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Although there are various techniques used to train dogs, the basics of any training regime are consistency and plenty of exercise. Discipline and affection are also key to a well-trained dog. Dogs need a leader - they feel more confident with a leader. If their owner is not the leader, they will take the role instead of their owner or anyone else. No matter what training methods you implement, without consistency, your dog will be confused. Consistency should include the whole family and any friends whom your dog regularly encounters.
To establish more leadership in the dog's mind, family members should eat before feeding the pets. In the dog's world, who ever eats first is dominant. Another great way to establish dominance and leadership is exercise. As many dog trainers say, "a tired dog is a good dog," so regular exercise is a must.
Affection and rewards are good, but too many people only give praise and treats without discipline. Make sure you are not sending mixed signals, do not give your dog any positive attention while it is misbehaving. For example, when a dog whines, some people think they should reassure it, by stroking it and saying it is okay. Not only is this telling the dog that it is okay to whine, but it also tells the dog that when it whines, it will get praise and attention. This is where people have to pay close attention to the signals they are sending to their dogs, because miscommunication is always a possibility and difficult to correct.
Another common mistake is repeating obedience commands to your dog. If you tell your dog to "Sit" and it does not do so, repeating the command "Sit" multiple times encourages the dog to ignore you more. The best training technique is to tell your dog to "Sit", and if it does praise it. If it does not sit, make it sit by pulling up gently on the leash and pushing down with your hand on their pelvis. Dogs start to ignore commands when people repeat commands and don't follow through. A command should be said once and then you should follow through with making your dog do what you asked. Remember, in any method of dog training, consistency and exercise are key to training an obedient dog. The dog will be happier and will be a wonderful family member.
The following are some basic rules of dog training in order to reinforce your dominance:
1. People in the household should eat before the dog.
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Don't take a good vet for granted, that's what I say. I currently live in another state and have taken my 10 year old dog to numerous vets over the years (California, Colorado, Vegas, and then some). Never have I ever received the attention and care I've gotten w/Dr. Hines. Within the past 3 months alone, my dog went to 3 different vets for a horrible and painful skin problem that broke out all over her body.
The first vet: I spent more time ponying up the $175 for the visit than the Dr. spent actually looking at my dog. He performed a woods lamp exam for ringworm. Even without Google or a veterinary degree, I could tell it wasn't ringworm. Thanks for taking my money.
Second vet: "Here's some spray, now here's your bill. Bring her back in two weeks so I can charge you another visit." No tests, nothing.
Between the two, I felt like I got nowhere. No definitive answer on why this affected my dog and the medication given wasn't even for a diagnosed condition. Just some general topical spray. I could have bought it at Petsmart and saved myself the time and money.
Recently, on a visit to Idaho, I planned ahead to bring my dog to the Rupert Animal Clinic. I asked the same questions, had the same concerns and now have different results. Dr. Hines gave me options on what route to take, ran appropriate tests and communicated with me every step of the way (even calling me personally when test results came in). My primary concern was cancer. Our dog is like our child- we'll pay the money if we can keep her healthy and safe. In the future, I've resolved to bring my dog to Rupert Animal Clinic on our annual trip for all of her exams. I know she won't be treated as a little cash cow to exploit an owner's love for pets.