How to better train my dog? Dog training tips and tricks

Do you have a new pet? Did you adopt a puppy? It is key that you educate him on fundamental issues to improve his behavior and direct his behavior. The fact that he relieves himself in inappropriate places, that anxiety leads him to break objects or that he behaves badly with strangers are problems that can be prevented Puppy Dog Training.

Hernán Sánchez Correa is president of the National Aquatic Sports Subcommittee, a qualified trainer, and a member of the training team for the Nuestro Perros exhibition that will be presented in April in La Rural. We spoke with him and he answered some concerns.

-What is the best age to train a dog?

-It is generally said that four months and older is the best age to train them, since they are in an ideal cognitive period; But those of us who work in the world of training can assure that from the moment the dog joins the human family (it is estimated that it is after 60 days of life) we must begin with the first stimuli related to behavior and obedience.

Dogs receive a first imprint from their mother from the moment they are born, when we see them playing with the puppies or “fighting” they are actually learning to hunt, impose hierarchy, etc. They receive the second “imprinting” when they arrive at our homes, where we show them their eating place, their resting place, the places they should not access and their schedules adapted to the family routine.

After completing the vaccination plan and veterinary clearance to go out, it is a good time to begin the challenge of teaching them tricks and creating a bond, first through play and then with more precise orders depending on what each person is looking for. In the case of specific breeds, for each activity an appropriate training plan is put together that will be reinforced throughout their lives.

-The problem of relieving oneself in the wrong places in the house is common, how to correct this behavior?

-It is a very common query. Let’s start by knowing that dogs are routine, they use a ritual that they always repeat. In this sense, dogs are like babies: they eat and after a few minutes they defecate. For this reason, once the animal eats, we wait a few minutes and put the leash on it and take it outside. He will be sniffing the posts, walking on the grass, the sidewalk, avoiding obstacles, and it will not take him long to find an ideal place to relieve himself.

We must collect what he did responsibly and put it in the trash with a bag. When it is his turn to eat again, we repeat exactly the same as before, that is, we begin to create a routine, the usual ritual. Let’s not forget to go out on the same side, take the same route and wait for him to relieve himself. The dog will set times and places and will know how to wait because he knows that his time and place will come.

We do the same with puppies that still cannot go out on public roads due to lack of vaccination. Although we cannot take them out, we can make them eat and quickly take them, for example, to a yard where we want them to defecate. When he does, we enter him, so he will know what his place is, where, how and the place where he can relieve himself. In a few days he will eat and go out alone.

-How to teach them not to jump excessively when visiting and not to break things in the house?

-It is a very common problem, each case must be evaluated by a trainer and he will know if it corresponds to a behavioral problem due to hierarchy or anxiety. Generally destructive behaviors – or hyperactivity – such as jumping at people, breaking things or not stopping running are due to the accumulation of anxiety due to lack of activity.

Remember that dogs need their time to play and walk, if we leave them for long periods inside our house, it is inevitable that we will arrive and want to show us, through jumps, that they want to use up that accumulated energy. If we create a routine of playing and walking daily for a few minutes, they will know that their time will come and they will not destroy anything or be nervous when it arrives.

In the specific cases of approaching visitors when we open the door, some tricks can be used.

  • They should not be tied in the back when people arrive and ring the bell, because it will generate even more anxiety and they will associate the sound of the bell with the punishment. This can generate unwanted behaviors that can even be aggressive.
  • We go with them to the door. The dog on his leash, and we correct any unwanted gestures or movements. We make him a participant in the meeting.
  • Dogs want to know who comes in, smell them to recognize them and be part of that, if we deny them we create more anxiety.

To control destructive and anxious behaviors, a tip that usually works is the famous “soda siphon.” Be very careful not to damage his eyes and even less try to “drown” him. The process is as follows: the person who is outside carries the siphon in his hand, rings the bell and when the owner opens the door and the dog tries to jump at him, it activates a small jet on the dog, this will surprise him and he will retreat. He will help the dog associate that after the bell rings and the door opens, if he lunges, he will not receive a very good welcome and will find it more convenient to wait at a distance out of reach of that unpleasant spray.

-To teach him a trick or behavior that we like, does the system of rewards and punishments work?

-A dog obeys a certain command or performs a trick through a stimulus. That is, the dog will do what is asked of him in exchange for something, which is the reward (or reinforcement). Generally, the first few times he is trained with a food reward, which is a very positive thing; Then it is interspersed with other rewards such as games and caresses (affective reward). That is, the food rewards or game rewards are interspersed with caresses, so that they do not get used to responding only to a food reward. It should be noted that reinforcements are divided into positive and negative.

For example, in the case of dogs searching for drugs or banknotes, the police officers they work with wear a muff. When the dog detects something, it sits until the policeman approaches; He gives him a toy as a reward. Then, the dog relates that when he finds a certain substance or meets a certain objective, they will have a reward.

It is very important that in all training, whenever our dog meets an objective, or with the order given to him, he is rewarded with food, a game or a caress. Thus, the stimulus will be fixed.

With respect to caressing, this represents another type of training, which is more specific: cognitive-emotional. This type of training aims at learning through emotions, whose reward has more to do with affective aspects.

To educate you better

Our room is the pack leader’s territory. If you let your dog sleep in your bed, then don’t expect him not to pee and poop wherever he wants or climb on your velvet chair.

Your food container is sacred and we must respect it. Never approach him when he is eating, at that time and in that place hierarchies do not exist and you can get a well-deserved bite; It will not be because he has a bad character, it will be because of the logic of defending what is his, just as he takes care of you when he defends you from third parties.

Never give him your food, it is not an act of love or equality, you are harming his body. If you really love him, just give him his food. You will live longer and better.

Don’t treat him or talk to him like a human. It’s not, he doesn’t like it and it doesn’t work for him. He likes being a dog, that you treat him as such. It needs responsible love and not our vices.

Take him to the vet periodically and never medicate him on your own.

Play a lot with him, make him use energy, create a bond, share activities and enjoy it. Remember that the only bad thing about dogs is that they don’t live long.

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