We see a lot of fantastic people, who are looking to train their dog. Here are a few quick tips to help keep your training heading in the right direction!
1. Play with your dog! This is a great relationship-building exercise! You can play a game of tug, hide and seek, catch me if you can, and all other sorts of fun things. These do not require food rewards but still, help forge a great bond! Also, ending a training session with play is scientifically proven to help them retain learning better!
2. Deliver rewards in a variety of ways! Don't just put it in their mouth, let them catch it, chase it, aeroplane feed (yes like a baby), rapid-fire some treats if you are having a hard time with focus, or scatter feed if you want a calming effect away from distractions.
3. Make sure your dog is emotionally in the right space when training! If they are too stressed, or too distracted, you won't make any headway. Find a space where they feel safe and can pay attention to start your training. Once you have good success you can try a little more difficult environment. Any time they are overwhelmed, give them more space or a visual block from the things that are causing them stress.
4. Make sure you are in the right headspace! If you are cranky or tired and have no energy for your training, you will not get a very good response from your dog either.
5. Make sure you have fun and take a break with your dog. Keep your adventures to things your dog is comfortable with or build up slowly! You don't have to go for a big hike, a sniffy walk that tires out your dog's brain is just as valuable if not more! Especially young pups, it's all about MENTAL exercise rather than physically overdoing it!
Have fun on the journey of training your dog!