Trick or Treat

We all love a cute fury friend who has a few tricks up their sleeve. The Reject Shop has provided some tips on how to get the most out of your pup while being some light hearted entertainment. Nothing makes your pet more adorable than when their well behaved and listen to their owner.

 

1. Find your dog’s “currency”

You know your dog best, so you should know what really motivates them. Would they ever say ‘no’ to a treat? Do they love a good game of ball? Or perhaps just crave a good old tummy rub from their favourite hooman? The form of currency that works perfectly for the majority of dogs is without a doubt, treats! There are so, so, so many treats to choose from in the market, which can be quite intimidating – but it doesn’t have to be.

2. Start small

Now that you’ve found your dog’s currency, the training can commence – but take baby steps. Would you teach a toddler to run before it can walk? No? I thought not. Why should it be different for dogs? For example:

  • –  If you’re teaching them how to “high-five”, reward them every time they even move their paw after you give the command – they’ll soon start to realise this new command has to do with moving their paw. Keep rewarding them each time they move their paw up that little bit higher, until they’ll be giving high-fives left right and centre!
  • –  If you’re teaching them how to “wait” for their food, start with 3 seconds, then 5 seconds, and gradually build your way up. Once they’ve mastered waiting for their food until you give them the command to eat, you can even try leaving the room but ensure that your dog can still see you. If your dog can do this, then try leaving the room altogether, and see if they do as they’re supposed to when you’re out of sight and possibly out of mind!

3. Let them do things for themselves

Think back to when you first started learning how to drive on your L’s – how terrifying was it, for both you and your driving instructor? Despite your driving instructor being at least a little worried about how a novice driver might fare, they still (bravely) let you take control of the steering wheel and hit the road. Although they probably weren’t feeling 100% safe and confident in your driving abilities, they let you do it anyway – because that’s the only way you can learn how to drive! In a similar fashion, dogs won’t be able to learn the tricks that you are trying to teach them if you do the tricks for them… For example:

  • –  If you’re trying to teach them how to “sit” or “drop”, don’t push their bum and/or body down – not only will they hate it, they will also associate the command with letting you push them down rather than them doing it themselves!

4. Rewards, not punishments

Think about how willing you’d be to learn if you were constantly punished for making mistakes – correct me if I’m wrong, but you’d probably want to give up and do something more fun instead! In a society where we’re constantly telling others that it’s okay, and that we learn from our mistakes, we should of course extend this life lesson to our beloved furbabies too. Keep rewarding them for making a baby step in the right direction, no matter how small the step is, and don’t punish them when they’re not making any progress.

5. Have fun!

It may be called “training”, but the name doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s still quality one-on-one bonding time between you and your pooch! Dogs, like humans, are much more motivated to learn when training is associated with positive feelings. Plus, with a better bond between the two of you, Fido is much more likely to try harder in order to make you happy. It’s a win-win situation really! After all, what’s life without some puppy love and affection?

 

See the full article here.