Changing your dog’s behavior is difficult, which cansometimes make training fun or frustrating, depending on what commands you are teaching him/her!
If you want to see smiles on your dogs face instead of groans, then you need to find ways to motivate them when they aren’t feeling particularly motivated. This article will go into some helpful tips that can be implemented at any stage in your dog’s training.
Making sure your dog has enough food, water, and shelter is an important factor in motivating behaviors. If your dog isn’t looking well-fed, he may try harder during training because he doesn’t feel as hungry. For dogs who suffer from dry eye syndrome, it can be hard to focus due to excessive shedding, so making sure his eyes are comfortable while learning new things can help get him going.
This article will talk about more strategies like these, as well as some easy ways to improve your dog’s motivation level without having to use tricks.
Fetch is one of the most popular games that dogs play. If you have ever seen a dog chase its own tail or throw a stick, then it’s probably been played before.
Fetch can be done with any kind of toy, but the easiest way to start is with a tennis ball. Most dogs immediately understand how to play this game!
Give your dog the ball and let them go. The dog will try to get the ball by running and jumping while tossing it back.
Some dogs take longer than others to figure out the concept so don’t worry too much if he doesn’t seem very interested at first. Once he gets the hang of it, they can both enjoy it for hours.
If possible, use short bursts of 5-10 minutes every few days until your dog is familiar with the game.
Throw a ball
The best way to gain your dog’s trust is to simply throw a ball and see what happens! You can start with an easy game where you just toss the ball around the room, or you can take it outside.
Once you get the hang of throwing the ball, you can begin practicing more complex games like fetch. When teaching your dog how to fetch, make sure that the command is spoken with confidence and strength.
Your dog may not understand why you are asking him to retrieve a specific object, so try to give some background as to what he would find in the area. For example, if his favorite toy was buried under the yard, then he might be motivated to go look for it when you ask him to fetch it. TIP: Don’t use the same old tired balls – mix up the shape, size and material to add some variety to the game!
BE AWARE OF BUGS AND POLLEN!
Never teach your dog to play fetch if there are any poopy diapers or carcasses lying about, as these could potentially cause choking or illness.
Do a puzzle
A training trick that has become very popular is something called a puzzle or reward-based learning. This is done by setting up a situation where your dog does an action like jumping, sitting, or walking somewhere, and then giving them a treat after they arrive at their destination.
The hardest part about this technique is deciding what kind of behavior you want to train your dog to do! For example, if you want your dog to walk on a leash next door with you, they must learn how to sit first. By using a puzzle approach, the rest follows naturally.
There are many ways to use puzzles in training your dog. You can teach basic behaviors such as recall (returning to a place or person) or coming back, or more advanced skills like housebreaking or socialization. The key ingredient in a successful puzzle session is consistency!
Consistency is important because it helps tell your dog that whatever he/she needs to do is worth doing. It also reminds dogs of past experiences, which help shape future memories.
Practice walking on a leash
Even if your dog doesn’t need any more motivation, this will be fun for them! Walking your dog on a loose lead is one of the most necessary exercises you can do as owners.
Walking your dog on a retractable leash is the next best thing to letting them run free outside! This way, they get some exercise while getting familiar with having a handle on you at their own pace.
For many dogs, once they feel comfortable walking on a leash, giving them freedom takes too long. They'll walk away or forget what they were being asked to do and then have trouble when you're trying to re-engage. For these dogs, practicing on a leash comes in very handy!
There are several different types of leashes that require no extra supplies other than an empty hand to hold onto.
Play with your dog
While having a walk or run is great, there are many ways you can make it more fun for both of you. The most common way to do this is to play!
If your dog loves toys, get some new ones and take them for a stroll. You can also bring their favorite toy along – just be sure they don’t put it away!
Alternatively, if your dog enjoys chasing things, have a little game where they must chase after a ball for a set time before returning to whatever they were doing. This is perfect for dogs that love moving around!
And lastly, let your dog explore something new by taking them out in the yard for a few minutes. If your dog does not like being outside, try introducing them slowly so they feel comfortable.
Teach your dog to sit
The next command you should work on is teaching your dog how to sit! This can be done with any breed, but it is easier with some than others. Dogs that are more motivated typically learn faster too.
Sitting is one of the most important commands there is. It is used for many things like getting food or toys, showing respect to other dogs, and even for going to school. Therefore, it is very important to teach your dog this trick.
There are several ways to teach your dog to sit. You could use a treat as motivation, play a game to reward them, or do it out of hunger.
Teach your dog to lie down
The next command you can try is teaching your dog to sit or lay down. This can be done at any time, not just during training sessions!
This will help if he needs to relax or need to rest. Some dogs that are busy working through things may feel tired or stressed out, and having access to this relaxation tool helps them re-focus.
You should also teach your dog to stand up. This is helpful for when he wants some extra attention or playtime. He’ll be more willing to do these commands if they are fun for him.
What kind of reward to use as a motivation for the sitting/lying command depends on the individual dog and their mood. You want to pick a trickeyed one that only rewards good behavior though, no junk food or toys that you would normally give for doing something else.
Some examples of trickeyed rewards include small treats like cheese or meat snacks, fresh veggies, or even playing with a toy for a little while.
One of our favorite exercises is called doggie yoga. This can be done at any time, even in the middle of the night! You just need a nice, flat surface that you will use as your mat.
You can also needed some comfortable furniture or blankets to lay on. The most important thing is to create a good environment for your dog so that they feel relaxed.
Start by sitting down with your dog and getting them used to being next to you on the ground. Once they seem more comfortable, add a few inches between their paws.
Now, put one foot up on the floor and have your dog sit down facing away from you. Use this position for the next step.
Move one of the feet off the floor and have your dog stand up. When they are both standing together, ask them if they would like to try something new.
Hello, I'm Cindy, the founder of PetsForLife. I am a true animal lover with 3 cats and 1 dog of my own. My passion for all things pets has led me to create a unique collection of personalized pet gifts. Check out our personalized pet gifts on our website.
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