Tips and Tricks to Basic Dog Obedience

 

Year-round, Estrella residents enjoy the great outdoors without leaving our community. With its miles of desert trails and acres of parks and lakes, residents have a variety of options to live life in every direction. Many of these outdoor amenities can be enjoyed by more than just residents, but by their four-legged friends as well. If your family is looking to add a dog to your pack, or your current “fur-baby” needs a refresher course in obedience, this blog is for you! We’ve reached out to local dog training experts at Camp Bow Wow in Avondale for some tips to help Fido be a model citizen at home and around the community.

Be Consistent – Consistency will be the key to your pooch’s success in obedience training. When training, ensure your entire family is on the same page with “house rules” for Fido. If one person is teaching your dog “off” when they jump onto the couch, another says “down” and someone allows your dog to stay on the couch, you’re communicating mixed messages to your dog and they won’t know what to do.

Have Realistic Expectations – Rome was not built in a day and your dog will not become the next Lassie immediately. Training dogs both young and old, takes patience and realistic expectations. Adult dogs can be slightly more difficult to train because you will be changing cemented behaviors. For example, if you let your dog jump on people for two years straight, you can understand why abruptly changing that behavior may be difficult at first. It’s never too late to change behaviors, some habits may just be harder to break than others.

If You Like the Behavior, Reward It – Each dog has a different drive, and a crucial key to successful training is finding the correct reward and having them work for it. Rewards can be verbal/physical praise, a favorite chew toy, kibble or treats. When training, only reward Fido for a job well done. Pair each reward with some sort of verbal market like “yes!” or “good dog!” in a positive and happy tone of voice. This will reinforce the positive behavior and help your dog know they are doing what is asked.

Keep Training Sessions Short and Sweet – When first starting out, it can be difficult for dogs to focus on training for long durations. Begin with 15-minute training sessions a day and gradually increase the length of instruction. Mental stimulation is tiring for dogs so it is best to start small and work their way up.

Training your canine can be a fun and rewarding experience for you and your family. For more information on what outdoor amenities at Estrella are dog-friendly, contact the Information Center at (623) 386-1000 or visit estrella.com.