San Diego Humane Society.

Have you ever wanted to know the secrets to dog training? While the specifics can vary greatly, there’s a basic formula that will help you work toward harmonious living with your pets. Here are four of the “secrets” of dog training from San Diego Humane Society’s Community Training Coordinator Shauna Romero, CPDT-KA:

1. Patience. Training your dog takes time and commitment. People don’t change overnight and neither do animals. Keeping this in mind will help lower frustration levels for both you and your dog during training.

2. Reinforcement. Dogs are excellent at reading body language and in turn, they repeat behaviors that work for them. It’s important to be aware of the behaviors you may be reinforcing unintentionally. For example, if your dog barks and you turn to say be quiet, you have now taught your dog to bark in order to get your attention. Try ignoring the barking instead and, eventually, your pup will give it up. Once your dog is quiet, try reinforcing the behavior with petting, toys, dinner, praise or treats. By ignoring the barking and rewarding the quiet, you will eventually have a pup who no longer barks for attention.

3. Timing. Reward desired behavior as soon as it occurs.

4. Consistency. This is incredibly important. If you are not consistent, then your dog won’t know what behaviors you desire. For example, if you don’t want your dog to jump on you in your good clothes, don’t allow them to jump on you in your jeans.

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