Pet training is more than just a matter of getting your dog or cat to listen to you. Here at Bayside Animal Hospital, we help owners come up with personalized plans for their pet’s total mind and body wellness. This means learning how to connect with your pet through training in a way that’s both rewarding and fun.

In honor of National Train Your Dog Month, we’ve put together a list of pet training tips to make your pet training sessions both easy and fun.

Use Positive Reinforcement When Training pets

tan dog accepting treat from human hand

Just as children respond better to praise, dogs are also more likely to learn and grow during their pet training through positive reinforcement instead of punishment. Kindly disciplining your pet may sometimes be necessary, but overall, it’s much more effective to teach your dog what you want them to do rather than only correcting them when they’re not acting properly.  Praise them immediately after the sought action with positive reinforcement such as treats, hugs, and cuddles. 

You can also vary positive reinforcement strategies to make them more exciting for your pup. Too many treats can lead to canine obesity and high blood sugar, so we recommend incorporating lots of pets, praise, and playtime as rewards, too!

Explore New Pet Tricks

golden retriever waiting patiently while balancing a treat on his nose

Pet tricks are a fun way to interact with your dog while also providing much needed mental stimulation. For high-energy breeds, learning a new pet trick can be a good way to flex their brain and help them to become a better follower. Start simple, with something like teaching them how to balance a treat on their nose until you give the OK to eat it. Check out this complete list of pet tricks you can teach your dog.

Focus on Problem Areas with Pets

Whether your pet is jumping, biting, or housetraining, new pet training can help you nip problems in the bud. There’s no such thing as a bad dog, only an untrained one. While some pets are more challenging to teach than others, any pet can learn how to behave like the good boy or girl we know they are.

Address any of your pet’s most disruptive behaviors first. This will help you build a stronger bond with them and tackle any stress or anxiety that could be negatively impacting your beloved pet’s behavior.

Only Use One Pet Command at a Time

Small brown puppy sitting on grey floor and waiting for command

Imagine someone giving you four commands at once–but not being able to respond in their language. It would be immensely difficult to figure out what you’re supposed to do, right? The same goes when we’re training pets, and double for puppies. They don’t speak English, and they need guidance, patience, and repetition to learn what’s expected of them. Model actions as often as you can, and focus on reinforcing a single command at a time before you start ordering them to perform additional tricks or sequences.

Don’t Forget Exercise for Pets

One of the most overlooked aspects of training pets is easily their fitness. Daily walks and play sessions burn off excess energy, keep your dog healthy, and get them in the zone for training. When you’re first starting off with new pet training, only practice for 5 or 10 minutes at a time. As your pet grows more comfortable and attentive, you’ll be able to train for longer periods.

Contact us today at Bayside for more information on pet training, along with our next-door neighbors at Bayside Bed & Biscuit. We love helping pet owners understand their furry friends better and strengthen their bonds with their pets.