Week 10: Dog Training & Obedience

Hey there, welcome to the final week of our Bark Better Live Better Challenge! This week, we're switching gears and diving into the world of dog training.

Training your pup is super important for building a strong bond and making life better for both of you. Sure, it takes some effort, but trust me, the rewards are totally worth it. You'll not only have an awesome companion but also a happier, more well-behaved dog.

Before you dive in, take a moment to think about what you want to teach your furry friend. While flashy tricks are fun, it's crucial to nail down the basics first, like sitting, staying, coming when called, and walking nicely on a leash.

When it comes to training, keep it short, sweet, and engaging. Make it fun for your dog, and you'll see their work ethic skyrocket! And don't forget to reward them – whether it's with praise, treats, or their favourite toy.

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Golden Retriever In Stay PositionGolden Retriever In Stay Position

Rule Setting

Having clear rules for your dog is key because it helps them understand what's expected of them. Your pup looks to you for guidance, so it's crucial to stay consistent in your training approach.

This becomes even more important in multi-person households. It's essential for everyone to be on the same page and stick to the same rules. Consistency is key here – if the rules keep changing, it'll only confuse your dog.

While one person may take the lead in training, everyone should be ready to reinforce good behaviour and address any unwanted behaviour. This consistent approach helps your dog learn and understand the rules more effectively.

Goal Setting

Setting goals for both you and your dog is crucial.

Identify which behaviour your dog struggles with the most. Is it recall, staying calm around visitors, leash walking, or jumping up?

Once you've pinpointed the behaviour, start there. However, keep in mind that you can work on multiple behaviours simultaneously, which adds variety and excitement to training sessions.

Training Sessions

It is easy to get heady of yourself and think of all the cool things you can train your dog. But you have to remember that training is a learning process. Your dog is not going to be perfect the first or even the 7th time you train something with him. This can be frustrating for both you and your dog.

This is the reason why making it fun is so important. If you feel yourself or your dog getting frustrated, then make sure to ask your dog for a behaviour which you know he easily can do and reward so you can finish your training session on a high, making it still a positive experience for your dog.

Do not make your training sessions too long. It is much better to do a few short sessions multiple times a day, as your dog will be able to hold its focus throughout.

Ideally training sessions are between 2 and 10 minutes long. This means that it should be relatively easy to fit into your day. You can for instance do a quick training session, just whilst you are boiling the kettle to make yourself a cup of tea!

ABRA Cadabra Formula

No matter what skill you're teaching or how far along your dog is, keep this in mind:

A – Attention

B – Behaviour

R – Reward

A – All Places

By following this formula, you can tackle any behaviour, anywhere. If your dog struggles with a new skill, it's likely because one of these elements needs more work.

Start by getting your dog's attention. Without it, training won't get far.

Next, work on the behaviour itself.

Always reward your dog for their efforts. Rewards reinforce the behaviour and keep them motivated.

Finally, practice in various locations and situations to ensure your dog can perform anywhere.

Training Improves Your Lives

Training isn't just about teaching your dog commands; it about improving life in general. We all want to live in perfect harmony with our pups, but that takes some work. You've got to teach your dog the ropes and then use those skills to navigate through different situations together.

Living with a badly behaved dog can be really hard work, cause stress and frustration for both you and your furry friend. 

As always, at Happi Doggi, we want for every dog to live the happiest, healthiest life, and that is made harder without having good manners. 

It is for this reason that we have partnered with the K9 Training Institute to offer a FREE Workshop. You can take it here

In the mean time, we’ll take a look at some common situations below and see how training improves them.

Dog Looking And Waiting For TreatPracticing Good Manners & Self Control Around Food
Meal Times

During meal times, it's essential for your dog to have good manners, just like we expect from ourselves and others.

Picture this: you're preparing your pup's meal, and they're already diving into their bowl, causing spills and making a mess. It's not only chaotic but also frustrating.

This is where teaching your dog to wait patiently comes in handy. By having them sit and stay by their food bowl while you fill it, you're instilling discipline and teaching them to control their impulses.

It's not just about avoiding mess—it's about fostering good behaviour and making meal times more enjoyable for both of you. So, encouraging your dog to wait calmly until mealtime begins is a win-win situation for everyone.

Guests Coming Over

Imagine this: your friends come over for a visit, and your dog, all hyped up, starts jumping around, getting in the way, and maybe even knocking things over. It can be a bit chaotic, and your guests might not appreciate it.

But if your dog knows the "place" command, you can direct them to go to a specific spot and stay there when guests arrive. It helps keep things calm and under control, making the visit more enjoyable for everyone involved.

Dog Parks

Picture this: You're at the dog park, and your dog, full of energy and excitement, spots something intriguing across the way. Without a reliable recall or "leave it" command, your dog might bolt off, ignoring your calls and potentially getting into trouble.

Don’t forget that your dog may be well trained, but not every dog is. The dog park is a very unpredictable place and having a solid recall and "leave it" command is crucial. It keeps your dog safe, prevents conflicts with other dogs, and ensures a stress-free experience for both you and your canine companion at the park.

Out & About

Imagine this: You're at a café, sipping your coffee, and you want your dog to relax by your side. Or perhaps you're at home, enjoying some TV time, and you'd like your furry friend to settle down quietly beside you. This is where the ‘Down’ command comes in handy.

And we can not forget about the ‘Close’ command. It is a less formal version of the heel command. It is useful when you are walking in crowded areas and your need your dog to stay close to you without pulling on the lead.

Training is up to you!

You can train your dog to a high level of obedience or not. It really depends on you what you expect from your dog. Some people are aiming for a dog that can enter competitions, while others are simply seeking a loyal companion. You can adjust your training to fit your needs.

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Conclusion

There is a lot that goes into training and you have to be aware that it is a learning process for both you and your dog. 

For this last challenge, I would like to you to sit down, think of all the training goals your have for yourself and your dog. Write them down and then start working towards them.

And do not forget... there is this option of a Free Workshop by the K9 Training Institute where you may learn a few things.

Make sure to be patient, take it easy & have fun with it!

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The End... Or Is It?

With this we reach the end of the 10 Week Bark Better Live Better Challenge.

Each week we have delved into various aspects of improving the lives of our dogs. From Exercise and Mental Stimulation to Dog Nutrition & Grooming. If you would like to revisit any of the topics again, then know you can find them right here.

Whilst this is the end of the challenge, know that our friendship is only just getting started!

Make sure to follow us on Instagram or TikTok. And if you 're up for some fun, make sure to check out our own dogs, Louie & Monti, on Instagram, TikTok & YouTube for a peek into their daily adventures. We would love to hear from you there.

Lastly, we think you deserve a special treat for making it to Week 10 and completing the Challenge!

As a token of appreciation, here's a 10% discount to treat your pup (or yourself) to something nice. Simply use BARKBETTERLIVEBETTER10 at checkout & ENJOY!

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