Many owners feel that they don’t know enough to take on the responsibility of training their new dog and in such cases it only makes sense to look to the professionals for help, right?
When it comes to training a dog, choosing the route of puppy classes or hiring a private trainer can significantly add to the cost of owning and raising a new pet.
Well, maybe. If you do not have the time, but you do have the budget, then it’s quite possible that classes or private training might be the best course for you.
However, for those who are in need of a more frugal option and are willing to invest a little bit of time and effort into learning the basics, training can be easily accomplished in the convenience of your own home.
Major pet stores offer courses that cost as much as $119 for a 6-week class. That might not seem so bad at first glance, but when you stop to consider that those classes only meet for an hour each week, it may not seem like such a good deal.
Not only are you actually paying about $20 per hour, but in a class full of puppies it’s not likely that you and your dog are going to receive much if anyone on one time with the trainer in the hour before class is over.
Not to mention the amount of time that will be spent bringing the class to order and dealing with any interruptions caused by hyper pups. And you are still paying for all of those minutes that are not spent on training!
So what if your pup needs a more individualized approach?
Well, you can, of course, hire a private trainer. However, if your pocketbook is of any concern, this option will leave you stretched even further than the weekly classes.
Half hour sessions can run around $45 in city areas. Purchasing multiple hours at a time is a slightly better deal, but the hourly rates are still around $55 per hour. Training is essential to the happiness of you and your dog, but it doesn’t have to cost you a fortune.
If you really think about it, with just a bit of effort, training your dog at home can be done with the same time investment that is required to load them up, spend an hour at a class and then get them back home.
After all, when those sessions are over, you are still left to consistently reinforce what was taught for the remaining hours and days until the next session, right?
So why not take the hour or two each week and spend it learning what your dog needs to know, how they are best taught and applying it without setting foot outside your home?
Not only will you be saving yourself the effort of transporting your dog to and from classes, but you’ll be saving up to $90 per hour. Not to mention any cost involved in transportation.
Training is essential for making sure that you and your pup will be able to coexist happily. Dogs need to know their boundaries and what is expected of them and the way to do this is through training.
Without thorough training a dog can become an owner’s worst nightmare, wreaking havoc on their house and mental well being.
When it comes to ensuring that your dog’s training will be a success, the very first step is choosing the right dog. It is important to take into account not only a pups disposition but also the situation into which you will be bringing that pup.
What is your home like?
Is there plenty of room to run or will chance to burn energy be limited to scheduled walks?
Are you a single person or a family?
Do you have young children?
All of these things will play a significant role in how well your training efforts will go over.
By stopping to consider everything that is already on your plate currently, you can better make the decision about what kind of dog will thrive best in your environment and situation. If you have kids under 5, it is often suggested that you consider waiting a few years.
The reason for this is that little kids do not know how to be consistent or always gentle and having them involved in your pet’s development can require a lot more effort on your part.
Little kids will require you to run constant interference between them and your dog to ensure that your kids don’t undo any training that you are trying to instill in your dog.
You will also want to match your dog’s disposition to the amount of effort that you want to put into their training. Find out if they have an inherently obedient nature that will be easy to work with and easy to train.
If you don’t want a giant battle of wills, it is best to avoid a dog that is naturally stubborn and that will give you a run for your money.
Spend a little time researching the breed and what kind of time and energy efforts you are going to need to put out in order to get them properly trained.
Once you have picked out your new pup and have brought them home, you can start their training. As soon as a pup is old enough to be taken away from its mother and litter mates, it is old enough to start learning obedience and what is expected of them.
Start small and be as gentle and loving as possible. Remember that they are just babies and you will not be able to expect a lot from them at first.
One of the first things that your pup will need to learn is when it is appropriate and acceptable to chew on something and what things are not allowed to be gnawed on.
Be sure to have plenty of toys available that they can chew on and every time that you find them with something they shouldn’t have, switch it out for a chew toy.
The sooner your pup learns what they can and cannot chew on, the better off your house will be. This will also help to minimize health hazards that can occur from your dog swallowing an item that could cause a blockage and require surgery to remove.
House training is also an important concept for your dog to catch onto early on. There are several simple and very effective methods that can be used to teach your dog that they should only void outside.
Schedule your dog’s meals so that they coincide with bathroom breaks. Make sure that you take your dog out frequently especially after eating and drinking.
Taking them out first thing in the morning and before bed as well as before and after nap or crate times can help them to catch on to proper elimination patterns.
Using a crate is a wonderful way to help your dog learn to not do their business inside. Dogs are naturally wired to avoid eliminating in their sleeping areas.
Make sure that your dog’s crate is only big enough for them to turn around in. If you have purchased a large crate so that your pup can grow into it, block off the excess areas with cardboard or fill up the extra space with a box so that they are limited to only the area in which they will lie down.
If you provide them with too much space, they might be willing relieve themselves if they can get far enough away from it to lay down and sleep.
Once your dog is ready to start obedience training, begin with simple commands. It is important that they learn impulse control early on and this can be taught with commands such as sit and stay.
Teach them how to come immediately when called and make sure that they know how to drop items that they are not allowed to have.
The drop command can save your dog from harm or even save their life if they pick up something dangerous.
Walking and Exercise
Be sure that your dog gets plenty of exercises. A dog that is well exercised will be much easier to train.
Dogs that are not given enough activity will become frustrated and that frustration can lead to bad behavior and difficulty in training. Help them out by encouraging to use their energy in productive ways.
Be The Leader
Dogs instinctively follow leaders. In packs, one dog will assume the alpha position and the rest will follow. It is important, above all else, at the beginning of training, that you establish yourself as your dog’s alpha.
You are the pack leader and making that clear and without question will help your dog to know their position and be ready to follow you wherever you lead.
Remember that with consistent training and plenty of positive reinforcement your new pup will soon be learning to obey your commands.