How you train your dog matters. Dog training isn’t just about teaching your pup to obey commands. It’s also a great way to bond and have a healthy relationship with your pet. But, it is also important that you do not force anything onto the dog as this discourages them from learning from you.
Mistakes To Avoid When Teaching Your Dog
Over-Reliance On Treats
Using treats to encourage your pup is a great reward-based training strategy, but if you rely on treats too much, it can backfire as your dog will only listen to you if you give them a treat.
It will lead to an unhealthy relationship between both you and your dog if this persists. Your dog may begin to perceive you as the perpetual treat provider and nothing more. Try to give treats less often, and when you do give treats, make sure your dog has earned that treat.
Not Accounting For Your Dog’s Personality
When teaching your dog, always account for its personality and research its breed to ensure what learning strategies work for them. Surprisingly, some dogs do not respond well to positive reinforcement training, in which case you need to find alternatives like a clicker or relationship-based training instead.
Always adapt to your dog’s learning process and take things one step at a time to ensure that the dog is learning capabilities progressively. This will make it easier for you and your dog.
Overtraining Your Dog
Dogs are not that different from us since any person or animal needs to rest after training or working for a prolonged amount of time.
When training your dog, try not to overtrain it and give it enough rest before resuming training on another day. A good rule of thumb is to train it on Monday and have it rest till Wednesday which allows the dog 1 day off before beginning again.
Now that we’ve gone through things to avoid, let us move on to some advanced tricks to teach your dog.
Dogs love to please their owners and nothing is more pleasing than knowing that your dog can fetch anything that you throw. But it is not as easy since some dogs understand the context of what you are doing but they would rather sit and observe instead of going to fetch that frisbee or dog bone of yours.
Start small. Start with an item a few feet away from you and progress gradually as it continues to learn how to fetch things correctly. You may want to always throw the same type of item for consistency.
This is an all-time classic but is not as easy to teach as it looks. Dogs need to be taught how to relax and understand the concept of “playing dead” before they can do it properly. It’s also important to remember that playing dead can be an emotional experience for some dogs. The act of being still and motionless can be difficult for pups to understand, especially if they are anxious.
To start, you’ll want your dog to lie down – a key part of teaching them this trick. Then you will give them a small reward each time they stay in the same position for a moment. You can then progress, by saying “play dead” as you move your hand in front of their face and reward them when they stay there for longer than a few seconds.
Spinning is a bit more challenging to teach a dog because it requires them to rotate their body in a full circle. To help your pup understand what a spin looks like, you can use your index finger and move in a rotating motion to have them understand what you want them to do.
Treats or toys that are held up at various heights and positions as visual cues for them too will help. You should reward them every time they spin so that they learn the behaviour is desirable and encourage them to do it more often.
Dancing is probably one of the most difficult behaviours to teach a dog because it requires them to coordinate multiple movements at the same time. The key to teaching them to dance is to break down each step into small, manageable components and then slowly combine those elements.
You can start with basic steps like having them stand in place on two feet while you hold up a treat and encourage them to move. You should then add additional movements like walking sideways or turning around in circles, as well as having them move their hind legs in circles and their front legs in arcs. It might be the most difficult to learn but also the most rewarding to see.
Walking backwards with your dog is even more difficult to teach as it requires them to coordinate their body differently. They must turn and face the opposite direction first before they begin walking, which can be disorienting for them. It also requires good balance, coordination, and strength in all four legs and paws.
Start by having your dog stand still with you in front of them, and then slowly walk away from them one or two steps at a time. When they follow you backwards, give them verbal praise to let them know that they are doing well. Repeat this exercise several times in a row until your dog can easily walk backwards with you without any hesitation. Once your dog is comfortable with this exercise, you can gradually increase the number of steps taken in one session.
So here are the 5 advanced tricks to teach your dog. We wish you the best of luck!