Sunday, October 25, 2009

Five Tips to Ensure an Obedient Dog

Training a dog is one of the most important factors of ownership. A well-trained pooch is likely to be much safer, because of the reduced risk of running away from you. In addition, it is recognized by pet behaviorists that obedient dogs are far happier, as they are not stressed with the pressure of being the dominant member of their packs. The domesticated dog has been modified, through selective breeding, to accentuate its submissiveness. Therefore, your family pet is at its most content when it considers you as the alpha animal.

1. The first step in training your dog is to start as early as possible. Of course, a puppy is far easier to train. If you've adopted an adult dog, you may need to exercise more patience, but an adult can still be successfully trained. Whether you've welcomed a puppy or a mature dog into your home, its training should begin as soon as possible. For example, if you do not want your dog to sit on the couch, don't allow it to from the very beginning. Many owners make a huge fuss of new dogs and permit behavior that they later find unacceptable.

2. Similarly, consistency is key. It is always a good idea to establish a routine for your dog. In other words, he, or she, is fed and walked at approximately the same time everyday. Dogs tend to respond well to structure and deviations from this can stress them.

3. Depending on the age and temperament of your dog, you may find it beneficial to begin with small sessions of obedience training. It is important not to bombard your dog with too much information at once. Start simply with the basics, such as sit and stay.

4. Try to avoid shouting at your dog. Most dogs do not respond well to harsh criticism. Of course, if the dog is doing something unacceptable then it should be told "No" firmly. However, less destructive and non-worrying behavior should simply be ignored. The natural instinct of a domesticated dog is to please its owner. Therefore, praise for the positive behavior and a lack of reaction for the negative should be enough for your dog to understand what is required of it.

5. The single most important thing when training a dog is that it recognizes you as the pack leader. As pack animals, wolves (a domestic dog's ancestors) work as an efficient hierarchical group. Put simply, every pack must have a leader and, in this instance, it needs to be you. Some trainers and owners believe that 'alpha rolling', which mimics the behavior of dogs and wolves in the wild, is an effective way of asserting authority. However, some simple measures can have an equally successful response. For example, when your dog is young, it is advisable to remove its food bowl while it is eating. Alternatively, you may choose to take a favorite toy away from your dog. This only needs to be done very briefly, as most dogs will not react aggressively and the food, or toy, can be replaced with lots of praise. If your dog does bark or growl at you, ignore the negative response and remove the food or toys more frequently until he, or she, understands that you are the boss.

Try to remain calm and patient throughout your dog's obedience training. Remember, training a dog is an opportunity for you to bond with your pet. If you perceive at as a chance to play and have fun, then your dog will be infinitely more receptive towards it. If you're experiencing difficulties in your dog's obedience training, then there are many schools that can provide advice and support. Your local veterinarian should be able to put you in touch with a reputable obedience trainer in your area.

Samantha Markham is a professional writer who is currently working on behalf of, which is a supplier of a variety of pet products including, unique dog gift ideas and backpack dog carriers with wheels.