals are essential to her as well. In fact, the best training approach would be to actually teach her hand signals over voice. She can associate the voice commands she knows with something she sees you do.
You can teach your dog hand signals in a similar way. Instead of associating the command with a visual object, you can associate the command with an action that she knows. This works really well.
Spend a little time each day with your dog. When she is sitting somewhere at one corner of your home, make a hand signal to her, say “Bella”, while showing her the chosen signal. She’ll get to associate that signal with the command “come”.
Once she has learned the voice command and associated it with the right hand gesture, you can start on another hand signal command. Remember though, you have to be consistent because she will eventually associate the different signal with command that you had given.
Teach your dog new tricks slowly and patiently. If you want to teach her to “roll over”, you have to take it slow. Teach her one command at a time and make sure she practice that each day.
Just remember that do not ever let your lovely dog believe that she is going to be allowed to do whatever she wants to. You need to train her to “see” you as the leader of the pack and that means you are her leader whether you are at home or not.
Never let your dog rules the household. If you do, then you are encouraging her to become dominant and if that happens, all kinds of bad behaviors will be the result.
You must set rules, and be very consistent about those rules. This is going to be crucial to the success of your training. If you want your dog to know who is the boss, you need to be headstrong in your convincing her that you are her pack leader. In the same vein, you must make it known that you are the “Alpha” pet and she should look to you for guidance and leadership.
Dogs are much happier when they have clear rules to follow. When you establish that leader of the pack that she must listen to, your dog will be much more happy and eager to follow your leads.
As no two dogs react exactly alike, the learning process depends on the type of response that your pet finds acceptable. However, a basic understanding of her behaviors can potentially make the training process smoother and more enjoyable.
Be patient, consistent and keep the training sessions brief. Do not move on to the next level until he is consistently obeying your commands. Remember that it may take awhile for her to pick up the training.