If you have ever tried to find tips online about how to train your dog, you would have realised that there is lots and lots of (very different!) information!
Our approach is to use positive training methods, and to teach pet parents and their pooches that positive actions and behaviours deserve to be rewarded – no matter how old your dog may be!
Help your dog learn faster - Ditch the food bowl!
Making your dog work for their kibble is not only fun for them, but also allows you to create good behaviours and keep your dog busy while you are away. The trick is to keep some kibble on hand with you everywhere you go, and reinforce your buddy’s good behaviour.
Firstly, weigh out your dog’s usual daily kibble amount in the morning and place it in treat bags.
Throughout the day, reward your dog with some kibble anytime they behave positively.
- When they sit instead of jumping up on a visitor or family member
- When they wait patiently at the door to come inside
- When they sit on their mat without being told
On their walk, reward them with some more kibble when they:
- Display great ‘loose leash’ walking (i.e. not pulling)
- Sit at a corner and waiting to cross the road
- Show good social skills when you encounter another dog or person
If you’re going out for the day and need to leave your dog at home, use the kibble to keep your dog busy. Spread it throughout your backyard, in every area your buddy is allowed access to.
Your dog will spend a few hours sniffing out their kibble instead of digging holes, barking and engaging in other destructive behaviours. For extra stimulation, provide your dog with a few Kong toys stuffed with tasty treats!
Alternatively, use half your dog’s daily kibble amount and feed the other half at dinner time as normal.
Stop destroying things while you’re away
Always give your dog a job to do while you’re away. If your dog barks when you’re not at home, digs holes or destroys everything in sight, they’re letting you know that they’re bored from lack of stimulation. Although these destructive behaviours are very common, they are actually very easy to fix!
- Mentally and physically stimulate your dog before they are left out in the yard for the day. Before you go to work, go for a walk or do some training. Waking up and putting your dog straight outside can be a recipe for disaster!
- Provide your dog a job to do while you are away. If you don’t, they’ll find their own like barking, digging and destroying things! Get half of your dog’s daily kibble amount and spread it throughout your backyard. Your dog will spend a few hours sniffing out their kibble, getting great mental stimulation and physical exercise!
- Get a few Kong toys and stuff them full of tasty treats. Consider getting a pet pool to fill with sand and bury your dog’s toys in. Freeze your Kong and treats in a container of water to add an extra challenge and help cool your dog on a hot day!
Go with you, anywhere
It may seem scary at first, but taking your dog everywhere you possibly can will improve their behaviour, your relationship and understanding of each other.
This might include the beach, to a friend’s house or even down the street to the local café. The more experiences you can share with your dog, and the more you can strengthen your bond, the better they will be. Exposing your dog to more experiences and environments allows for a well-balanced and socialised buddy.
Don’t forget to take treats along, to create positive association with each new place and reinforce great behaviours!
Do you have a new puppy? Learn more about PETstock’s Puppy School Program.