There's a lot to love about being a dog owner. Cuddles on the couch, time spent playing with the best dog toys, and long walks in nature to name but a few.
However, while there are plenty of perks that come with having a canine companion in the family, being a pet parent has its fair share of challenges too!
Whether it's figuring out how to stop a dog from jumping up or trying to steer clear of the most common loose leash walking mistakes, there's always another useful behavior or skill that we're trying to teach our dogs.
According to Nikki Mather, a qualified dog trainer with the Institute of Modern Dog Trainers and a certified canine behaviorist to boot, there's a long list of things that can help our dog's coexist peacefully in the world.
That being said, there are three that really stand out to her and teaching them to your dog will not only improve their quality of life, but will also help make your life as a pet parent that much easier and less stressful.
Keep reading to find out what they are!
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1. How fun you are: "If you work on building up your dog’s engagement with you, then you’ll be able to get their attention through anything, and that’s one of the most useful skills to have with your dog!," explains Nikki.
2. To always come back: There are several potential reasons why your dog's recall isn't reliable — with distractions in their environment being top of the list. Thankfully, training a reliable recall is possible and has huge benefits. "Having a solid recall is liberating, for both you and your dog," Nikki says.
3. To settle: "There’s nothing worse than worrying what your guests think about a giddy dog, or a restless dog in public. Teaching your dog the art of doing nothing is invaluable."
As with training any new skill or behavior, it's important to remember that it takes time, patience, and consistency.
If you're not seeing positive results after a few months of working with your dog on the above, we recommend reaching out a professional trainer for advice.
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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.