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Training Tips to Make This National Dog Week Your Best Ever!

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National Dog Week is a great opportunity to take extra time with your four-legged family member.  Visit your town’s dog park, buy a new toy, go for a hike, or take this opportunity to enhance the bond and relationship with your dog.

Obedience training is a terrific way to help your dog become a well-behaved and a happier member of the family.  However many owners struggle when attempting to train their dog, resulting in frustration and loss of patience.  Systematic and appropriate progress are essential to steady improvement without burnout.    

Training your dog can be overwhelming sometimes, but it’s important to never lose patience and remain calm.  If you or your dog are not relaxed, training progress is impeded.

Use these tips to keep your stress levels in check when training your dog:

– Just like the tortoise and the hare, slow and steady wins the race.  Look to make slow and gradual progress each training session.

– Focus on one “D” at a time.  Work on either distance, duration or distraction during a given training session.  Don’t overwhelm you or your dog by working on all three.

– Frequent short training sessions.  Maintain your dog’s attention, reduce mental burn out & keep your frustration down by training in short bursts.  There is a point of diminishing returns when it comes to training, so avoid marathon training sessions.

– Take a step back.  If your dog has demonstrated that he knows “Sit” in a previous training session, but now he doesn’t seem to “understand” it, this means you need to take a step back in the training process.  Don’t hold firm and force them to comply with what you expect of them at this moment.  It’s NOT that your dog is stubborn, more than likely they have not learned the new principle well enough or you are asking them to do it in an unfamiliar setting (i.e. when you have guests over or in the middle of a busy park, etc.)

– If you feel like either you or your dog are not in the right frame of mind to train (tired, frustrated, etc.), simply end the session on a good note and take a break.  Don’t feel compelled to force the training session.  Quality training and developing a good relationship with your dog, is more important than just getting in a certain number of repetitions.

National Dog Week is the perfect opportunity to reward your pet and strengthen your bond & relationship.  These tips will help you reduce frustration, maintain patience, and create a more reliable and well-behaved dog.

Steve Reid is a professional dog trainer and owner of S.R. Dog Training in Westchester NY.  For more info about dog training and puppy training. Please also become a fan of Steve on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SRDogTraining

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