Are there any hints and tips to help me train my rescue dog?

Whether you are new to dog training, or have some prior experience, every dog poses a new challenge whilst you try to unleash his potential.

Dogs that have already been taught the basic commands as puppies are in an ideal position since they probably have had less opportunity to develop unwanted habits.  These dogs are now in a position where you can develop their behaviour and training abilities to more advanced stages.

On the other hand, many people take on older dogs from a rescue shelter or from owners who cannot look after them.  These dogs have often missed out on early puppy training.  Thankfully, reward based training techniques are suitable for all dogs, no matter what age they are at.  Although young puppies will quickly learn the techniques, all dogs can progress when they are enjoying their training.  It is important to set aside time to train your dog since this commitment will show in the progress that you make.

Owning a dog can be challenging at times.  Adolescent dogs can appear to forget the training they have been given as puppies. This is due to the effects of hormones and their new interest in social interactions outside the pack.  By continuing to follow your reward based training programme, making sure that your dog is rewarded for all good behaviour, your cheeky adolescent dog will improve as he grows up.

Taking on an adult dog with limited previous training can test your abilities, but the satisfaction from your achievements and from building a good relationship with your dog is worthwhile.  Although working with an adult dog that has already developed training problems can be very frustrating, it is important that you continue using kind and fair techniques whilst attempting to resolve the problem.

A dog that is confused or untrained will often be viewed as “naughty” and a common human reaction to this is to try to punish him.  Punishment is problematic for many reasons since it

can be hard to judge the correct timing and to know what an appropriate level of punishment is.  Inappropriate punishment can lead to your dog learning to be afraid of you, or of events that coincided with the time of the punishment.  This can lead to fear based behaviours which will actually inhibit your dog’s ability to learn.  This of course makes it harder to achieve your goals.

It is important to use training methods which do not frighten your dog or cause pain or discomfort.  Ultimately you want to avoid techniques which have the potential to damage his confidence in you.

Successful training should be about building a good relationship with your dog and not about scaring him into compliance.  By using the Mikki Basic Command Kit both you and your dog should have fun training and discovering new achievements together.

For further tips and training advice, check out our basic command clicker training guide HERE.

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