Can I Train My Dog Myself?
Training your dog yourself is not only possible, but it's basically mandatory. Don't fret, though. It can also be enjoyable and rewarding. Owning a dog is a commitment, right? You can't go to the gym once a month and expect results. And, the same thing happens with dogs. They're not a car that you park in the garage and hope that because the dog came to you trained that the dog is going to perform perfectly.
The first step is to figure out what method of training you want to use. The Beacon Dog Academy uses positive reinforcement exclusively. Positive reinforcement is when you reward your dog for doing something you want it to do. This could be treats, praise, petting, or any number of things that your dog finds reinforcing.
As Daniel explains:
"Training should become a daily, habitual routine and that routine should change all the time so that the dog doesn't start preempting and making mistakes. And, training should be fun and so if it's not fun, think of ways to integrate it into your everyday routine."
While you can hire someone to handle all of the training for you, this can be problematic. First, you're entrusting your dog's training to someone else. This means that you won't be as involved in the process and you won't know exactly what's going on. Second, it can be expensive to hire a professional trainer.
So, if you're up for the challenge, training your dog yourself is definitely the way to go! It also means you'll be training yourself at the same time. By taking on the role of trainer, you'll learn a lot about dog behavior and how to effectively communicate with your dog.
Are you ready to get started? Here are a few things to keep in mind as you embark on your training journey:
1. Be patient and consistent. Like with most things in life, success with dog training takes time, patience, and consistency. When you're first starting out, it's important to be realistic about what you and your dog can accomplish.
2. Take things slowly. Start with basic commands like sit, stay, come, and down. Once your dog has mastered these commands, you can move on to more advanced training.
3. Be positive. Use positive reinforcement (praise, treats, petting) to encourage your dog to perform the desired behavior. Avoid punishment, as this can cause your dog to become fearful or resentful.
4. Get help if you need it. If you're struggling with training, don't be afraid to ask for help from a professional trainer or behaviorist. They can provide valuable guidance and support.
5. Have fun! Training should be enjoyable for both you and your dog. If it's not, take a break and try again later.
With these tips in mind, you're ready to start training your dog! Please consider signing up for our dog training course. Daniel offers great insights and demonstrations that will teach you the fundamentals of dog training. You'll be off to building yourself as a leader and transferring that knowledge effortlessly to your dog training sessions. Good luck!