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For many people, they believe the old adage, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” This misconception is often what motivates people to adopt a puppy rather than an adult dog.
Well, that and puppies are so much softer and cuter. But when it comes to training, you can teach any dog, at any age new tricks.
Training a dog begins immediately and never stops. Every interaction you have with your dog is a learning experience for him. Bringing a brand-new dog into your home for the first time will have its kinks as you and your dog get used to a new routine and new things. Your dog may feel overwhelmed for a few days as he experiences all that you have available. The key is to give him stability, safety, and security in his new space.
Whether you are actively engaged in a training session or passively involved by just living in the same space, your dog needs to hear cheerful and happy tones.
Being too rigid and harsh around your dog will make him feel threatened and give him mixed signals about his new family life.
In a way, training and living with a dog is much more difficult than raising children, though I’m sure several people would disagree with that. The reason for such a bold statement is that your dog has a much more difficult time communicating with you and doesn’t have the ability to reason as even young children can.
Getting through to your dog is a matter of reassurance. Our dogs are sensitive to our emotions and a bit needy. They need to feel you’ve accepted them and love them to feel safe. Training is all about reassuring your dog he’s good, is doing the correct thing, and he is loved.
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Focus on reinforcing good behaviors rather than punishing bad ones. You also need to take the time to train him actively. All dogs can learn the basics with practice, even the dog dogs. Work on these basic commands whenever possible and keep them reinforced with positive rewards. Remember, training starts the moment you bring your dog home. Don’t push him too hard and learn his limits. And above all, show him how much you love him.
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