While there's no denying how much joy having a dog can bring to your life, if you're anything like us, there's likely a specific area of being a pet parent that you're not quite so fond of - and that's training.
Thankfully, expert trainer Amelia Steele has come to the rescue with an Instagram video where she shares three simple tips to help make the training process easier. You can check out the video below or read on for a summary of each tip.
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"If you ever find that you get really overwhelmed by training because it just feels like there is so much to do you just end up doing nothing, then don't worry - you're not alone and it's perfectly normal," Steele says.
The good news is that there are three things you can do to help make the process a little bit more manageable, and it all starts with engagement.
1) Engage with your dog: "I don't mean build engagement, I mean actually engage with them," Steele explains. Do something that they love and really spend quality time with them each day, even if it's just something like cuddling on the sofa or playing with their favorite toy. All of these things really help to build a relationship that lays the foundation for lots of your training."
2) Stop focusing on the end goal: "Break your training down into small, achievable chunks. For example, if your goal is loose lead walking, instead of constantly focusing on that final result behavior, start off by just rewarding eye contact. Start off by building all the little skills that are really easy to reward and before you know it, you'll have your loose lead walking. If you focus on the end goal, you're probably setting yourself up for failure."
3) Understand the emotions that drive your dog's behavior: "When we understand what's going on internally, we get a real insight into why our dogs behave the way they do and that in itself makes it a hundred times easier to address the external behaviors that we see as a result."
Remember, training your dog in any new skill takes time, patience and consistency. If you're not seeing the results you're looking for after several months, we recommend reaching out to a professional trainer for some 1:1 support.
For more great canine content, be sure to check out the three reasons why your dog's recall isn't reliable (and what to do about it).
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Kathryn is a freelance writer who has been a member of the PetsRadar family since it launched in 2020. Highly experienced in her field, she's driven by a desire to provide pet parents with accurate, timely, and informative content that enables them to provide their fur friends with everything they need to thrive. Kathryn works closely with vets and trainers to ensure all articles offer the most up-to-date information across a range of pet-related fields, from insights into health and behavior issues to tips on products and training. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with her family (which includes one super sassy cat), drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and reading all the books.