1. When you first introduce a dog to your home and your family it is important the family agrees on a set of house rules and ALL sticks to them. This is so the dog is able to learn their place in the family, dogs will feel safer in a home with rules and it will increase the amount of mutual respect you have for each other.
2. It is good for the dog to have its own secure area of the home where they can go to relax, this is usually a crate or a room- this is where they will go to sleep, or if they need to calm down. Do not think that it is a punishment for your dog to spend time in this place, puppies especially need this space to relax and feel safe.
3. At night it’s recommended that you cover this space with a dark sheet/blanket so they feel especially secure. This is also a good place where you can leave your dog when you are not going to be home.
4. ALWAYS reward good behaviour. This is absolutely crucial for your dog to understand what you are asking of them. It is best to keep some treats on hand at all times, especially in the early days.
5. When having training sessions with your dog it is important to keep these short (3-7) minutes so you capture the best part of their attention spans, but it is extremely important to hold these mini sessions regularly (a few times a day, every day) as this will help your dog to memorise the command faster and remember it.
At the end of each session ensure you end with a command your dog is familiar with. It is important each session ends positively with rewards as you do not want your dog to be uncooperative.
6. It is important (mostly with puppies) that you continue to introduce your dog to other dogs as much as possible in the first 5 months, if you fail to introduce your dog to other dogs it is likely they will become anti-social and even aggressive towards other dogs. Dogs love to play with one another and they feed off your vibe, if you feel scared about meeting other dogs then so will your dog. Show them it’s okay and reward them for coming back to you.
7. No matter the age of your dog, we recommend taking out a dog whistle out on all walks alongside some treats. If you feel sceptical if your dog will return after the distraction of something else. Eg, a person or another dog then it may be beneficial to you to practice this on your walk prior to an incident and always make sure your dog is rewarded with a treat when they come back so it is fresh in their minds.
8. Your dog should always eat after you. Once the last person in your home has eaten then your dog may eat their dinner. This asserts your authority and will teach your dog to wait their turn. NEVER feed your dog from the table or your dog will continue to beg for the food.
9. Understanding the difference between a bark and a whine. This is crucial in the beginning stages of having a dog as this will encourage your dog to bark for attention if they know you will respond to it. The best way to do this is, ignore this for as long as possible, especially at night, if the dog is in their crate and they are barking/crying, leave them to do so for as long as possible. More often than not they will stop barking and go back to sleep. If you keep responding to their cries they will learn that this is a way to get your attention.
10. Last but not least, the key to training your dog is plenty of PATIENCE & PERSEVERANCE. We know how difficult trying to train your dog is and we all know how easy it is to give up, but don’t give up on them. They will get it in the end, the short term fix is to let your dog get away with it but discipline allows your dog to feel safe and will leave you with a lifetime of mutual respect and long term happiness.