A guide to training your dog

Getting a new pet can be an exciting time in any home, but, it’s important to settle them and begin training right away.

Whether you have a new puppy or have adopted an older dog, training is the most rewarding part of owning a dog. Training your dog doesn’t just improve their manners, it’s also fun and helps to strengthen the bond between you and your new pet.

No dog is too old to learn new tricks and training your new four-legged friend should be high on your list of priorities as a new owner. Most dogs will love training as it can be a chance for them to challenge their brains, earn rewards and get lots of praise and attention.

Whether you decide to train your new dog yourself or take them to classes, it’s important to ensure you have everything you need for your training, such as toys and healthy treats. You could also use a crate for them to sleep in and for when you have to leave them home alone.

Things to remember when training your pooch include:

Give them a name

Start by helping your puppy to get to know their new name and use it every time you play, train or feed them. They’ll soon begin to recognise it and respond when called. Once they know their name, you can use it to communicate with and start to train them.

Be patient

Training can be time consuming as it can take several repetitions before your dog gets the hang of any new tricks. Arm yourself with plenty of patience and treats before you start.

Short sessions

If the training sessions go on for too long, your dog might lose interest. Limit the sessions to a few minutes each, as it’s better to have multiple short sessions a day, rather than one lasting the entire afternoon.

Don’t punish your dog

Your new dog is doing their best to learn, so if it takes longer than expected stay calm and keep the training fun and exciting. If it’s fun, your dog will be more willing to do the same routine many times.

Be consistent

Be sure to decide the house rules for your puppy before you bring them home with the rest of the family. Stick to the rules and ensure all family members understand them. It will confuse your dog if their routine is broken.

Persevere

Keep going with your training and don’t compare your dog to others – all dogs are individual and keep in mind your goal and that a well-trained dog is a happy dog.

Handle your dog

Stroke, groom and handle your dog on a daily basis with constant praise to get them used to being handled.

Training classes

These are a great way to socialise your new dog and help them to get used to other dogs and people. It will also help them to learn certain attributes and how to behave. Your vet may be able to advise on local ones in your area.

Be positive

Always end training sessions positively. Your dog has worked hard to please you throughout the session so give them lots of praise to ensure they enjoy the training.

Natural supplements

Omega-3s have been shown to aid learning abilities in young puppies and strong research demonstrates that Omega-3 supplementation from fish oil supports cognitive function. Some supplements such as Nutramind have been specifically formulated by vets to support brain function and have shown to aid learning abilities.

When getting a new pet, it’s important to remember the huge responsibility that comes with looking after them. Always consider if you have the time to look after them and can afford the costs that come with a pet. As lovely as it is to get a puppy, there are many older dogs waiting for new homes in adoption centres throughout the UK.