Training a pet, whether it’s a playful newly acquired puppy or a rescue dog, is very important because it sets the stage for right behavioural patterns. With the help of positive reinforcement techniques, you will be able to shape your pet’s behaviour and encourage him to behave in a socially acceptable manner.
Top 10 Tips to Remember
Dealing with Unvaccinated Pets
In order to successfully complete obedience training, you must begin by verifying the puppy’s vaccination history. It’s best to not bring the puppy in contact with other dogs of the same age group until important vaccines have been administered. This will prevent other pets from acquiring diseases from the dog you’re training and vice versa.
Encouraging Social Skills
Dogs have what is known as a critical socialisation period between 3 and 17 weeks of age. During this time, it’s important to allow the puppy to come in contact with other puppies that are both healthy and friendly. This will help the puppy to build social skills, observe other pets, and relate to pets of their own age group. Arrange for puppy play dates with clients who have dogs of the same age. Also make sure they have a safe environment to freely roam about in.
Learn to Tackle Some of the Most Common Behavioural Issues
As a professional dog trainer there are a few behavioural issues that are common across most dog breeds. Some of the most popular complaints you’re going to hear from clients are ‘my pet keeps jumping on me’, ‘my pet is destroying my shoes, ‘I’m finding it hard to toilet train my puppy’, ‘my dog won’t stop barking’ and ‘my dog keeps digging up the yard’.
Using Positive Reinforcement
Puppies want to please their owners or trainers so use this to help them reach your behaviour modification goals. Learning when and how to positively reinforce is extremely important. Instead of commanding them to not exhibit a particular behaviour, you should instead tell them what to do, when to do and how to do it.
Understand Dog Breeds
Not all dog breeds have the same behavioural traits. Learn to distinguish the needs of each breed and find out how to tackle common canine problems for each breed.
Training the Pet Owner
It’s very important to talk to the owner about following through with the same training techniques at home. If positive reinforcement doesn’t continue and the pet has his own way at home, the training won’t be successful. Clients will come back frustrated and ask you why the dog’s behaviour hasn’t improved. In order to modify unacceptable behaviour, it’s equally important for the pet owner to establish rules at home and offer rewards when the dog obeys those rules/commands.
Use Games to Train the Pet
Instead of merely taking the puppy for a walk or having a conversation to develop a relationship with the dog, use games to make the training session fun and enjoyable. Once you’ve developed a relation with the pet, it will be easier to get him to obey your commands.
Understand the Risks That Come with Certain Pet Sports
If you’re offering agility training, you must be aware of the risks of injury that come along with the sport. The height of the hurdle and type of obstacle course selected should be based on the dog’s breed, weight, and age.
Find out the Psychology behind Pet Behaviour
As a dog trainer it’s very helpful to know why pets behave in a certain manner. Not all behaviour boils down to disobedience. Some pets react aggressively when they’re stressed, anxious or fearful. Identify the causes of stress and discuss these with the pet owner in order to help the puppy develop into a happy and healthy pet.
Consider Taking a Refresher Course in Dog Training
If you’ve been working as a professional dog trainer for several years but don’t know about the latest dog training techniques available, you could benefit from a certificate course in dog training. The NDTF offers a Certificate III in Dog Behaviour and Training. You can pursue this through distance learning or part-time at their centre in Melbourne. This is the only government accredited and nationally recognised program offered in the nation. It gives you the chance to interact with some of the best dog trainers and veterinary professionals in Australia. The course covers all aspects of training and it will help you network with other dog trainers in Australia.
To find more about dog training, visit NDTF online or give us a call on 1300 66 44 66.
National Dog Trainers Federation
20 Havelock Road
Bayswater, VIC, 3153