By Nan Talleno
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Training your dog is truly worth the time spent. First, it creates a unique bond between you and your dog. Secondly, it gives your dog more confidence and security as it sets up structure and routine. And it lets you guide your dog as a gentle but responsible leader, which is of primary importance to your dog. This will create balance and stability in your dog’s life which will result in a happier dog.
Training your dog should never be a tedious activity. Rather, turn it into a fun and exciting adventure. You can train anytime you’re together, watching TV or out for a walk.
Make the lessons easily attainable. Set your dog up to succeed. Just work for a few minutes to start. For example, a simple Sit and Look or a Sit/Stay or even a simple standing Stay with a treat and eye contact for a second at first, then increase some time as the dog progresses.
When your dog loses attention, stop and try again at another time. Never go beyond what your dog can handle.
Never ever become angry or frustrated. Keep your emotions in check. And always praise and reward your dog’s successes.
It’s important to remember that the energy that you put forth during the training routine will always be picked up by your dog, so make it a positive experience for both of you.
And remember, it’s never too late to start to train your dog. Even a senior dog can learn something new; just make sure not to stress an older dog by keeping the lessons appropriate for what your older dog can handle.